The seventh edition of Kashmir's biggest annual music festival Shashrang is set to start on October 26 here with the participation of more than 125 artists from the state including those who migrated from Kashmir during '90s.
Preparations have been afoot for the last two months for the smooth conduct of the festival and almost all major artists and musicians have confirmed their participation.
"As of now we are giving final touches to chorus singing, individual performances, group performances and other events," said Waheed Jeelani, chairman Kashmir Music Club, which is organising the festival.
"It is the only kind of music festival of such level to be organised in Kashmir on annual basis."
This year's main attraction will be the participation of artists from Pandit community who migrated from Kashmir during the '90s. "Dhananjay Koul is coming with his family, Deepali Watal will also be present, Bhajan Sopori will inaugurate the event and also be the chief guest," said Jeelani. "There are also numerous musicians and instrumentalists who have been working tirelessly in the industry for the last several decades. Everybody knows singers but forgets musicians and instrumentalists. This year we will celebrate their achievements too."
The organisers said that the festival will be completely Kashmir centric. "We have a rich heritage of Kashmir music and it is the celebration of same at the festival," said Jeelani. "Be it Rashid Hafiz, Mohammed Yaqoob Sheikh, Gulzar Ganai, Kaiser Nizami, Irfan, Bilal, Mehmeet or Shazia, more than 125 artists will be performing at the festival."
The festival is the only kind of its event in Kashmir which includes all three categories – Sufiyana, folk and light music. Like its previous seasons this year too the festival is expected to attract large number of music lovers.
The festival recognises the achievements of Kashmiri artists by giving them awards and citations. This year nine awards have been finalised to be given in various categories to senior and promising artists.