An international music festival of unprecedented scale, Senses and Soul: The Colombo Music Festival, will be held in Colombo from August 24-26, next year. This was announced at a news conference held on August 31 at the Water’s Edge. The Mantra Moods Executive Committee, Waters Edge, M-Entertainment and the Sri Lanka Conventions Bureau will join hands in this endeavour.
Founder and Event Director of the Colombo Music Festival, Haadia Galely, describing the Colombo Music Festival as an “unparalleled meeting of musical styles, genres, essence and forms”, said her plan was to put Sri Lanka on the “map of world festivals”.
|Organisers at the news conference to announce the event. Pic by M.D. Nissanka
The threefold objective of this event is to provide entertainment, knowledge and opportunity to Sri Lankan artists and music lovers, she explained.
Music education will be promoted by international experts who will train local musicians and conduct lectures, discussions and workshops for aspiring artists. Talent scouts from international record labels like Sony, Virgin and EMI are expected to attend the event, giving local musicians an opportunity to make a mark globally. Open Stage Performances will also be organised.
Music Consultant and Coordinator, Arun Dias Bandaranaike, said this festival will create the platform that budding Sri Lankan artists have lacked. The official venue, Water’s Edge, has dedicated the entire property to this event, while several unusual locations in the city, like the island in the Beira Lake, will be earmarked for ‘fringe events’, he added.
While the focus of the festival will be cross genre and fusion trends, world music, legends, oriental, folk, pop, rock, jazz, classical and choral music will be represented by a host of musicians including well-known artists like Ravi Bandu, Shaman Ranaweera, Tilanka Jayamanne, Sureka Amarasinghe, Triloka, Rukshan Mark and Stigmata. Voice.Print, De Lanerolle Brothers and the Choristers of the University of Visual and Performing Arts will also take the stage.
Andre David, Director of the David Academy of Performing Arts, announced that competitions will be organised for instrumental and vocal performers. “We plan to give semi finalists an opportunity to train, and we will conduct the final competitions on a ‘concert level’,” he added.
The competition categories include classical, semi-classical, rock, pop and R n B, as well as beat boxing and musical theatre.
The Colombo Music Festival will also serve to expand Sri Lanka’s value as a tourist destination by linking the diverse culture of Sri Lanka with the world. Vipula Wanigasekera of the Sri Lanka Conventions Bureau said the Colombo Music Festival will be an opportunity for Sri Lanka to move away from the “traditional package tourism”. This festival will “help us put the concept of being ‘Resplendent’ back as part of the identity of this Isle,” said Ms. Galely.
The official website of the Colombo Music Festival was also launched. More information regarding volunteering, sponsorships, competitions and other opportunities can be found on this website at www.thecolombomusicfestival.com
“We need the help of the business community, corporates, banks, insurance companies, arts and crafts, government institutions... relating to culture, youth, travel and tourism... in short everybody, to make this a reality and a success, and highlight Sri Lanka as a many faceted ‘Paradise’,” said Galely.