Night of Festivals South Asia 2017 to reflect Independence

Night of Festivals South Asia take places in Leicester, reflecting 70 years of India and Pakistan’s Independence through music, dance and cultural events.

Night of Festivals South Asia 2017 to mark Independence

"A free access arts festival to 'celebrate the values of freedom and democracy through artistic innovation'."

Night of Festivals South Asia premiers in Leicester, reflecting the diversity of Independence through music and dance.

Night of Festivals South Asia will feature a Live Music Stage, along with an array of exciting arts and cultural events, taking place across Leicester City Centre.

The six days celebration takes place from Monday 14 August to Saturday 19 August 2017.

ArtReach, in association with An Indian Summer, has worked tirelessly to serve up one of the festival’s most captivating line-ups.

Expect to see both local and international talent, hailing from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and the UK.

The outstanding mix of musicians and artists will showcase the rich heritage of South Asia. From music and visual art to performance and dance, the programme contains riveting events for all.

Top names to star in Night of Festivals South Asia include the likes of Sandeep Raval, Samia Malik, Sonia Sabri, Nayan Kulkarni.

Night of Festivals South Asia 2017 to mark Independence

The city will be looking for the celebrations, especially as it forms part of the annual Leicester City Festival.

Celebrating South Asian Culture and Music

David Hill, Director and Founder of Leicester-based organisation ArtReach, spoke exclusively with DESIblitz about Night of Festivals South Asia. He highlighted how the last 15 years have resulted in an important relationship between ArtReach and Leicester’s South Asian communities.

Since its fruition in 2000, the organisation has worked with Belgrave Baheno to help in building a South Asian Cultural Centre within the city.

ArtReach has created Design Brief for arts facilities, along with submitting a successful bid to Arts Council England, securing £2 million developmental support for The Peepul Centre.

The organisation has also commissioned public art from Bhajan Hunjan and a significant Kathak dance project from the Alpana Sengupta Company.

He added: “Since then ArtReach has enjoyed a valuable ongoing relationship with local Leicester organisations such as the Centre for Indian Classical Dance, Nupur Arts and Shruti Arts, sometimes commissioning work or working in collaboration.

“It has also worked extensively with other South Asian organisations in the East Midlands, being Lead Consultant to develop the New Art Exchange in Nottingham and working with Nottingham Asian Arts Council, the Indian Community Centre, Surtal Arts and Artcore in Derby.”

Night of Festivals South Asia 2017 to mark Independence

David Hill also mentioned how ArtReach has commissioned Bobby Friction to collaborate with ViVA Orchestra and Peter Stacy. Together, they created ‘Classical Friction’, a new music and dance piece for events such as Nottingham Mela and Leicester Expo.

2010 marked the beginning of Art Reach’s Night of Festivals, “a free access arts festival to ‘celebrate the values of freedom and democracy through artistic innovation’.” Each year, they continue to draw inspiration from powerful anniversaries.

David Hill explains:

“The 70th anniversary of Indian and Pakistan independence was a strong hook to which Night of Festivals could link and help mark the occasion, especially given the substantial South Asian community in Leicester.”


Live Music Stage
15-18 August (5:30pm-11pm), 19 August (11am-11pm)

The magnificent Live Stage will mark Indian Independence Day with a variety of thrilling performances, located on Humberstone Gate. In collaboration with Gujarat Hindu Association, Leicester City Centre will become a hub of delightful South Asian music an dance.

During four evenings and one whole day, people will witness stunning performances from talented, passionate musicians and artists. Bollywood Brass Band, Raza, Iffy K, the Sonia Sabri Company and many more will grace the stage.

Night of Festivals South Asia 2017 to mark Independence

Special performances from the Indian Centre for Classical Dance and Pakistan Youth and Community Centre will also be on show.

Delight the senses with harmonious South Asian music and dance; the Live Music Stage creates the best way to mark Indian Independence Day.

Chai Walla Café
16 August (2pm-5:30pm), 17-19 August (11am-5.30pm)

Held in the prestigious ISKCON building, the Chai Walla Café will offer refreshing and delightful masala tea and traditional snacks. It also serves as the location for insightful, engaging workshops, hosted by various artists.

Those who have experienced India and Pakistan’s Independence can also record their stories within the space. Designed as a reflective centre, it aims to keep the memories of Independence alive.

Acclaimed artist Nayan Kulkarni will exhibit a brand new installation of her work at the Chai Walla Café. A fantastic opportunity to view her new piece, Blade, which opened the celebrations of 2017’s City of Culture in Hull.

Outdoor Cinema (in partnership with Inspirate)
18 August (8:30pm-11pm)

Jubilee Square will act as the centre for some fascinating cinema. The Outdoor Cinema will present an Indian classical film which will explore South Asian identity.

Night of Festivals South Asia 2017 to mark Independence

Also experience the unique International Kite Project, where audiences can get the chance to fly a digital kite on the Big Screen. Traversing through a range of South Asian landscapes, this hails as fun and innovative technology.

“Little India” Streets art and performance 
19 August (11am-5:30pm)

To finish off the Night of Festivals South Asia, “Little India” will bring exciting street art and performances to Leicester. Featuring acts such as the energising Holi Colour (Flash Mobs) and Harminder the life-size, pedal powered Indian elephant, Leicester High Street will become vibrant and bustling.

With a host of dancers, community performers and family activities awaiting, one can guarantee amazing entertainment for all.

For 2017, Night of Festivals will highlight the very best of British and South Asia talent to mark the 70th anniversary of India and Pakistan’s Independence. The six days will also present the unique heritage of South Asia through thrilling music and dance performances.

Taking place from 14 to 19 August 2017, Night of Festivals South Asia looks set to be a grand success.

Night of Festivals South Asia 2017 to mark Independence

Featuring highlights such as a Live Music Stage and an Outdoor Cinema, the 2017 festival cannot be missed!

To find out more about Night of Festivals South Asia, visit their website. Also, join in the conversation on Twitter, using the hashtag #NOFSouthAsia.

Sarah is an English and Creative Writing graduate who loves video games, books and looking after her mischievous cat Prince. Her motto follows House Lannister's "Hear Me Roar".

Images courtesy of Art Reach.

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