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Kala Ghoda Arts Festival 2019

The Kala Ghoda Arts Festival is without a doubt one of the most awaited festivals each year. Held annually, it is an exhibition and celebration of theatre, music, theatre, films, comedy and world art. It is held every year in Mumbai and attracts over 150,000 people from the city and beyond. 2019 marks the twentieth edition of this festival which will be held in the Kala Ghoda Art District as it has been in the past years. This edition will also be special as the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi will be celebrated.

Kala Ghoda Festival Dates and Timings 2019

This year, marking the twentieth edition, the festival will be held from 2nd February, Saturday to 10th February, Sunday. It will be held for a total of 9 days. Each day the events will be held from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm.

What is the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival?

Kala Ghoda Statue, Kala Ghoda Arts Festival
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Among the plethora of famous festivals in the city of Mumbai, the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival is one which is highly awaited each year. Since its inception in 1999, this festival has become the largest ethnic and multicultural festival of the city. It has managed to grow with leaps and bounds through the years and has drawn over hundreds and thousands of people from the city and from the country. The huge variety of events adds to the worth of watching this extravaganza of a fest.

The festival is organised by Kala Ghoda Association every year. There are twelve sections of the festival including visual arts, cinema, dance, theatre, music, workshops, literature, urban design and architecture, food, street section, heritage walks and a section for children.

Kala Ghoda Festival offers a vibrant spectrum of colour, culture and tradition. From heated literary and social discussions to workshops and book launches, from musical delights to dance performances, from mesmerising visual art to handmade crafts; the festival is a compelling delight for every art connoisseur.

Venue for the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival 2019 

Kala Ghoda Arts Festival 2019
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The festival takes place within the historic Kala Ghoda Art District. It is open to all, free of charge. The boundaries of the subdivided district can be roughly traced from the Regal Circle at the Southern end to the Mumbai University in the northern end; from the Oval Maidan to the west and the Lion Gate to the east.

The district is blessed with rich architecture and heritage. A blend of Indo-Saracenic , Neo-Gothic and Neo-Classical styled buildings highlight the district. Famous architectural wonders include the Elphinstone College, David Sassoon Library, Jehangir Art Gallery, Bombay University, Prince of Wales Museum, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS) and the Army and Navy buildings.

Entry Fee for the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival

There is no entry fee for the festival. Anyone is welcome into the celebrations free of cost.

Events for the Kala Ghoda Festival 2019

For the twentieth edition of the festival, there will be events across 14 categories.

1. Dance - 

This year there will be 55 dance events during the festival. The themes will range from Indian classical and contemporary to international dance forms. All of the dance events will be held in the Open Maidan Ground.

2. Food -

This edition will be an exciting culinary venture. Masterchef workshops and food walks are scheduled which will throw light on various cuisines. All of the restaurants around the venue will be offering various specially curated dishes for the festival.

3. For Children - 

There will be 77 events aimed at children this year. The various workshops and activities will be organised on all days at the Museum of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (11:00 am to early evening). The literature events will be held at Somaiya Bhavan and Kitab Khana. Prior emails for registration must be sent to [email protected] for the literary events.

4. Theatre - 

35 plays across various languages such as English, Hindi, Marathi and Gujarati are scheduled which will be held at Horniman Circle Gardens, MC Ghia Hall (Kala Ghoda) and the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA).

5. Music - 

Music Concert, Kala Ghoda Arts Festival
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Numerous concerts are lined up with genres ranging from indie pop, Indian classical, English classical, jazz, Sufi, afro percussions and pop. Some of the most key performers will be Shaan, Anushka Manchanda, Apache Indian, Hariprasad Chaurasia, Luca Ciaria, Abhijit Pohankar. All of the musical events will be held at Cross Maidan. On the last two days, the music events will be held at the Asiatic Library Steps.

6. Movies and Films - 

Movies and documentary related events will be held in Coomaraswamy Hall and Visitors’ Centre at CSMVS. The theme chosen for this year is 'Past Forward' and various films and documentaries which have been screen at KGAF over the past twenty years will be revisited. Also, many iconic and influential films which turn twenty this year will also be screened. Apart from that, there will be workshops and lectures revolving around cinema.

7. Literature - 

There will be book launches, poetry sessions, discussions with authors and many more. In all, 64 literary events have been lined up in English, Gujarati, Marathi and Kutchi. All of the literary events for the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival will be held in the David Sassoon Library (DSL).

8. Street Events - 

Local Street Performers and groups from across the country will be performing acts such as tight rope walks, folk dances such as Bahurupia and Kachchighodi, etc. The timings are from 5:30 pm to 9:30 pm in the evenings on weekdays. All of the street events will be held at Rampart Row, Kala Ghoda Road.

9. Visual Arts - 

Visual Installations, Kala Ghoda Arts Festival
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Innovative visual art installations are always a major attraction in every edition of the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival. This year will be no different. This year there will be 41 visual art installations at Rampart Row and Cross Maidan.

10. Heritage Walks - 

30 heritage walk events have been planned for this year. These will be held across various locations in South Mumbai. The very popular heritage bus tours are held on Saturday and Sunday.

11. Stalls - 

Kala Ghoda Arts Festival
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Around 150 stalls are to be set up for the twentieth edition. Local artisans and other organisations will put on display clothes, shoes, bags, home decor and other items, etc. Every year people throng the stalls to get the first pick of the items. The booths will be lined along the Kala Ghoda Road and in the traffic triangle outside the Jehangir Art Gallery.

12. Workshops -

The workshops will be held at Artists's Centre, Artisans' and Somaiya Centre for Lifelong Learning. Entry to all of the workshops is free. The theme for the 20th edition of the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival is 'Zest'. The workshops will be centered around the betterment and expression of self with more enthusiasm.

13. Urban Design and Architecture -

These events feature talks, discussions, presentations and interviews based on the present scenario of the world of design, architecture and cities. Many prominent writers, designers, film-makers and artists will grace the events to share their own experiences from their respective fields. The events will be held at the Max Mueller Bhavan.

14. Stand Up Comedy - 

Established and up-coming comedians will be performing at the Irish House. A total of 41 stand-up performances are lined up. The comedic shows are always a hit every year.

Tips for the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival

  1. If you are a non-local it is best to book accomodation early. Hotels and other lodges can fill up in the blink of an eye nearing the time of this festival.
  2. Be sure to plan ahead of which events you want to attend. The venues can get pretty crowded quite early and you wouldn't want to miss the best seats in the house. It pays to be the early bird. 
  3. Wear comfortable clothes. The weather duing this time is springy.
  4. Make sure to carry your cameras to capture all the colourful display of art, culture and food. We guarantee you will regret it later if you don't!!
  5. Always keep an open mind. This festival is a melting pot of ideas and cultures. 

A festival like no other, the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival is one of those experiences you just cannot miss. Come and immerse yourself in a nine-day extravaganza of art, music, culture, ideas and people.

This post was published by Joysurjya Hagjer