SHILLONG: The Cherry Blossom Fest 2023 officially got underway with the Shillong Literary Festival at the Ward’s Lake on Tuesday.
Inaugurated by Tourism Minister, Paul Lyngdoh, this year’s annual literary festival promises an intriguing itinerary.
Speaking of how the Lit Fest is already a major event on calendars of festival hoppers, Minister Lyngdoh said that the culture-art-music festival is expanding its wings and each year, major international artistes are getting associated with it.
“The idea is not just to promote tourism, but provide a platform for the state’s youth. With all the international artistes performing at the Cherry Blossom Fest; we’re trying to create an environment where our talents can rub shoulders with the best in the world,” he said.
An intriguing session on Everything That Light Touches by author Janice Pariat was one of the highlights of the day.
The session on the novel’s story of two women’s travel and picturesque Meghalaya, evoked much response from the crowd as Parait and Cheryl Rynjah laid bare the layers of the story in an in-depth discussion.
Meanwhile, two prominent Bollywood stars have endorsed the Cherry Blossom festival, calling all their fans to attend the three-day music fest from November 17.
Actor John Abraham has encircled R&B artiste Ne-Yo as a must-see, while son-in-law of Meghalaya, Rajkumar Rao has named quite a few – Sanam, Hybrid Theory, et al – as his picks.
Short videos of the stars addressing their fans about the festival went viral on Tuesday.
Earlier, the artistes, Ne-Yo and pop-star Ronan Keating have stoked the flames of excitement with small messages to their fans in the Northeast.
“Shillong it’s been too long… I am coming to Shillong Cherry Blossom Festival and we’ll see you there,’ said Keating in a video, released on the festival’s social media page.
The itinerary of the Cherry Blosom music festival promises a confluence of global and local artistes equally distributed across the three days.
The inaugural day of the music fest, on November 17, includes Hybrid Theory, 4th Element, among others, the second and the third day will see Ne-Yo, Keating, Lou Majaw, Blue Temptation and Street Stories, to name just a few, set the stage ablaze.
The grand finale promises to be a cracker as well; the word on the streets is that Meghalaya’s Bob Dylan, Lou Majaw, will join Keating on stage!