If there’s one festival the whole of Mumbai collectively looks forward to, it’s the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival. This year will be its 20th year of being in the lead for maintaining and preserving the heritage and art district of South Mumbai. Kala Ghoda Arts Festival is one of the country’s largest multi-cultural festival, taking place in February each year. This year it will be on from February 2 – 10.
In a bid to give back to the megapolis of Mumbai something of its own in the art sphere, the idea of the biggest street art festival was born. Twenty years ago, a few like-minded individuals sat together and thought about how exactly to give the festival a distinct identity, both culturally and visually.
And thus, the most natural and organic way of showcasing what was on offer was through art exhibitions, music concerts, film screenings, heritage walks, panel discussions, workshops and more. The idea was also to provide artists an unusual outlet for their creativity and to give the audience a chance to engage with these artists, their works and thus, be a part of an immersive experience.
This is perhaps the best way to experience Mumbai; Kala Ghoda Arts Festival is so rich culturally, with so much happening for a week, that by the end of it, you feel like you know a lot about the city and its people. Today, there are about 500 programmes that happen across 30 different venues. Since it’s the 20th year of the festival, the theme will revolve around paying home to the origin; be it in comedy, painting, theatre or any other section.
Over the years artists like Ustad Zakir Hussain, Adnan Sami and Ustad Amjad Ali Khan have graced the music stage, intellectuals like Shashi Tharoor, Ranjit Hoskote, and so many more have been a part of engaging discussions, giving the festival an even wider reach. The heritage walks that take people through the fabric of the city and food tastings that map the city’s history and culture, this festival has truly become synonymous with Mumbai itself. The festival is perhaps the largest non-ticketed cultural event in India, and possibly Asia. Giving you a chance to see Mumbai like never before!