Vistors to the much-awaited event in Meghalaya dedicate a weekend spreading awareness about issues such as elections, AIDS along with soulful music and lip-smacking food
Shillong: Shillong Autumn Festival 2019, one of Meghalaya’s much-awaited festivals that marks the onset of winter, received quite an impressive crowd despite the first day of the two-day event coinciding with the second day of NH7 Weekender on Saturday.
The festival was held at the Orchid Lake Resort in Umiam on November 2 and 3. Several bands such as Larger Than 90 and Light After Dark performed on Day 1. Day 2 saw Mumbai-based Indus Creed and an international DJ from the US perform at the festival.
Shillong Autumn Festival has been one of the most famous and much-awaited festivals of the state. While the Meghalaya Tourism Development Forum (MTDF) was the host of the festival since 2005, it discontinued after 2012 for unknown reasons.
However, the festival was revived again last year by Opus Production, which took over from MTDF. The organisers were lauded for the massive turnout witnessed at the festival.
With beautiful décor set up overlooking the lake, the other highlights of the event were a kid’s play area, ‘mental awareness’ stall, face painting, temporary tattoos, ‘drug awareness’ stalls and food stalls and bars, among others.
Speaking with EastMojo, Alethea Lyngwa, a member of Opus Production, said, “This festival has been the landmark of Shillong. We got a good response last year and also good support from the government, so we got the enthusiasm to do it again. We got a good crowd even though it clashed with NH7. This festival is synonymous to Shillong, and people from the state can relate to it. Shillong is known for its culture and the love for music, so why not share it with the rest of the world?”
She further said, “Every festival is more likely the same. But with us we have a theme every year. Last year, we had music as a theme. This year too, we have music as a theme but ‘music with a cause’. We tied up with the election department, as this year elections took place in the state. We also tied up with AIDS control society to spread awareness about the disease.”
She added that most likely the theme of next year's Shillong Autumn Festival will be on sports since Meghalaya will be hosting the National Games in 2022.
During the festival, Light After Dark -- a band of visually impaired musicians -- had people grooving to their music. From rock music to Bollywood songs, the band was full of surprises.
On Day 2 of the festival, the crowd was even more intense than what was seen on Saturday. People from the state and people from neighbouring state Assam thronged the festival.