Bhubaneswar: The second edition of Bhubaneswar City Festival (.FEST), which was rechristened as ‘Ekamra Utsav’, has been cancelled.
The carnival, which includes cultural events, storytelling sessions and food festival, was scheduled to be held at Idco Exhibition Ground here from December 23, 2019, and January 1, 2020.
Around 40 artistes were to perform in the city during the fest that was being jointly organised by Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) and Odisha Biennale.
The festival was reportedly cancelled following an order from the Chief Minister’s Office on Thursday evening, a source close to the organising committee of the event said.
The decision to cancel the festival was taken in view of the massive devastation caused by cyclone FANI that had hit Odisha early May this year, the source elaborated.
The first edition of the two-week cultural fiesta had kicked off with a spectacular performance by Bollywood’s dynamic music composer duo, Vishal and Shekhar on December 2, 2018. The evenings also witnessed scintillating live performances by the who’s who of the music industry, including Shaan, Shreya Ghoshal, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and Farhan Akhtar.
The festival, which was organised by Bhubaneswar Development Authority and Odisha Tourism, had then coincided with the Odisha Men’s Hockey World Cup.
Attending the show on its ninth day on December 9, 2018, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had said that he was extremely happy with the success of .FEST. “We will host this festival every year,” he had declared.
The biggest draw of .FEST was the International Street Food Festival during which 24-odd food stalls put up on the fest ground.
The festival had also hosted around 16 storytellers and their troupes from all over the world — Paula Martin from Argentina, Dr. Wajuppa Tossa from Thailand and Sabrina Anastasia from France, to name a few. There were renowned storytellers from the region as well.
Theme-based walks were also organised to give tourists and locals an opportunity to explore the city.