Baul musicians have participated in various music festivals across the globe representing India.
International Folklore Festival, France
A three-member Baul team consisting of Subhadra Sharma and Gopen Debnath of Nadia and Girish Mondal of Bardhaman represented India at the 10th International Folklore Festival of Noyon in France, held from July 4-6, 2017. Teams from various countries also attended the festival at Noyon, which is a commune 100 km from Paris. The performances were held at nearby communes such as Roye, Rethondes, Berlancourt, Ham and Clairoix. Team India performed at the inauguration ceremony on July 2 at Noyon. They also performed at Roye and Rethondes and around 3000 audiences enjoyed and appreciated the performances.
'Crossroads' Music Festival, Poland
The Ethno Krakow Festival held from 5th July to 8th July 2017 in Poland is a leading festival in Central Europe. Lead musicians and music groups from all over the world come to attend this festival which includes musical performances. The festival It has been a meeting point of various cultural backgrounds and musical traditions. Twenty concerts took place in prominent places of the city such as the Church of St. Catherine of Alexandria, the Galicia Jewish Museum, Krakow Club and the open air stage on Wolnica Square. The festival through its programme pays tribute to folk and traditional music of the roots and at the same time reaches out to modern and contemporary means of artistic expression. Baul artist Rabi Mondal of Birbhum mesmerized the audience with his performance on Jul 8 at Wolnica Square.
Colours of Ostrava, Czech Republic
Colours of Ostrava is an international multi-genre music festival organised annually in Ostrava since 2002. Colours of Ostrava won the best music event award for three consecutive years from 2004 to 2006. The programmes take place in as many as 20 open and covered stages. Total 120 music groups participated in this festival from Jul 19-22, 2017. ‘Baul: Soul of Bengal’, a team consisting of folk artists like Bhajan Das Bairagya, Mohan Tanti, Khokan Das and Sumanta Das Baul. participated this year. They performed on Jul 22 at the main stage known as Gong auditorium in front of 2000 artists. The team also conducted a musical workshop on Jul 21 with 300 artists where Bhajan Das Bairagya taught the audience a Baul song. The delegation also had the opportunity to present the journey of RCCH as well as Baul philosophy in a seminar “Melting Pot” on Jul 21.
Urkult Festival in Sweden
Urkult is a three- day music festival which is attended by people from all over the world and is organised by a non-profit organisation named Urkult Society in the north of Sweden in Nasaker village since 1995. A 3 member Baul team consisting Rina Das from Birbhum, Khokan Das from Murshidabad and Mohan Tati of Bankura performed in the festival on Aug 4, in front of around 2000 international audience at Nasakar and exhibited their excellent artistry. Audience interacted with the singers after their performance to appreciate their singing styles and talk about the Baul philosophy. A number of musical groups expressed their willingness for musical collaborations with the artists. The interested audience collected music CDs from the Indian stall.
Copenhagen World Music Festival, Russia
The 2017 edition of the Copenhagen World Music Festival was held between 7 and 9 September. The focus was on Europe’s diversity and cultural exchange and the guests included teams from India, Russia, the Baltics, China, Cuba, Brazil and Morocco. Folks Of Bengal, comprising Babu Fakir, Gopi Khyapa, Mohan Tanti (flute) and Rana Mondal (percussion) represented India. The band took the audience on a journey through Bengal’s musical diversity and the richness of its cultural heritage, pivoting around the music of the Baul-Fakirs.
Armor India Festival, France
A four-member Folks of Bengal team led by Rina Das Baul participated in the Armor India festival in France’s Morlaix, Britanny, in May 2018. They had 3 performances and Rina mesmerized the audience with her fantastic Baul songs. She was accompanied by Dibakar Das Baul, Sajib Sarkar in Dhol and Subhrakamal Chattopadhyay in Flute.
Salföldi Dalföld Music Festival, Hungary
Started from 2014, the Salföldi Dalföld Music Festival is one of the prominent music festivals of Europe. A four-member Folks of Bengal team led by Debalina Bhowmick won the hearts of audiences at the music festival held on 7 and 8 July 2018. The team also comprised Sumanta Das Baul, Mohan Tanti and Khokon Das.
India Summer Days Festival, Germany
A Folks of Bengal band led by Debalina Bhowmick performed at Karlsruhe festival in Germany held on 14 and 15 July 2018. The team, also comprising Sumanta Das Baul, Mohan Tanti and Khokon Das, earned great appreciation from the audience and music connoisseurs present at the event.
Urkult Festival, Sweden
A five-member Bauls of Bengal team led by Dipannita Acharya won the hearts of the audience at Urkult festival in Sweden, held from 2 to 4 August, 2018. The performance by the team, also comprising Debalina Bhowmick, Sadhu Das Baul, Kangal Das Baul and Khokon Das, was broadcast live by the Swedish national radio.
Smithsonian Folk Life Festival, USA
The Smithsonian Folklife Festival is an international exposition of living cultural heritage annually produced outdoors on the National Mall of the United States in Washington, D.C., by the Smithsonian Institution’s Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. Baul artist Girish Khyapa and Robi Mondal participated in the festival which was organized fron June 26-July 15 2018.
A Folks of Bengal band led by Arpan Thakur Chakraborty performed at Fagun Fest in London, Harrow Music Festival, Harrow and Baul Utsab, Cardiff held on 12th to 17th February 2019. The team, also comprising Sadhu Das Baul, Deepmoy Das along with some musicians from Bengali Diaspora of London. The team earned great appreciation from the audience present at the events.
Tita Nzebi a Gabonese born French singer was the first Gabonese who visited India in 2017. In this occasion she and our two musicians Gobinda Das Baul and Sandip Bag participated in the cultural collaboration. Based on this excellent musical collaboration Tita Nzebi decided to include two collaborative musical numbers in her album. The name of the album is “ From Kolkata”. For release of the said album Tita Nzebi invited our two artists Gobinda Das Baul and Sandip Bag on the 6th April 2019 in Paris. The concert took place in a prestigious venue of Paris named Café De La Dance. The concert was successful with full house and people enjoyed the concert thoroughly.
Urkult Festival, Sweden
August ’19 was august indeed. The Urkult Festival in Näsåker, a small village in Sweden with about 600 inhabitants celebrates folk and world music with both domestic and international elements. The 25 th edition of the World Music Festival Urkult was held this year from August 1 st to August 3 rd in which innumerous musicians from all around the world partook. . The Bauls of Bengal, headed by Dipannita Acharya, vocalists and instrumentalists, Debalina, Sadhu, Kangal and Khokan gave an hour long spectacular performance making the audience dance to their folk beats. The 2 nd of August marked their third consecutive year of participation in Urkult.