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Review: Shillong Autumn Festival 2012 Grand Finale

For a festival that is very anticipated and that celebrates some unique aspect of our region’s culture in various ways, this year’s Shillong Autumn Festival fails to hit the Shillong scene as hard as it usually does. Being a seasonal event and the most enthralling one of the state, not setting the peak in its seventh year was a disappointment to many.

For the larger part, this festival is always celebrated throughout a span of a few days till the main event that is normally held at Umiam Lake Resort.  There were the activities that went up and went down. The main event of the festival was scheduled for two days and on both occasions had the same acts on the bill at the Gen-X stage; be it with magic or music. A festival that had for once caught so many levels of reputation apparently seemed to be sinking down.

Anyway, back to the line up; the Gen-X Stage saw performances by North East Highway Star Winner Graciella Thangkhiew, a couple of magicians who displayed same tricks on both days and then there was the upcoming project  of Dauni Laloo that goes by the moniker “Kruzzax”. He had the ball rolling and got the crowd warmed up for the rest and this was an act to watch out for in the future. Joshua Rayner’s pop-sensation act was super bland there were no varied tunes in his set; feel bad for the poor boy and his crew. Alo Wanth, a soloist from Nagaland who also played with his band on the second day at the main stage was soothing to the soulful listener and had a cross-section audience watching him play.

About the main stage, the one act that picked it up on the first day and had the crowd singing along to their tunes was the Shillong Chamber Choir. But of course, why wouldn’t they sing along to cover songs? Alobo Naga and the Band was inspirational. Their set was brilliant and have been a tight live act like never before. Day one was rounded up with a headlining act by Menwhopause. Good band.

Day two was more or less programmed to meet specific needs and of course entertain a new set of crowd. It was surprising to see Menwhopause opening the set on the second day after they headlined the first day. After Menwhopause, Soulmate hit the stage and projected their awesomeness to the crowd and then Lou Majaw followed with his usual “standout” performance gimmicks. What happened this time was a little controversial but he owned the stage and we love entertainment!

The Gen-X and Main Stage shared an almost common bar on both the days and so did the other two cultural stages known as the Bamboo stage and the Infinity Stage. Dreamy melodies and well-choreographed cultural dances were heralded by the likes of Manipuri, Assamese, Mizo, Garo traditional Dances.

Arguably the Festival could have been way better but it is still the most apt festival for the autumn season of the year and hope that it will get better in the years to come.

Check image gallery below:

Shillong Chamber Choir @ Main Stage, Autumn Festival 2012

Photo Credits: Core Elements

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