Bhubaneswar: The first edition of .FEST (Bhubaneswar City Festival)organized by Bhubaneswar Development Authority and Odisha Tourismreached a fever pitch crescendo tonight,as Bollywood star, singer, song-writer, director and actor Farhan Akhtar gave a powerful packed performance.
A sea of over 30,000 people welcomed him with a roaring cheer as he took the stage with his accompanying talents. Starting off with his famously recited poem Toh Zinda Ho Tum from his super-hit film Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, Akhtar’s husky baritone was enough to get the audience screaming for more. He was then greeted by loud applause as he broke into his first track, Sinbad the Sailor from his musical hit movie Rock On!!
From there on in, the hits didn’t stop and Akhtar’s anecdotes about the songs kept the audiences engaged. Main Aisa Kyon Hoon, Socha Hai, another part of the ‘ZNMD’ poem, Manzar Naya, Pichle Saat Dino Mein were all met with loud approvals from the audience. They were dancing and jumping along and the seated viewers were soon getting up from their seats, compelled by Akhtar’s magnetic stage presence. The slower track, Khaabon Ke Parindey and the soulful Tum Ho Toh was a treat to see live. Soon after, Akhtar’s teasing of the audiences continued during which he walked over to one of his musicians for a short while but returned to center stage and started doing push-ups to rev himself and without missing a beat continued on with the songs. He won the audience over complete with his playful antics.Senorita and Gallan Goodiyan were both songs the audiences were waiting eagerly for and were not disappointed when Farhan began singing them with accompanying female vocals.
After a short break, the audiences urged Akhtar and his accompanying artistes back onto the stage for the title track of DilChahta Hai. The night came to an end with the final song – title track of ‘Rock On!!’ which the audiences were waiting in anticipation for. Farhan thanked the crowd who were chanting his name and said he always felt at home in Bhubaneswar and looks forward to performing here every time.
Continuing its tradition of inclusivity, .FEST today saw 100 women from the Working Women’s Hostel enjoy themselves immensely at the food festival and Farhan Akhtar performance. Initiated by Bhubaneswar Development Association (BDA) with the support of Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) and Odisha Tourism, the idea was to includeevery section of the society during the city-wide celebration. By inviting them to .FEST they get to experience the best Bhubaneswar has to offer and instill a sense of pride in their city.
Also in attendance were 30 former Maoists who were watching the performance. The group who had witnessed the India vs. Netherlands match last evening at the on-going Odisha Men’s Hockey World Cup 2018, were also invited to experience the culture, food and entertainment at .FEST. They seemed happy to be a part of the festivities and were thankful for the experience and being included in the mainstream society.
The International Street Food Festivalwhich also a popular attractionat .FEST, received and overwhelming responses. Visitors were spoilt for choice as they got to choose from a wide range of appetizing street food specialties with cuisines from Odisha, India and all over the world.
Tomorrow, 15th December, 2018 fans of EDM are in for a treat as DJ Willy and Teju will get the audiences grooving to their beats at .FEST.