Behind the Scenes: Nepali Music Festival

August 1, 2016 , by Jerusha Rai, Leave your thoughts
Behind the Scenes: Nepali Music Festival » My Dreams Mag

The result of an eight month long, meticulously planned process, the festival of such grand scale was a difficult one to organize. “It was a big challenge,” says Samir, “We anticipated conflicts of interest among the artists themselves. We had to make sure the event was well promoted and the momentum sustained up until the event day.” Nevertheless, after years of organizing regular, quality events in the UK and Nepal, Parcha has gained the trust of artists, sponsors, volunteers and audiences for their long-term vision and management know-how.


For the first time, heavyweights of Nepali pop-rock music scene, Phiroj Shyangden (1974 AD), Naren Limbu (Aastha) and Sabin Rai were featured together in a stage at the UK. This was witnessed at the Nepal Music Festival on 17th June 2016, Friday. The widely known pop-rock giants performed to a roaring crowd of around 2000, almost full capacity at the Coronet Theatre in Elephant and Castle, London. JPT Rockers, the most popular Nepali band among the young diaspora in the UK were a fitting opening act, setting the stage for Parcha Productions’ largest musical event after the 2013 Nepathya Concert at Wembley Arena which brought together over 12,000 music lovers from all over Europe.

When asked why they chose to call it a “festival” rather than a concert, Samir Gurung of Parcha Productions explained, “It was a celebration of Nepali music, and the fact that Nepalis of various backgrounds and age groups still take time out to appreciate it. It was our aim to bring together different generations of Nepalis. We called it a ‘festival’ because it was almost a spiritual occasion to come together as a community”.


Much strategic planning was put into choosing the right headliners for the festival. The featured artists were selected due to their popularity across different age groups and the popularity of the pop-rock genre that the artists played a big role in promoting. This would not only result in commercial success but also fulfill the organization’s vision of bringing together different generations of the Nepali diaspora together.

“One of our priorities is to provide the best artist management,” says Samir. “We made arrangements with Johnny Gurkha Restaurant to supply the artists with food throughout their stay. Travel Consol took care of the transport. We hired the best local musicians to play as the backing band for the headliners and made sure we had top-notch sound system. So, it was very satisfying to hear the artists say that it was one of the best experiences they had had in years, in terms of management, promotion and being treated with respect as artists. We hope to continue this legacy”.

Parcha Productions seem acutely aware of changing trends in the Nepali music market in the UK, an attribute lacking in other event organizers. Samir explains, “There is now an increased search for ‘Nepalipan’ among Nepali audiences in the UK; they crave for folk music and shared Nepali experiences rather than a western outlook.”


Samir attributes this to the current state of integration of the Nepali diaspora in the UK. When they first arrived, Nepali immigrants felt many material pressures to assimilate into the UK culture. However, as they have now settled down and organized into a functioning community, the diaspora has had a chance to step back and reflect on their own roots and identity. “Also, as young Nepalis growing up in a foreign land, there are many triggers that make you question where you come from. Most of us that arrived in the UK while we were very young, have now reached that stage of maturity,” explains Samir.

For this reason, and exciting new explorations by Nepali musicians, filmmakers, artists and entrepreneurs, Samir believes that the Nepali scene will soon become better known in the international arena. Importantly, it is the Nepali diaspora who can make this possible, as is apparent in their enthusiasm and support in events like the Nepal Music Festival.

Words by Jerusha Rai
Read more from Jerusha here.
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