Jodhpur: The fifth Rajasthan International Folk Festival (RIFF), which will see 300 artistes of different hues and traditions from local and international diaspora come together, began with a concert Wednesday at the historical Clock Tower.
The formal beginning of the five-day music festival, a joint effort of Mehrangarh Museum Trust and Jaipur Virasat Foundation, will, however, be on 13 October.
"Artists from South America, US, UK, Australia, Reunion Island, Holland and Nepal along with different groups from India and the local folk artists like Langa and Manganiyaar will be performing in this International event at the scattered venues across the city and the fort in these 4 days," said Divya Bhatia, Director of RIFF.
The fest, rated amongst the top 25 international music shows of the world, is constantly expanding its purview in terms of performances, participation and venues.
"We have now gradually coming out from the ramparts of the fort and are mingling with the local people," Bhatia said, adding, "we are also willing to associate the local populace with this event as this is their asset."
Bhatia said that the objective of this fest is to draw the international community to the folk attractions of India, specially this region, and keep the local artists and their art alive.
"We have succeeded to a great extent but a lot is yet to be done," Bhatia said. Karni Jasol, curator of the Mehrangarh Fort, said that an important objective of the show is to make Jodhpur a destination deserving a stay for 2-3 days at least for the tourists by making RIFF a brand.
This year, the main attractions of the festival will be various rare folk genres of the state, which are less popular and facing the threat of extinction, besides enthralling fusions of east and west in the programs like World Jazz Night, Strings and Songs, Confluence and RIFF Rustle.