Television

etc set to jazz up Baisakhi with 'Baisakhi Blast'

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MUMBAI: etc has announced a special programme in Mumbai to celebrate the Baisakhi festival, synonymous with celebration, music and happiness.

In a bid to connect with viewers in Mumbai, the channel will be organising Baisakhi Blast at Somaiya grounds in Mumbai on 9 April 2004. Singer Sukhvinder Singh and Malkit Singh from London will entertain the crowds with a musical bonanza. Besides the Singh duo, the channel has roped in popular Pakistani singer Javed Bashir for a debut performance on Indian grounds.

Looking at the current Indo-Pak friendship theme, Bashir performing Punjabi songs live should be an exciting event. In addition, a team of more than 150 dancers and musicians has been roped in for a live performance.

A channel release claims that all the performances will be with live orchestra as opposed to recorded music used by most of the other events.

Anchored by film star Mink and top Punjabi comedian Bhagwant Mann, Baisakhi Blast will have comic interludes by Rana Ranbir and Bhagwant Mann. The televised event would be telecast simultaneously on three channels: etc Hindi, ETC Punjabi and Alpha Punjabi on 9 April 8:30 pm onwards, says the release.

Besides the actual telecast of the show from 8.30 pm, all the channels will also air a curtain raiser from 6:30 pm onwards. The curtain raiser will comprise interviews with the artistes and behind the scene activities.

Speaking about the event, ETC Networks ltd CEO Jagjit Singh Kohli says, "In the good old days Baisakhi Ka Mela used to be a regular event at Vallabh Patel Stadium in which the entire city used to participate. But over the years, this event faded away from Mumbai's calendar. From this year onwards etc along with Alpha Punjabi is reviving the tradition of holding a mega musical and cultural event in which thousands of Mumbaikars would participate."

Says ETC channel Punjabi president Rabindra Narayan, "We are grateful to our viewers in Mumbai and elsewhere and to our sponsors, who have made it possible for us to bring the flavour of Punjab to this great city."

"It is an event for all the communities and we know that the audience would not only be limited to Punjabis. Just like Dandidya, which has become a cosmopolitan event, Baisakhi would also be celebrated by everybody because it is universal and it represents love and friendship," he added.

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