Home Culture .FEST; A Festival Of Joy

.FEST; A Festival Of Joy

.FEST, one of the biggest cultural festivals in the country has left an everlasting experience among the people across the State. Just concluded one of the finest cultural extravaganza hosted by Team Bhubaneswar led by Ace Administrator Balwant Singh scripted ‘Grand Success’, which turned out to be a ‘Festival Of Joy’.

Odisha has been in a zealous fervour with the just concluded festivities, as the state hosted the 2023 FIH Hockey Men’s World Cup, along with one of the biggest cultural festivals in the country  – .FEST (pronounced Dot Fest).

Inaugurated by Chief Minister of Odisha, Naveen Patnaik on 15 January here was the second edition of the festival, with the previous one being organized back in 2018, alongside the last edition of the hockey world cup. Though the Hockey World Cup is over and also the .FEST, the people are left with an experience of the city which is never seen before.

The man behind creating the festive fervor is the Vice-chairman of Bhubaneswar Development Authority, Balwant Singh. FEST 2023 was organized with the leadership of Mr. Singh with a vision to offer a festive mood to the citizens of Bhubaneswar city.

One of the most innovative mandarin, Mr. Singh envisioned the .FEST in a way which went on to create a grand festive atmosphere of this magnitude in the city. He led the Team Bhubaneswar with dynamism and team spirit, which resulted in a ‘Crowd Friendly Get Together’ and was enjoyed by one and all, said a former Minister Tourism and Culture.

.FEST witnessed some enthralling moments including performances by leading Bollywood artists, never-seen-before nature trails and a gastronomy experience for all segments of the society.  Over the course of the 15 days, more than 6 lakh people attended the fest with an average daily footfall of over forty thousand. This event was also curated to boost tourism and to bring Odisha’s cultural offerings such as food, handicrafts and natural beauty to the forefront.

One of the most anticipated events of the day has been the international food festival showcasing global cuisines from 16 participating countries in FIH Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023 and delicacies from 24 states of India along with select delicacies from Odisha. As part of the cultural extravaganza, a Night Bazaar/Flea Market was set up, which provided a remarkable stage for over 800+ regional artists, start-ups, performers, artisans, creators, entrepreneurs and young designers to showcase their products. The Flea Market in particular turned out to be a spectacular crowd puller with more than 120 plus home-grown products on display, making it a shopping fiesta for the visitors.

The most important aspect of the 15-day .FEST was the crowd management and the seamless oraganising of such a grand event where average daily footfall was over forty thousand. Mr. Singh, in fact, thanked the people for this as he was quoted by a newspaper saying, “All segments of the society came and joined the fervour and the citizens played a crucial role in the success of the mega festival as they acted in an orderly and responsible manner to maintain the cleanliness and decorum of the city.”

The BDA Vice Chairman is also the man behind the beautification of Bhubaneswar city which has been thematically planned to align with the festive mood of the city. People witnessed a never seen before experience of the city which played the role of a perfect host of the Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023 with the meticulously planned and executed initiatives such as the Street Art and Mural Project (STAMP 3.0), landscaping, sanitation and many more.

A visionary bureaucrat, Mr.Singh is the man behind the cleaner and greener Bhubaneswar seen today. He worked 24X7 with Team Bhubaneswar to chalk out the strategy in making Capital City a greener one and beautiful. Even walking down the entire city with Team BDA and BMC was his idea, which helped in the organizers to shape the Capital City in an wonderful manner, said a former Union Secretary of Government of India.

The STAMP 3.0 was formulated to beautify the city with a thematic experience to make the city look as beautiful as its citizens want it to be. Around 650 artists associated with the STAMP, who painted the walls and created beautiful sculptures out of Terracotta, Stone, Scrap Metal, etc. STAMP 3.0 covered around 8 lahk Sq. feet of walls that are painted as part of the initiative. 35 of Odisha’s best sculpture artists – 7 in terracotta, 6 in scrap metal, and 22 in stone sculpture, along with 6 international artists from Italy, France, Korea, Egypt, America, along with 10 from other states of India were invited to create beautiful sculptures for the city and enhance the thematic beautification of the city.

Moreover, a storytelling festival – BhuFeSto was also organised as part of .FEST, which saw people from all walks of life, especially children listening to international and national professionals at the Kala Bhoomi, IG Park, Buddha Jayanti Park, and APJ Abdul Kalam Park. It culminated with an enthralling tale shared by acclaimed storytellers like Nandita Das, Antonio Rocha and others. A photo exhibition is also set up that showcases the glorious urban/city history of Bhubaneswar called ‘Sebe-Au-Ebe’, meaning Then and Now. The uniquely curated experiential trails around the city by Ekamrawalk, are also one of the event’s main attractions.

The City Trails, in particular, are attracting a lot of people and are expected to remain open to tourists until February 12th, 2023. This is being done to allow travelers to get a holistic essence of Bhubaneswar’s rich culture and heritage. In fact .FEST has left an everlasting memory among the citizens of the capital city, thanks to sincere efforts of Mr.Singh and his dedicated team.