After a downhearted two years, with the bloom of new life in this cherry blossom season, finally, a stage was set up, the microphones were brought out from the dusty storerooms, amplifiers and speakers were put up at every corner of the venue. Huge billboards at every turn were shadowing the entire city into the spirits of the Cherry blossom festival. Shillong was all set to bring back the festival vibe it has always been known for.
This year’s three-day Cherry Blossom Festival was special on many fronts. It was a step towards normalcy that people were longing for. It created a healthy space for people from different walks of life to indulge in the beauty of art, music, and literature. But one element which made this year’s event go up a notch compared to the previous year’s events was the artist line-up.
The Cherry Blossom Festival, 2021 provided a platform to local as well as international talents, the new-upcoming artist as well as the seasoned artist. “One of the best on-stage experiences that I have had in my life” was how DJ Shane, a budding artist from Shillong explained his experience of performing at the Cherry Blossom Festival. Young internet sensations such as DJ Wanshan, Rechords, DJ Knack, Dosser’s Urge, DJ Zethan, Jessie Lyngdoh and crew, and Rum and Monkey swayed the crowd with their modern beats and energetic rhythm, whereas, seasoned artists like Sound from the Hills and Chesak Sangma won the hearts of the people by their traditional beats and native lyrics.
The live stage was a big step for the young artist who nurtured their music during the lockdown and took digital platforms by storm. “People can identify our potential” was described as the benefit of Cherry Blossom Festival as a platform for upcoming artists by Jessie Lyngdoh and crew.
The festival was the “first abroad stage” of the South Korean Band, Pixy who moved the audience with their music and won their hearts with a special Hindi song performed by them at the end of their performance.
The other international artist who graced the festival with their music was Carl and Reda Mafia, a four-member band from the United Arab Emirates who is known for their experimental music. Pyra, a pop artist from Thailand who performed a new genre of ‘dystopian pop’ music at the festival. Lastly, Mari Ferrari is a renowned EDM Artist/DJ from Portugal whose electrifying beats brought goosebumps to the audience. “We were making each other crazy” Mari Ferrari on talking about her connection with the crowd during her performance at the festival.
“An ocean of the Shillong People” is how Mari Ferrari described the crowd at the festival. From the artists to the organizers, everyone was overwhelmed by the unexpected amount of people that turned out in this year’s event. The audience of the festival was the personified version of love for music. Their cheers and screams were enough to uplift and boost the artist to give the performances of their lifetime. “People always ask me in interviews which were my best show? Best festival? Where is the best crowd? I think my new answer is Shillong” was how Pyra explained her entire experience of the festival.
“Cherry Blossom Festival” was the answer given by Pixy when asked, what is that one thing they will be taking back with them to South Korea from Shillong. Cherry Blossom festival was no less than a hit this year. A success that was amplified by music, celebration, and talented artists. When asked Pyra if she would like to perform next year at the Cherry Blossom Festival, she replied by saying “I already told them, please invite me.”
The true essence of the Cherry Blossom Festival was put together by Jessie Lyngdoh and crew when they said “Who wouldn’t want an opportunity to come together, to get together for music, for love, for family, for friends and Cherry Blossom Festival is that package”