Varanasi: A carnival of music, ‘Sur Ganga’, will be held in the city from April 18 to May 30 to celebrate Varanasi’s ‘City of Music’ heritage.

The function will be organised by the Varanasi Municipal Corporation (VMC) under the aegis of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Varanasi was included in the UNESCO’s ‘Cities of Music’ category under the Creative Cities Network and a declaration in this regard was made by director general of UNESCO in Paris on December 11, 2015.

A meeting was convened in presence of divisional commissioner Nitin Ramesh Gokarn and Varanasi mayor Ramgopal Mohley on Wednesday in which the outline of the proposed event was presented before people associated with music, and others.

During the meeting, it was announced that the event will be dedicated to the music maestros of the country and will witness over a thousand performances delivered by 5,000 artistes in various localities, including the iconic ghats. Artistes from the US, Italy, UK, and Africa will also attend the function.

The objective of the event is to promote Indian music among the youth besides promotion of tourism in the region. The event also aims to promote message of Clean India-Clean City while developing skills for music among budding artists and youths which can use it as a platform to showcase their talent, informed the mayor.

While the inaugural ceremony will be held on April 18, the function will go on till May 2. The main programme, titled ‘Symphony’, will be held from April 21-23 while another themed around shehnai maestro Ustad Bismillah Khan will be held from April 25 to April 30.

Iconic Indian playback singer Asha Bhosle is expected to perform along with other renowned artistes between April 21 and April 23. Besides, pavilions comprising Sant Kabir, Pt. Ravishankar, Pt. Kanthe Maharaj, Late Sitara Devi will be set up. held from May 1 to May 19. The classical performances will act as tribute to music legends and will be held in different areas.

A musical confluence showcasing cultural diversity and music of different states and regions across India will be held till May 29. The series of events will focus on vernacular and folk music and would bring together reputed performers well-versed in their respective languages. A ‘beating the retreat’ event will mark the culmination of 45-day-long festival.