Project Description

Celebrating the spirit of South Asia to mark the 70th Anniversary of Pakistan and Indian Independence. Night of Festivals South Asia is a spectacular six day festival that took place from the 14th – 19th of August 2017, and featured internationally acclaimed artists and unique collaborations in visual arts, dance, street art and live music.

In partnership with An Indian Summer, ArtReach presented a Night of Festivals South Asia event programme that included:

Independence Events

The week began with the events that helped mark the 70th anniversary of independence of Pakistan on Monday 14th August 2017. Night of Festivals worked closely with Indus UK and the local branch of Pakistan Youth and Community Association to present a public firework display.

On Tuesday 15th, the Gujurat Hindu Assocation officially marked the 70th Anniversary of Indian Independence on stage with community performances in Humberstone Gate.

Live Music Stage in Humberstone Gate

The stage platformed the finest internationally acclaimed musicians and local Leicester performers, filling the city centre with authentic sounds of South Asia for five sweet summer evenings and one full Saturday.

The line up included BBC Asian Network’s Bobby Friction, Reggae Rajahs, Shama Rahman, Iffi-K and more. See the full line up in the brochure below.

Chai Walla Cafe at ISCKON Building

The Chai Walla Cafe had over 250 people through the door each day of the festival. Everyone enjoyed a free cup of masala tea, traditional South Asian snacks, board games and arts and craft workshops suitable for all age ranges at the Chai Walla Cafe.

​The space provided a reflective area for those with experience of independence (or family stories) to share and record their memories. One guest included a 104-year-old lady who recorded her first hand experiences of partition at the Red Fort in India 1947. The Cafe also hosted exhibitions from the Sikh Museum Initiative and a “Street Food of Pakistan” Exhibition from the Pakistan Youth and Community Association (PYCA).

In the basement of the ISCKON Building there was an excpetional new commission from acclaimed international artist Nayan Kulkarni. Maroon is inspired by the multiple implications created in the moment of India and Pakistan independence. The installation was developed from personal and family memories of migration, return and tradition. ArtReach was proud to present such a high quality arts commission for free to a diverse public, working toward our mission statment of making great art possible and accessible.

The Outdoor Cinema

Each year, The Outdoor Cinema returns with a hit blockbuster that is shown on a big screen in Jubilee Square. This year, Night of Festivals presented the ultimate Bollywood rom-com, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge. ​

Little India 

On the final day of Night of Festivals South Asia, the Festival took over various spaces in Leicester City Centre to create a “Little India”, bringing the energy, arts and bustle of an Indian market to the city through street arts and performances.

These included Harminder the Elephant, Holi colour flash mobs and the Tented Village that offered traditional craft workshops such as rangoli, kite making, calligraphy and traditional storytelling for all ages.

See more from the events at #NOFSouthAsia

In partnership with An Indian Summer, Leicester City Centre, City Festival 2017

Night of Festivals South Asia partners: City Festival, Gujurat Hindu Assocation, Hindu Festival Council, Pakistan Youth and Community Association (PYCA), Sikh Museum Initiative, Federation of Muslim Organisations, Centre for Indian Classical Dance (CICD), Nupur Arts, Shiamak, Confederation of Indian Organisations (CIO)

Media Partners: DesiBlitz and Leicester Mercury