Wajid Ali Shah Festival was established in 2013 by Lucknow Chapter of Rumi Foundation. It is a Tourism Event supported by U.P.Government and Corporate Sponsors. The way it is packaged and creatively presented to the travel trade made U.P.Tourism take ownership of the event. 1st edition was presented in 2013 at Chhatar Manzil, after the CDRI office had been shifted to new place. The theme was Gomti in that event. Indrasabha was the theme for the next edition which was presented in residency. It was again back to Chhatar Manzil the next year with the theme, Rang Kanhaiyya Ka Qissa. Subsequent three editions were being held in Dilkusha Palace with the themes; Rang, Yamuna Dariya Prem Ka & Ganganama ! There is a strong message of Climatic Change and to preserve the Environment, explained Mira Ali.
A talk of Lucknow’s composite culture, better known as Ganga-Jamuni Tehzeeb will be delivered by Murari Bapu. This will be a new component to the festival by adding a personality par excellence as a speaker in the first half of the day. Evening will witness a dance ballet Gomti 1857, directed by Muzaffar Ali. It is based on the poem by Rahi Masoom Raza on the aftermath of 1857. This will be followed by Anjuman-e Dil, a jugalbandi by the famous Roohani Sisters. Muzaffar Ali is of the opinion that Art can create awareness among people as the primary step, rest is the process for any society ! Venue of the Press Conference was Historical Kotwara House at Qaiserbagh, Lucknow; which was presented by Muzaffar Ali, Mira Ali, M A Khan, Amir Naqi Khan, Tariq Khan, Shinjini Kulkarni & Neha Singh.
Shinjini Kulkarni, will be the star – performer where she will be performing as Gomti. From the ninth generation of the Kalka Bindadin lineage, she is the grand daughter of Kathak Maestro Pt. Birju Maharaj. She began her training in kathak dance at the tender age of five under the tutelage of her grandfather. Starting to perform at the tender age of eight, she has ever since been exploring her passion for dance while perfecting her art. With each of her performances, she continues to mesmerize and capture hearts while winning herself accolades. She will present her talent of Kathak to the people of Lucknow. Although she lives in Lucknow but she is Lucknowite by heart & soul, as she explained in Press Conference. Neha Singh, another artist along with almost 60 other team members will be part of the festival.