The 11-day Unboxing BLR Habba 2023 kick-off today
The 11-day Unboxing BLR Habba 2023 kick-off today

The 11-day Unboxing BLR Habba 2023 kicks off from this weekend

the upcoming 11-day Unboxing BLR Habba 2023 celebrates this idea of Bengaluru. Expect events such as Bengaluru Literature Fest, Bangalore Design Week, Parichay Heritage Walks and lots more

Bengaluru is far more than the IT hub that it is known for. The city is an amalgamation of various rich cultures and the upcoming 11-day Unboxing BLR Habba 2023 celebrates this idea of Bengaluru. Expect events such as Bengaluru Literature Fest, Bangalore Design Week, city walks, Parichay Heritage Walks, Par Excellence Golf Tournament, City Film Fest, Under 25 Film Festival and lots more. V Ravichandar, festival facilitator, Unboxing BLR Habba 2023 lets us in on everything you need to know about this upcoming extravaganza.

Can you tell us more about Unboxing Bengaluru Habba 2023?
The idea came from Prashanth Prakash who is the co-author of the book Unboxing Bengaluru along with Malini Goyal. He had this idea that we should do a city festival along the lines of the Edinburgh Festival. The only comparable things I can think of in India are people going to Chennai for the music season (margazhi) or people going to Goa for the Serendipity Arts Festival. Apart from that, I can’t think of any city-based major activity in the country. People say that Bengaluru is the happening place for arts and culture and for a fortnight in December, can they put Bengaluru on their calendar and come here? That’s the long-term goal. We have 55 independent partners whom we have grouped broadly under 12 headings. The 12 headings cover the gamut of performing arts, theatre, dance and music. Then we have visual arts. We have literature. We have technology. We have design. We have heritage walks. We have food and beverages. These are the various categories of 55 partners and about 60 odd locations. As a result, we will have close to about 400 to 500 individual events. So, you’ll be spoiled for choice. There is something for everyone. You like Kannada theatre? There is Kannada theatre. You like yakshagana? There is yakshagana. You like Western music? There is Western music. We have been super ambitious about year one and we planned it in six weeks. This can only grow bigger from here.

<strong><em>Bangalore International Centre</em></strong>
Bangalore International Centre

What were some of the challenges you faced while working on the event?
The beauty of this event is that these are 55 individual organisers who manage their own events. We are the umbrella. These individual organisers take care of the challenges and not us centrally. What we have done is we have got government permission to be in Cubbon Park and Chickpete for those who want to perform in public spaces.

A golf tournament is also part of the festival. How did that come into the plan?
People have said that we will do golf because there are a bunch of people who like golf. In due course, we are expecting this to encompass other sports also. There might be cricket or football or something else also coming up. The idea also is in the future years to have some traditional games and other similar things.

<strong><em>Atta Galatta</em></strong>
Atta Galatta

How did you decide on the events that should be part of the festival?
We wanted as wide a variety as possible. But in selecting we wanted to select partners who have a track record. These 55 people have been in the business of doing theatre or music or dance etc. Bangalore International Centre, for example, now has a five-year track record of what they’re doing. Or Atta Galatta in the context of books. All our partners are super solid, and that is what gives us the confidence that we can pull it off. The strength is in our partners. The strength of this whole story is in our partners, in our citizenry, who we hope will turn up.

On till December 11. Visit for ticketing information: habba.unboxingblr.com

Email: alwin@newindianexpress.com
X: @al_ben_so

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