Rohail Hyatt speaks out on how Lahore beats Karachi hands down when it comes to cultural events and plans to meet the Nazim to discuss how to make this city happening again. Not one to rest on his laurels, Rohail Hyatt may be busy planning the next installment of Coke Studio but his mind is also churning in other directions. While the World Performing Arts Festival was rocking Lahore, he said that Lahore has clearly got the lead on Karachi when it comes to cultural activities.
“There is so much happening there. The World Performing Arts Festival has been going on for years. There’s Basant. There are also smaller gigs happening every other day,” said Rohail. So why is Karachi so far behind in this respect? There used to be an incredible concert culture in this city back in the day and it was said that to make it in music, one had to move to Karachi. That’s what Ali Azmat did when he joined Junoon and even the Vital Signs who were all Rawalpindi boys did the same.
And one remembers the frequency of concerts that used to happen. What’s the problem now? “The problem is getting the NOC,” says Rohail. “Because of the security situation, the authorities aren’t giving clearance to anyone who wants to organize big events in Karachi.” Rohail Hyatt also plans to meet Karachi’s Nazim Mustafa Kamal to speak about the issue. “Events need to happen. They should go on despite everything, even if you can’t do them on a massive scale, it is important. In Lahore, the government supports such events that add so much to the city of Lahore. Basant has always had official patronage. The same needs to happen here.”
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