LAHORE - The three-day 16th Mystic Music Sufi Festival will kick off at Alhamra Cultural Complex, Qadhafi Stadium today. Usman Peerzada from Rafi Peer Theatre Workshop announced it in a press conference held at Alhamra Cultural Complex on Thursday.

RPTW, CEO Sadaan Peerzada said, “The festival would bring together 29 singers from all over Pakistan, and there would be some 400 performers, including musicians, who would delight people through their art. Rafi Peer believes global peace can be nurtured in sharing the unbiased concept of Sufism that is open to all people. Culture festivals are getting vanished from mainstream media because of its funding. Multinational companies prefer to invest on cricket matches rather than culture festivals,” he said.

Usman Peerzada said that Sufi festival brings together a diverse group of singers and musicians to showcase Sufi poetry from a thousand year old heritage. Government only cooperates with us in provision of security and Alhamra space otherwise we get no funds from them. Referring to World Performing Arts festival that could not take place after 2008, Peerzada said they had requested the chief minister to provide them with financial assistance so that a festival of such a big scale could be held in Lahore. He said that if government would provide financial assistance the World Performing Arts Festival would be organized and culture activities must be revived.

The artistes who would perform on the first night of the festival (today) are Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Mohammad Khan Nay Player, Sheema Kirmani, Naghma-e-Israfil from Gilgit Baltistan, Papu Sain and Arif Lohar.