Ladakh Confluence Cancelled

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To the dismay of music and culture lovers across the nation, the 2nd edition of the widely anticipated Ladakh Confluence has been cancelled. The official site of the festival ( cites the sudden withdrawal of support from the Tourism Minister of J&K, Mr Rigzin Jora, and various other sponsors as the primary reason for the cancellation. Allegedly, the pressure exerted by two local bodies, the All Ladakh Tour Operators Association (ALTOA) and the Ladakh Buddhist Association (both led by the same individual) is the reason why the support was withdrawn. As per the statement on the official site of the confluence, these bodies say they oppose the confluence because it promotes “Drugs, western culture and rocking music”, while the organizers stress that “the confluence is planned to be drug free, has declined generous sponsorships from alcohol companies, highlights and showcases Ladakhi culture and music, and that the music at the Confluence is folk and percussion from India and the world.” The official statement also says that the organizers were threatened with physical violence and the abovementioned bodies also threatened to disrupt the festival. “In such a situation, it has become impossible for us to host the festival. We would not like the festival to become a law and order situation for Ladakh” is what the statement mentioned in conclusion.

Fans’ reaction to the cancellation is varied. While some are patient and supportive of the organizers, most seem to be antagonized by the cancellation so close to the festival dates. The official facebook page is flooded with inquiries and appeals for ticket refunds, with some people even going to the extent of threatening the organizers with police complaints! Concerned fans have also created an online petition addressed to Mr Rigzin Jora, the tourism minister, asking him to release the promised sponsorship amount to the organizers, so that it may be used to refund ticket holders. Not only festival tickets, last minute cancellations have also caused people to lose money on airfares and accommodation packages. And there are still others, who are going ahead with their trips nonetheless. Gautam Malhotra, a would be attendee, wrote on the festival’s official facebook page “sad to hear the news, but still going to the worlds most amazing place and will have a ball, don’t back out people, lets go and have a ball….cheers” One can only hope that this spirit stays alive, and the one-of-a-kind event returns next year.

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