The fourth edition of the Joy Bangla Concert, the biggest rock music event of the country, stirred the young generation with the Liberation War spirit on the historic occasion of March 07.
Young Bangla, one of the leading youth networks of the country, and its secretariat Centre for Research and Information (CRI) organised the annual event on March 07 last at the Army Stadium in the capital.
They arranged the mega musical event to relive the historic speech of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman delivered on March 7 in 1971.
The celebration bore a different significance this year as UNESCO recognised the historic speech as a world documentary heritage at the end of last year.
The 19-minute speech of the Father of the Nation united the entire nation to fight back against the oppression in 1971. He called upon the nation to prepare for secession from Pakistan.
The historic speech, 'Ebarer Sangram Amader Muktir Sangram, Ebarer Sangram Swadhinatar Sangram', is also the ultimate source of inspiration to rise above all divisions and unite to achieve a collective national goal.
The concert comes at a time when the entire world is fighting extremism. And it's important for a nation to make sure that nobody, especially the young generation, gets involved in such violence.
The spirit of unity and patriotism, the essence of the 7th March speech, blended into rock music, which has always been a channel for youths to express themselves.
Since 2015 the Young Bangla has been organising the concert to rekindle the spirit of the historic speech of the Father of the Nation in the minds of today's youths.
Over 30,000 people were present at the concert, far exceeding the capacity of the venue, the organisers told the FE.
Radwan Mujib Siddiq, grandson of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, and Nasrul Hamid, state minister for power, energy and mineral resources, were present on the occasion.
Apart from the massive crowd at the stadium, millions of people at home and abroad watched the event live on satellite TV channels and Young Bangla's Facebook page and YouTube channels.
The concert started at the scheduled time. The audience didn't have to wait more than a few minutes between the performances of the bands.
During the breather, the organisers screened a special message from Irina Bokova, director-general of UNESCO, who explained the reason for inducting the historic speech into the Memory of the World Register.
The screening was preceded by a special documentary that elaborated the turn of historic events from December 7, 1970 to March 7, 1971.
This year, the Young Bangla brought eight leading bands - Powersurge, Shunno, Nemesis, Chirkutt, Arbovirus, Lalon, Cryptic Fate and Artcell - on the same stage at the event.
In the previous three concerts, six leading local rock and metal bands - Warfaze, Cryptic Fate, Nemesis, Arbovirus, Shunno and Lalon- rendered their performances.
The biggest rock music extravaganza of the country started with the most popular patriotic and motivational song 'Purbo Digonte Surjo Utheche' performed by a group of talented youngsters.
Powersurge vocalist Jamshed was overwhelmed to see the huge crowd.
"We never thought that we would ever make headline at the Joy Bangla Concert", he said.
According to the organisers, this year's concert was "bigger, better and louder" than all other previous renditions.
Apart from the other regular features, the concert brought back massively popular progressive rock band Artcell as the showstopper.
"This is the best sound we have ever had in a rock concert in Bangladesh," said Artcell vocalist and guitarist Lincoln.
The bands rocked the stage with such popular songs as 'Maa Go Bhabna Keno', 'Amra Korbo Joy', 'Joy Bangla Banglar Joy', 'Purbo Digonte Surjo Utheche', Teer Hara Ei Dheu Er Shagor'.
The patriotic songs imbued millions of youths with the spirit of the Liberation War at the Joy Bangla Concert 2018.
Every year, each band recreates and performs one song from the Shadhin Bangla Betar Kendra, the rebel radio station that kept up the morale of the freedom fighters and the countrymen during the Liberation War.
Many of the leading bands that perform regularly at the concert have included the Shadhin Bangla Betar Kendra songs in their albums as well.
Like every year, the entry to the concert was free. The audience had to register on the Young Bangla website with national ID card, mobile number and email address to collect the entry pass.
Young Bangla organised two separate musical shows titled 'Road to 7th March Concert' outside Dhaka for the first time this year.
On March 2, they arranged the musical event at the Abul Maal Abdul Muhith Sports Complex playground. Another mini concert was held at Khulna's Circuit House ground on March 7.
There were different stalls of Young Bangla and CRI where they showcased and merchandised their publications and other materials.
Food stalls were set up at the concert venue for the foodies. There was also free WiFi available at the stadium.
The gates of the Army Stadium opened at 1:30pm and the show started at 3.30pm and continued late into the night.
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