Instep Today

Music overshadows food at Soul Fest 2020

By Buraq Shabbir
Wed, 01, 20

Despite a decent turnout at the recently concluded three-day festival, Karachi enjoyed music more than food.

Earlier this month, the Karachi Eat Food Festival, which is certainly the biggest food festival in the country, took place with an approximate footfall of 200,000. Two weeks after that, the third instalment of Soul Fest, previously known as Coke Fest, came to Karachi after its run in Lahore earlier this year. The three-day festival commenced last weekend, on January 24 at the Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Park.

With an interesting line-up of artists including Strings, Farhan Saeed, Ali Tariq, Natasha Baig, Nabeel Shaukat, Aashir Wajahat, Raga Boyz and Kashmir the Band, the music on display was great and the line-up had people dancing around. With additions like Ali Tariq and Kashmir, Soul Fest had its eye on offering a sizable musical variety.

Speaking of food, the festival did not offer much variety to attendees; tea, desserts and burger stalls had the highest presence while others served some desi cuisine. It was tough to decide what to eat as there was nothing tempting enough unless you enjoy all kinds of burgers.

Amongst some of the things that we ended up trying without regret was the Beef Burger from Holy Grill, that made its debut at the Soul Fest 2020 and plans to expand with a restaurant soon. Their burgers are exceptional with the patty cooked to perfection – neither dry nor too soggy. The unique sauces that they make are delicious and added in just the right quantity without making the burgers too saucy.

Churros from Churrosity tasted good while the doughnut ice cream cone at Crave Bar was mouth-watering. The doughnut cone was warm and moist! Zafrani Matka Chai from Takht-e-Chai stood out amidst other tea options due to the flavour and aroma.

We visited on the final day of the festival and the turnout increased post evening as people awaited the live concert. RJ Sophie Anjam and VJ Shahzad Khan, hosts for the night, set the tone right for what was coming.

The opening performance belonged to Ashir Wajahat, son of filmmaker Wajahat Rauf; his confidence and stage presence was impressive and the audience, energized by then, cheered him on.

Next in line was music group Aag, who were good but the crowd was not as pleased to see them as they were when Nabeel Shaukat took centre stage. Dressed in a black and white attire, his energy brought the crowd back and lasted till he performed his last song, ‘London Thumakda’.

He thanked Strings for making ‘Bewafa’ what it is; he appeared on Coke Studio for the first time during their tenure. And as the final performers of the night, the music group had the crowd with their inimitable stage presence followed by their all-time favourites including ‘Chaaye Chaaye,’ ‘Hai Koi Hum Jaisa’ and newer tracks such as ‘Sajni’, ‘Raat Shabnami’ and others before the night came to a close. It was worth the wait.