Coke Studio Bangla concert: Can the franchise rise above controversy?
Amid much controversy and calls for a boycott on social media-- Coke Studio Bangla will look to entertain the audience with its "Coke Studio Bangla Live 2.0" concert today. The event, featuring an array of popular bands and artistes coming together to celebrate a musical night, will be unveiled for the audience at the Army Stadium.
The organisers have packed numerous surprises this year. From Lalon to Artcell, they are preparing to craft an unforgettable night featuring renditions of their popular songs, including "Kotha Koiyo Na" and "Deora", on stage.
Their lineup includes artistes from both seasons like Shayan Chowdhury Arnob, Animes Roy, Pantho Kanai, Momotaz Begum, Mizan Rahman, Ritu Raj, Sanzida Mahmood Nandita, Nigar Sultana Sumi, Jalali Set, Ripon Kumar Sarkar (Boga), Sunidhi Nayak, Soumyadeep Sikdar (Murshidabadi), Kaniz Khandaker Mitu, Md Makhon Mia, Rubayat Rehman, Shanila Islam, Armeen Musa, and Ghashphoring Choir, Riad Hasan, Pollob Vai, Meghdol, Jahura Baul, Sohana (Daughter of Coastal), Mukul Mojumder Ishaan, Pritom Hasan, Islam Uddin Palakar, Fazlu Majhi, Emon Chowdhury, Arfan Mredha Shiblu, Aleya Begum, Fuad Al Muqtadir, Bappa Mazumder, and Hamida Banu.
To enhance the festivities, special guests including Elita Karim, Shuvo (D Rockstar), Anika, and Anuradha Mandal, as well as captivating band performances by Hatirpool Sessions and Lalon, will be featured.
However, since its announcement, the concert has faced numerous controversies, including calls for a boycott and artistes being unhappy with the event.
The calls for boycott stem from the fact that Coca Cola is a product based in the USA, who is an ally of Israel, and is 'supporting' them in Israel's attempted takeover of Gaza in the Israel-Hamas conflict.
Speculations were abundant that James would be joining the Coke Studio Bangla concert. Several newspapers even featured headlines suggesting that the Nagarbaul vocalist would be performing with the band. However, a spokesperson for James refuted the rumours. They clarified that while the organisers did approach James for the concert, he had to decline as he had prior work commitments. Despite the clear refusal, they were disappointed when James's name was still associated, leading them to criticise Coke Studio Bangla for the mix-up.
On Wednesday night, popular band Lalon declared their withdrawal from the event, citing concerns about the organisers neglecting their lead singer, Sumi. However, the matter was resolved on Thursday, as the band reached a reconciliation with Coke Studio and confirmed their participation in the event.
Despite the resistance, tickets for the Coke Studio Bangla concert were sold out within days of their release. Many musicians have poured their hearts and souls into delivering a spectacular performance for the audience. It's now up to the audience to decide whether they will embrace the music with an open heart or let their conscience guide them.
The event's gate will open at 1:30 pm, and the main programme will kick off at 6 pm today. This year, fans will enjoy an exclusive Coke Studio Bangla experience like never before – for the pre-show will take place from 3 pm, during which time concertgoers can engage in fun and refreshing activities at the venue.