IMPHAL, Oct 5 - Veteran hard rock band Nazareth and US-based rock group Extreme will perform in the ensuing ShiRock 2019 event, an annual rock music competition-cum-festival held as part of the Shirui Lily Festival. The Shirui Lily Festival will be held at multiple venues in the picturesque Ukhrul district from October 16 to 19.
Scottish rock band Nazareth will perform during the opening night of the festival on October 16, while American glam rock band Extreme will take the stage on the closing day on October 18.
Both Nazareth and Extreme will head to Ukhrul town after their arrival here for their respective concerts on the Bakshi Ground, 80 km north of Imphal, sources said. Both bands are scheduled to perform for 90 minutes in their respective shows.
Nazareth, which has already completed 51 years on the rock music circuit, gained international fame after their cover of �Love Hurts�, a song composed by American songwriter Boudleaux Bryant. It featured in their sixth studio album, Hair of the Dog. The band had earlier performed in Mizoram in April 2017, reports said. However, this will be the debut performance for Extreme, which was formed in 1985, in India.
The Shirui Lily Festival � which was upgraded to a State-level festival in May 2017 in recognition of the importance of �Shirui Lily�, the Manipur State flower � aims to spread awareness about the need to conserve the pinkish-white, bell-shaped flower. The Shirui Lily is found only on the Shirui hill range, about 8,500 feet above sea level. It was declared the State flower in 1989. It was first named after Jean Macklin, wife of Dr Frank Kingdon Ward who spotted the flower in 1946. The Royal Horticultural Society, one of the world�s leading horticultural organisations, honoured the Shirui Lily in a flower show in London in 1948.
The Shirui Lily Festival also aims to develop and implement sustainable and responsible tourism in the State, besides promoting Ukhrul as an important tourist destination in the North East.
Live music, cultural shows, beauty pageants, exhibitions, folk songs, traditional dances and indigenous games and sports competitions will be the highlights of the festival which will seek to showcase the age-old traditions and culture of the inhabitants of Ukhrul district.
Meanwhile, hectic preparations are on to celebrate the festival. Chief Minister N Biren Singh chaired a review meeting in this regard on October 1. The festival will be inaugurated by Union Tourism Minister Prahlad Singh Patel. A large number of tourists and backpackers have already booked homestay facilities online to take part in the festival.