Step inside the Lahooti Melo, Hyderabad's celebration of folk music and culture

Watch in 360 degrees as the annual festival throbbed with vibrant dance and music performances
Updated 25 Jan, 2017

The sun’s warmth, dressed in a cool winter breeze, set Hyderabad up for a memorable weekend as thousands of people took part in the Lahooti Melo, an annual festival of music, arts and culture.

Featuring musical performances, workshops, story telling sessions and lots of food, the event offered an unusual kind of excitement for a city that is otherwise quite mellow. Lahooti Melo has been in the running for about two years and it seems to be growing exponentially in size, strength and cultural significance.

Take a walk through the festival with this 360 degree video

What's so good about the Melo?

These are complicated times for music in Pakistan. Its indigenous music landscape, in the backdrop of heightened commercialism, has been in a state of flux for the past few years.

Enterprises like Coke Studio and Nescafe Basement have done much to create a demand for redefined, reproduced folk melodies. As a result, independent folk musicians and producers, against the might of multinational corporations, have been left with a diminishing role in carving out newer, more organic soundscapes.

The Lahooti Melo exists outside the corporate fabric of Pakistan's contemporary music industry. As a result, what was instantly refreshing about the event was the absence of corporate symbolism peppered all over the venue. The curation of artists too, seemed to have been done without their commercial viability in mind.

Humble beginnings

From where it all began, the Lahooti Melo, has come far.

Lahooti is the brain child of Saif Samejo, a musician himself, who plays in a folk-rock band called The Sketches.

Saif Samejo pauses for selfies with young attendees of Lahooti Melo
Saif Samejo pauses for selfies with young attendees of Lahooti Melo

The Lahooti Sessions re-produced works of local Sindhi musicians, showcasing Umerkot’s Mai Dhai, for the very first time. Mai later went on to play Coke Studio and has now become somewhat of a icon for Rajasthani folk music.

This year the event was held in the luscious gardens of Hyderabad Club. The ticket was worth Rs700 and a mid-sized police contingent placed outside the venue made sure there were no undesirable incidents.


N_Saq Jan 25, 2017 07:16pm
Nice to see people enjoying and having fun again in Pak. This is the right way to move forward. Let the people be free. All this is good but remember there lies a danger ahead if law and order is not strengthen and enforced and everyone is not brought under the purview of the law (eradicating the VIP and people that think they are above the law culture) because Pak have been down this road before (1970s) and we all know the end result. The answer to all problems is laws and their enforcement and implementation and not Mullahism. In order to deter the criminal mind, punishments must be carried out otherwise evil wins.
Urdu speaking Sindhi Jan 25, 2017 09:11pm
Great music show with colors of Sindhi culture. Love you Lahooti Melo
Riz Jan 26, 2017 09:38am
pround of you Saif,, you are doing soo good,, also the choice of city... yes we must promote regional cultural hubs,, why should all events goes to Karachi and Lahore,, Hyderabad, Mirpurkhas, Sukkur, Bahawalpur, Multan, Faisalabad have their own unique regional taste and their AWAM deserve such festivals,,,
Hussain Jan 26, 2017 10:40am
Saif Samejo is doing incredible work by introducing folk artists to world. His program "Lahooti" has been running on 'MTV Indies' every day around 6 30 to 7 pm, since February 2016 .