Darbar

Welcome to the 10th annual Darbar Festival at the Southbank Centre in association with SkyArts. 

View the Darbar festival 2015 brochure

The Festival is dedicated to Bhai Gurmit Singh Ji Virdee (1937-2005), an inspirational teacher of the tabla in whose memory the Darbar Festival was first established in 2006.

Come to the Darbar Festival and explore some of the finest improvised music in the world. If you have never been to an Indian classical concert, then join us and discover a world of enchanting melody and rhythm.

India is one of the worlds’ most magical places that encompasses a huge diversity in music. At Darbar, we make it easy for you to enjoy the various traditions of its classical music.

We are the only Festival the puts on Hindustani (North Indian), Carnatic (South Indian) and Dhrupad (India’s oldest yet timeless tradition) together right here in London.

The concept of emotions (rasas) related to Indian arts is said to have been formulated over 2000 years ago and relates to the feeling that is evoked when experiencing art, music, dance and cinema. Many people find the experience of listening to particularly live Indian classical music a deeply moving emotional experience.

If you’ve never experienced this sort of music, come along to these carefully selected concerts, which are bound to move you in different ways. Apart from the great well-known masters we also showcase many musicians who are simply brilliant but have never performed in London.

This is one of the things that Darbar is well known for - that magical feeling of discovering new talent or a new favourite artist. Come and enjoy free family foyer events and mingle with the musicians after. You might even want to buy some of their CDs and get them autographed. Delve a bit deeper into the genre by attending in-conversation session with the musicians and definitely don’t miss the Darbar Pop up Record Store, my specially selected the best CDs which you can buy during the Festival. If it all gets a bit much, take a break, stretch your limbs and relax your minds at one of our ever popular Yogabliss classes which are done to live guitar music by the Giuliano Modarelli, trained in the classical Indian tradition.

If you’ve just started to get interested in Indian classical music or a seasoned connoisseur but want to get a deeper understanding of the genre, sign up to our five day Indian Classical Music Appreciation course, run by our inspiring teachers which will help the theory come alive for you and further understand and enjoy this classical form.

And finally, good news regarding tickets. This year we have changed our seating plan so that you can now buy seats in the front three rows and sit amongst musicians from the Festival. These tickets will go fast so book early. 

Darbar Festival Pass

Attend up to 11 performances with one great-value pass. Experience the whole festival at a reduced rate, and for three days truly immerse yourself in the world of South Asian music. The festival pass also includes:

- A free Darbar Arts Culture Heritage Trust coffee table book (to be collected at Darbar festival in September). Details of how to collect your book will be emailed to festival pass holders separately.

- Entry to a VIP reception on Thursday 17 September at 5pm. Details of reception will be emailed to festival pass holders separately.

You can buy the festival pass for only £195, saving nearly 50%. Please note, the festival pass does not include Margam: A classical dance recital by Seeta Patel.

Festival passes can be booked over the phone only. Call our Ticket Office on 0844 847 9910 to book your festival pass.