Sikkim is all set to host the Red Fest Music Competition on November 4.
Sikkim State AIDS Control Society (SSACS) is the organizer of this event as part of the Multi Media Campaign 2018-19. SSACS is organizing the event in collaboration with Recovery Users Network (RUN) to create awareness about in HIV/AIDS and substance abuse through music.
Addressing a press conference on Saturday, SSACS Project Director, Dr Uttam Pradhan mentioned that this time the competition was held in acoustic, blues, soft rock, country, rap and pop genres to give a clear message to the general mass. He stated that bands and groups from different parts of Sikkim have been invited for the event. The last edition of the Red Fest music competition was held in 2015.
The audition for groups from South and West District is scheduled to be in Namchi on October 11 and audition for North and East District will be held on October 12 at Gangtok. The semi-final is likely to be held on October 27 and grand finale on November 4.
The registration forms are available at all Integrated Counseling & Testing Centres (ICTC) in the State and in the website of SSACS. The registration will be closed on October 6.
The auditions will have four-member jury of Neha Pradhan, Sonam Lachungpa, Nicki Rai and Sachin Gurung. The competition has the cash prizes of Rs 70,000 to the winner, Rs 50,000 to first runner-up and Rs 30,000 to second runner-up.
Dr Pradhan mentioned that Rs 500 has been charged as registration fee from the participating bands and groups which will go in the charity to Kiran, a self help group of people living with HIV/AIDS. He stated that the participating band can sing any song in the audition but the selected group has to present two songs including a self composition on the theme of HIV/AIDS and substance abuse and any cover song in the semi-final.
“This is our endeavour to reach out to masses with the clear message to motivate them for testing and treatment if anyone is detected with it,” he expressed. He stated that such awareness campaigning would also help clear the stigma and encourage people to come for testing. He informed that testing facilities have also been set up in every PHCs and CHCs and District Hospitals. He added that timely detection and proper treatment would prolong the life of the affected person.
Likewise, RUN advisor, KC Nima mentioned that the organization has been working with recovering members with series of activities and supporting them in post rehabilitation. He added that RUN members have also been working at the grassroot level with its awareness programme on substance abuse and HIV/AIDS. He stressed that the organization would work more rigorously among general masses for wide awareness.