The artistic director of the Indika Festival says this year is the largest in history as it returns to Liverpool to celebrate Indian and South Asian arts and culture.

From November 1 -12, there will be a range of showstopping events and performances taking place all over the city. Some highlights include Shakir Khan and Shahbaz Hussain, Sita’s Magical Forest, The Sarod Sisters & Kousic Sen, VARADARĀJAM UPĀSMAHĒ and Talvin Singh. The full lineup and more information on the celebrations can be found here.

The festival showcases the continent's rich heritage through rhythms, colours and stories of India to the flavours of its cuisine with creativity and diversity showcased throughout.

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Going strong into its fifth year, following a four-year hiatus in 2018, Indika is branching out across Merseyside to deliver the festival to the wider region. Indika is primarily housed across central Liverpool venues including St George’s Hall and the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall but Wirral and Knowsley will also feel some of the magic, with more information still to be announced.

Alok Nayak, Milap's CEO & artistic director, told the ECHO the scale of this year's event is the largest in its history, setting a precedent for years to come. Alok said: "The 12 days have music, dance, literature, film and participation and ranging from small pop-up performances in cafes and venues to several famous venues around the city. There's something for everyone and includes families of all ages."

Indika is inclusive to those without an Indian background despite its origins. Alok hopes it sheds new light on Indian culture and helps those from the communities discover more about their past and families around d the world.

He said: "There's not a big Indian or South Asian community in Liverpool compared to other parts of the county. What's great is that we bring together audience members from across different ethnic backgrounds to give people and those of South Asian origin the opportunity to go to events and activities which help them celebrate their culture.

"When Milap started in 1985, we wanted people to have their arts and culture celebrated in such a musical place like Liverpool. It quickly became clear we were doing something right as it got picked up by everyone and not just people of Indian origin."

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