The three-day Bollywood extravaganza known as IIFA Festival will travel to New York City this weekend with such Indian stars as A.R. Rahman, Salman Khan and Alia Bhatt. The traveling annual Int’l Indian Film Academy event takes place at different cities across the world and this is only the second time that it has come to the U.S. Fans are known to travel around the globe to catch a glimpse of their favorite stars and in the past the festival, organized by Wizcraft Intl. Entertainment, has included sporting events such as cricket matches as well as fashion shows.
The shindig kicks off tonight with IIFA Stomp at Times Square and continues Friday with IIFA Rocks, a musical event saluting Rahman’s 25 years in showbiz. Other musicians participating include Hariharan, Mohit Chauhan and Jonita Gandhi. Fans can participate in the voting for the IIFA Awards, which are the highlight of the event and will take place on Sunday.
Karan Johar and Saif Ali Khan co-host the awards ceremony and Bollywood stars have already been spotted arriving in New York, including Shahid Kapoor. Kapoor and Khan will be joined on stage by Katrina Kaif, Kriti Sanon, Sushant Singh Rajput and Varun Dhawan, among others in song-and-dance sequences.
The show will be televised around the globe including on Colors in India.
“The 18th Edition of IIFA in New York is very special to me and I look forward to sharing the IIFA Rocks stage with such talented names in the industry,” Rahman said. “I am honored to be a part of the IIFA celebrations.”
Andre Timmins, Wizcraft Intl. director, said: “I am really looking forward to the IIFA Festival this year as we are premiering our event in New York City and this is the ideal destination as we start to creatively evolve and grow the brand and its events. The brand is building the bridge between the Indian film industry along with the international world of entertainment to come together on one stage and this is the perfect destination to host such diverse and multi-cultural celebrations. IIFA Festival New York is going to be an extravaganza of entertainment like never witnessed before in America with the biggest stars from India and world-class production coming together at one of the greatest venues — MetLife Stadium.”
(Pictured: Alia Bhatt, left, Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif)