Young Bangla, the youth platform of CRI, hosted the Joy Bangla Concert (JBC) 2023 on 8 March at Army Stadium, Dhaka. This is the 7th edition of JBC since 2015. Young Bangla has been organizing the concert on 7 March commemorating the spirit of historic speech of 7 March, 1971 by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. It hosts the concert with a mix of entertaining and patriotic music from leading bands and singers of the country. Due to the covid-19 pandemic, the concert did not take place in the year 2021 and 2022. This year Joy Bangla Concert took place on 8 March which happened to be International Women’s Day. There was special registration, designated entry gate and special zone for female. Some of the bands dedicated songs to the female audience.
JBC 2023 began at 3.00pm with observing one minute of silence to remembering the victims of Gulistan fire tragedy. The concert went on till past 11.00pm. This year 9 popular rock band performed at the Joy Bangla Concert. They are Arekta Rock Band, Karnival, Meghdol, Avoid Rafa, Lalon, Nemesis, Cryptic Fate, Chirkut and Artcell.
More than 30,000 music loving audience joined the concert. Apart from the massive crowd, several million people at home and abroad watched the event live on several TV channels, CRI and Young Bangla’s social media with over 500,000 views on social media and around 1,000,000 tuned in on the social media outlets of print and electronic media. Honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina graced the event with her presence this year.
7 March and Joy Bangla Concert
On 7 March 1971, Bangladesh’s founding father, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman delivered a landmark speech in Dhaka which came to be known as ‘Mujib’s 7th March speech.’ It gave hope in despair, inspired brave feats, and most importantly changed the course of history. At that time, the Pakistani military regime refused to transfer power to Mujib, whose party gained majority in the election held in 1970.
The speech effectively declared the independence of Bangladesh. It culminated nearly two and half decades of colonial exploitation by erstwhile West Pakistan. His speech ignited the spirit of independence and inspired the 7 million Bengalis, most of whom were ready for the ultimate sacrifice for freedom. In 2017, UNESCO recognized the speech as a world documentary heritage.
CRI started commemorating the historic 7 March speech through its first ever JBC held in 2015. The idea of the concert is to connect the youth with the Mujib’s 7 March historic speech. Conveying the historical essence of Mujib’s 7 March speech to the youth is the principal objective of the Joy Bangla Concert. And the history is being conveyed through war-time patriotic songs and in what turned out to be the first such themed rock concert in the country.
To make the event more engrossing, apart from the music from bands and singers, other activities are also included such as musical orchestras, laser shows, fireworks display, screening of short documentary styled videos, poem recitations and so on. In the 2016 concert, the colored version of the historic 7th March speech was screened for the attendees.
The Joy Bangla Concert is now more than a musical event; it is a platform to relive the spirit of freedom, patriotism and the historic 7th March speech of Mujib. The concert personifies passion and patriotism in youths.
Youtube Live Link: