World music legend headlines spiritual concert at Commonwealth Games Festivities

World-music legend Susheela Raman leads a line-up of artists from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in Ecstatic, a world premiere concert celebrating the Commonwealth’s diverse spiritual traditions on 13 April at Festival 2018.

Ecstatic is one of 12 specially curated concert events on the Surfers Paradise Main Stage for Festival 2018, the arts and cultural program of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018). Musicians from Hindu, Muslim and Buddhist backgrounds will come together in Ecstatic to perform devotional music – spanning folk and spiritual trance genres – from South Asia. Curator and performer Susheela Raman, a UK/Australian/Tamil artist who has released six critically acclaimed albums, says Ecstatic will be a night of “melodic and rhythmic fireworks.”

“This is music that is full of vitality, intensity and sheer beauty; it communicates love and draws people into a kind of direct spiritual experience.

“We invite people to come along and enjoy the folk and spiritual trance music. These are the styles – like that of the Sufi Qawwals of the Punjab and the Mystic Baul singers of Bengal – that have captured the hearts of people across the world,” Ms Raman said.

Born in the UK to Tamil parents Susheela is a renowned singer and composer who draws on devotional songs from ancient Tamil culture. Featured artists also include Kalpana Patowary(Assam/India), Shafi Mondol (Bangladesh), Saman Lenin (Sri Lanka), Rizwan Muazzam Qawwals (Pakistan), Embar Kannan (India) and Vanessa Tomlinson (Australia).

In 2006 Susheela was nominated for the BBC World Music Awards. Festival 2018 Gold Coast Co-Creative Director Yaron Lifschitz says Ecstatic “transcends boundaries of identity and nationality to bring people together in a genuinely uplifting way.”

“The third act of Festival 2018 Gold Coast is called Aspire, and Ecstatic shows what can happen when we unite through our diversity. “What these musicians have in common is their passion for devotional music,” Mr Lifschitz said. Ecstatic is one highlight of Festival 2018 Gold Coast, 12 action-packed days of culture taking over the Gold Coast from 4-15 April to celebrate GC2018. For full program details and more information on Festival 2018 visit


Date: Friday 13 April 2018

Time: 7pm – late

Venue: Main Stage, Surfers Paradise Beach

Tickets and bookings: Free event, no bookings required

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