Darbar Art Culture and Heritage Trust

Darbar Art Culture and Heritage Trust

At a glance


  • Arts

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Geographical remit: 


Darbar Arts Culture Heritage Trust believes in the power of Indian classical arts, which we believe are some of the world's finest forms, to stir, thrill and inspire global audiences. Through digital connectivity, shared experiences and subsequent enrichment we ensure that one of the finest art forms reaches the widest possible audience.  

We deliver premium quality live events, music education, broadcasts and digital engagement using the best of artistic innovation and creative technology. 

The first Darbar Festival in 2006 started as a tribute to a visionary tabla player, GS Virdee. Since then, Darbar has sought to widen its artistic presentation by bringing in other art forms such as digital art installations connected to Indian classical music and more recently, classical Indian dance forms

As Darbar’s brand presence has grown, audiences have grown to trust the fresh new music that they can hear on the London stage, primarily but also in other parts of the UK and recently in Italy, as many artists presented are less well known and the Darbar Festivals are a springboard for their careers. 



We have 4 key objectives and related activities:

1. Live Events - To consistently produce high quality live events of Indian classical music and dance in the UK and internationally which engages diverse audiences. Our main activity is the annual Darbar Festival in London venues (Southbank Centre, Barbican Centre and Sadler's Wells) which uniquely curates Carnatic (south Indian), Hindustani (north Indian), dhrupad (one of India’s most highly evolved classical music forms) as well as Indian percussion solos, which is very rare in Indian classical concerts and festivals. Darbar also seeks to pull down social barriers by curating on the basis of talent, rather than on factors such as caste, religion or lineage. We have also been piloting a Fringe Festival in the Midlands to look at contemporary forms of music and art as well as one-off events in London and the UK. 

2. Education - To provide Indian music education in primary schools and nurture a new generation of Indian classical music artists. We work with Leicester-Shire Music Education Hub, who selected Darbar as their preferred strategic partner for the India Music Project delivering Indian music classes  in primary schools. We also for work with partners to deliver residential summer schools for music students in the UK as well as support emerging artists with concerts and digital assets. 

3. Digital Content - To engage new and diverse audiences at scale through digital platforms. We produce annual TV programmes featuring a selection of concerts from the Darbar Festival, produced in ultra-high definition (UHD) technology in partnership with Sky Arts TV reaching UK and European audiences. Our online presence offers Darbar the biggest area of growth and potential and we have grown organically over the last few years. Our YouTube channel is one of the most successful Indian classical channels in the world with over 210k subscribers. We are also piloting the Darbar Player which is pay to view subscription for full online concerts. 

4. Sustainability - To develop new income streams to diversify our funding base and strengthen internal capacity to ensure greater sustainability. We continue to seek ways to diversify our funding across corporate sponsors; trusts and foundations and statutory donors in an increasingly competitive environment. In addition, we continue to strengthen our internal capacity through an effective team and board. 

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