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Rock bands tune up for Thingyan

Beloved Burmese rock bands Empire and Iron Cross will take the stage at Thingyan water festival celebrations this year in Rangoon.

The water festival is the highlight of the Burmese New Year holiday, which runs from 12 to 21 April.

Construction of roadside pavilions began this week along Pyay, Kabaraye Pagoda and Kandawgyi Lake roads, as well as other areas in the city.

Rangoon Division authorities have this year approved the construction of over 100 pavilions across the city, with many famous musical acts set to entertain revelers.

Iron Cross lead guitarist Chit San Maung will perform at the Htoo Company-sponsored Pyay Road pavilion, as he did last year. The lead man said the band has organised guest acts to join them on stage for the special show.

“We have singers including Lay Phyu, Ange and Wine Wine lined up for performance. We are still discussing who the female singers will be,” Chit San Maung said.

“There will also be DJ performances during the band’s break.”

Rockers Empire will perform at a pavilion in Rangoon’s 8-Mile, said their manager Thant Zaw.

“We are preparing to begin building our stage, which will feature performances by hip-hop acts and pop stars Ye Thwin, Saung Oo Hlaing, Marizza and Haymar Newin,” said Thant Zaw.

“There will also be a funfair and breakdancing performances.”

In 2010, a series of grenade attacks killed nine people and injured over 100 during Thingyan festivities in central Rangoon.

Operators of the “X20” stage, which was targeted in the attacks, are struggling to gain approval to set up for this year’s festival.

Day tickets for staged Thingyan parties vary from 10,000 kyat (US$10) to 20,000 kyat.


*This article was amended on 1 April to say that Chit San Maung is the lead guitarist of Iron Cross, as opposed to the lead singer as was previously reported.


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