IIFA's kick off event, Stomp, surpasses crowd expectations

TAMPA, Fla. - Bollywood is taking Tampa by storm. A free concert Wednesday put on by the International Indian Film Academy was a bigger hit than expected.

An estimated 7,000 people filled Curtis Hixon Park for IIFA's Stomp concert. Organizers expected about 4,000 to 6,000.

Captivating music, colorful costumes, smells and tastes of Indian cuisine had an enthusiastic crowd taking in all the sights and sounds of Stomp.

Javier Taranoff made it a family affair, even bringing Patrick, his 5-week-old son.

"This is just perfect, the weather, the music, the food. And it's a lot more people than I expected. It is awesome!" Taranoff said.

Lisha Davy moved from to the United States to Tampa 13 years ago, that's how long she's been waiting for an event like this.

"I am excited. People get to see what India is all about. I'm wearing my Indian outfit and it feels just great!" said Davy.

The crowd went crazy when Indian mega star Anil Kapoor decided to take the stage. Kapoor, whose level of stardom is on par with Brad Pitt in India, urged ABC Action News viewers to take part in the events leading up to the Bollywood awards.

"This his is free!" Kapoor said with a smile. "Also it is unique. IIFA has done these award shows for 15 years, and this is the first time they have put on a concert like this."

Former Chamberlain high schooler Ravi Jakhotia, who goes by the name DJ Ravi Drums, was a huge draw for the event. He has performed everywhere, including at the Oscars. But he said there's nothing sweeter than being back home, especially when given the honor of writing the theme song for the awards this year, "Do Da Tampa."

"For this song we had no time. We net back and forth and got it done, and I have to say now it's magic," Jakhotia said.

He was just another piece of what made Wednesday night a magical one for many families taking in all IIFA has to offer.

"I love he people," said Helena Nance, Patrick's mother. "I've never seen anything like this."

Print this article Back to Top