According to organizers, this year's festival, the eighth of its kind held so far in the country, attracted nearly 600 artists from 43 international art troupes from five continents, along with more than 800 local artists. Around 100,000 international tourist are expected to watch the events, up 20 percent over 2012, in addition to thousands of domestic tourists.

The cultural feast will offer some 100 performances, which are strongly indicative of the countries'and regions'distinctive culture.

One of the new features at festival is the international electro music fest, set to run from Sunday to next Saturday. It will feature four celebrated electro music bands, the UK's " Micachu", France's "Joakim Bouaziz", German's "Mijk van Dijk" and Vietnam's "Tri Minh".

Captivating performances by several world-leading DJs from Vietnam and several European countries are expected to hold audiences spellbound.

Besides, the feast will boast performances by Australia's " Deep Blue", Denmark's Stoffer and Maskinen, Israel's "Tararam" and Congo's "Gasandji" as well as shows which combine Oriental and Western music like"Phuong Dong quyen ru" (The enchanting Orient) and"Vu cam" (Dances and musical instruments). A rock live show will close the feast on the evening of April 19.

Chosen as "The East Asian -- Latin American Cultural Exchange Forum" by the Vietnam's Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Hue Festival 2014 highlights performances considered"cultural ambassadors"by many foreign troupes, said organizers.

They include performances by Uruguay's "Umbral Duo de Guitarras", who seamlessly blends folk and chamber music; Argentinean artist Osvaldo Montes, who will showcase popular pieces along with excerpts from classic movies and Brazil's " Sururu Na Roda" band with their signature samba and choro.

Mongolia's "Arga Bileg" band will fuse folk music typical of the prairie culture with Western jazz, while Mali singer/composer Musbaba is expected to bewitch the audiences with his combination with a Vietnamese "dan tranh" (Vietnamese 16-chord zither) artist.

The fashion shows will be spotlight of Hue Festival with"Dem Phuong Dong" (Oriental night) being one of the most enjoyable performance. "Hue Festival 2014 made a great stride by attracting a large number of foreign troupes, compared to the number joining the first Hue Festival in 2000,"said Nguyen Van Thanh, vice head of the festival's organizing board, adding that the participating countries have seen great opportunities in showcasing their art values and cultural identities at the festival.

First lunched in 2000, Hue Festival is a biennial big cultural event of Hue, Vietnam's imperial city of the last feudal Nguyen dynasty (1802-1945). It is an occasion to honor cultural and historical values of the city as well as an international festival showcasing cultures of many countries.

Hue city was made a UNESCO cultural heritage site in 1993 and its Royal Refined Music as a UNESCO Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2003.

Xinhua Agency - April 13, 2014