The biennial cultural Hue Festival bid farewell to thousands of visitors at the closing ceremony on April 20 evening.

With shows by Vietnamese and foreign artists, including those from Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines on a stage set on the riverbank, the ceremony ended the nine-day festival with numerous shows, exhibitions, folk games and street parades.

The former imperial city, which hosted at least eight shows each night, might have been the most busy location during the festival with its key shows, including Royal Palace at Night, Oriental Night, ASEAN night and fashion shows.

But the festive atmosphere with music, lights, crowds and sounds seen and heard in almost every corner of the city. Performances by Vietnamese and international art troupes were also held in several remote and mountainous districts, spreading the atmosphere in a wider area.

For those attending the festival, they had the opportunity to taste so many unique foods at the same time in the city. This was especially true due to bringing together worldwide art troupes, Asian dancers and Asian food in one place.

It is expected to take time before the organisers announce the total expenses and revenues taken in during the festival, as well as total number of visitors to the shows. These figures will help to determine the success of the festival.

However, for local residents and cultural researchers, there should be a pause in staging the biennial event, to allow officials to redefine it, as well as its goals, some suggested.

Local researcher Nguyen Xuan Hoa said the festival operated separately from its main goals, which are to promote Hue's culture and attract more visitors to become exposed to Hue's cultural values.

"Hue should be Hue, with festivals that highlight its profound culture," said researcher Nguyen Dac Xuan.

Other experts, as well as the public, expect the Hue Festival will have standards for the selection of art troupes and criteria for shows, to prevent accepting all who wants to join, as happened recently.-VNA