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Fifth edition of Goa Sunburn Festival kicks off

The fifth edition of the Goa Sunburn Festival 2011 kicked off today at Candolim beach near here with several thousand people thronging the gala event.

The organisers are expecting more than 20,000 enthusiasts every day at the three-day event which is touted as Asia's most-awaited electronic music festival.

The festival initially landed into controversy after the Goa Home ministry objected to the organisers' move to sell tickets much before deriving mandatory permissions.

The state directorate of prosecution had even claimed the act as "forgery".

However, all the sticking points were removed after Percept Limited, organisers of the event, secured all the necessary clearances from the government authorities.

Percept Limited's Joint Managing Director Shailendra Singh yesterday said the company received all the permissions for the festival on December 26, a day before the inauguration.

"We are in possession of all the required permissions," the spokesman for the festival said. Goa government had earlier formed a special committee, headed by district collector Mihir Vardhan, to scan the festival for possibility of being a security threat.

The committee had okayed the event, sources stated.

The festival, which is expected to draw Bollywood celebrities besides New Year revellers, also hogged the limelight after one of the bouncers at the venue allegedly manhandled a national television cameraperson and reporter, who were shooting the event from outside.

The organisers have assured to take action against the bouncer, even as the journalist has lodged a formal police complaint at Calangute police station.

The event is being closely monitored through 100 CCTV cameras, eight watch towers and a team of 162 medical professionals has been roped in to tackle any eventuality, the organisers added.

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