Sunburn festival gives heartburn to Goa village locals

Closure of some roads to facilitate access to the venue and unfair conduct of organisers irk panchayat head, who has complained to Home Ministry stating the problems locals face during the fest

As Asia's largest music festival -- Sunburn 2011 -- starts today, hoard of music lovers have swarmed the Candolim beach in North Goa to witness the three-day extravaganza.

However, the event has turned out to be a torment for the locals of Calangute, north of Candolim, who lament the unjust treatment meted out to them by organisers.

Celeb hub: B-town stars and international music biggies are expected
to show up at the event. File pic

The closure of some roads to facilitate access to the venue (Candolim beach) is adding to their woes. Joseph Sequiera, panchayat head of Calangute (beach adjacent to Sunburn venue), said that the festival disrupts the lives of villagers. "I don't think they have the infrastructure to pull off such a big event without creating problems for locals."

He added that locals are even deprived of entering the venue. "I don't know why we should support this?" questioned Sequiera. He has apparently written a letter to the Home Ministry stating the problems villagers face during Sunburn every year.

In flames!
A small fire broke out on stage B yesterday afternoon. It is said that a short circuit caused the blaze, but no one was hurt. "We were informed of the fire around 1.15 pm. It was a minor fire, which was extinguished within half an hour," an official from Goa police said.

The incident has once again raised the question if the organisers are equipped enough to control the crowd of over 80,000 people who are expected to take part in the festivities this year. "Such issues are a part and parcel of every event of this magnitude. But that doesn't mean that we are ill-equipped. For the first time, we have three layers of checking at the venue. Also, we have deployed 4,000 guards, a crisis management team and a disaster management team to make sure there is no security concern," said Shailendra Singh, director, Percept.

Clearing the air on the alleged permission issue, Singh said they have procured all the necessary permissions and papers from the state government.



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