Here's all you need to know about Nikhil Chinapa's new carnival Wonderwall in Goa

Updated: Jan 05, 2017, 13:59 IST | Wriddhaayan Bhattacharyya |

When music festivals shift base from Goa leaving enthusiasts and tourists in a funk, veteran DJ designs new carnival, called Wonderwall, ahead of the New Year

DJ Pearl (left) and Nikhil Chinapa started the Electronic Dance Music movement with beach parties in Goa in early 2000
DJ Pearl (left) and Nikhil Chinapa started the Electronic Dance Music movement with beach parties in Goa in early 2000

Beach parties — the raison d’être for day-trippers in Goa — reached the crescendo in the ’70s. The local populace brought their guitars out and tourists often carried their old psychedelic records. The days of yore also laid the rave foundation but the state acquired a global music stamp when a young clubber and a jockey (disc and video) launched Electronic Dance Music (EDM) by the blue waters in early 2000. Being a television face already, Nikhil Chinapa could rule the crowd. So what if Sunburn (his former project and brainchild) and Vh1 Supersonic are not happening in Goa anymore, the 43-year-old has designed a boutique-like intimate festival, titled Wonderwall, to make amends.

French producer Norman Doray and Chinapa capture a moment while in performance at the last edition of the Vh1 Supersonic festival
French producer Norman Doray and Chinapa capture a moment while in performance at the last edition of the Vh1 Supersonic festival

New wall
It is a close-knit party with a capacity of around 1,200 people at Sunset Ashram that overlooks Ashwem Beach. Chinapa and his friends, Shailesh Shetty (Goa-based entrepreneur) and Oum Pradutt (marketing entrepreneur) planned the carnival. “It all happened too quickly. I always wanted to do an intimate festival. We found this secret getaway in north Goa that is covered with coconut trees. It is brilliant because there will be enough shade for the people. Even though it is winter, it gets hot in Goa,” says Chinapa, who is keen to interact with fans like his older days. “Whenever I have been on MTV Select (one of the popular yesteryear music shows), I have enjoyed personal conversations. As a DJ too, I preferred smaller venues and rooms; it provides a direct connect with listeners,” he adds.

The music at the new festival will be a tad diverse. “We intentionally tried not to include much of mainstream content; this will be funkier and deeper. There are artistes like Anjunadeep who people are excited to listen to, Roger Sanchez and Funkagenda to name a few,” he reveals.

Early days in Goa
When music aficionados in India were buying CDs of Backstreet Boys and Boyzone, Chinapa was already spinning at clubs. “I have been involved with EDM since 1995. Shortly afterwards, I set up a company called Submerge and along with my partner, DJ Pearl, we started playing the music we liked; that is when the beach parties came into existence,” he informs.

The duo kept
raising the bar with every gig; within a few months, they redefined Goan culture. “We started playing at a shack called Zanzibar on Baga beach, around 15,000 people used to attend the revelry over five days. It led to Sunburn,” recalls Chinapa, who found support in Goa government at every step. It never felt like work, and there was no hassle in security and maintenance charges. All that mattered was signing up artistes in the most sought-after week of the year (December 28-31). “You know how busy they are during this time, the challenge was to get them,” he shares.

EDM all around
The sound that made people fall into a reverie in clubs is omnipresent today. Be it car stereos, home theatres or even the auspicious festivals in India — EDM blares out of every speaker. Chinapa relates it to the modesty of the genre. “EDM is embracing. It doesn’t discriminate between a white, a Spanish or a German. It is for everybody. The music is easy to be happy with. It is not about having a lot of money or big cars, like Hip-Hop music. Since there are no big festivals in Goa this time, this is going to be a reset button for people,” he says.

Chinapa is also optimistic about Pune being the new venue for Supersonic (to be held in February next year). “I grew up in Bengaluru and I find a lot of similarities between the cities. Since there is a larger student community in Pune, there will be a wider acceptance for all forms of music. When you are in college, you are open-minded about music,” he sums up.

On: December 28-31, 2 pm onwards
At: Sunset Ashram, Ashwem Mandrem Road, Ashwem Beach, Goa
Call: 7588888813
Cost: Rs 3,375
Log on to:

Satellite party at sunset
At night, Chinapa and co. will move to Waters Lounge in Vagator to host another party on the same dates. It is an alternate music festival that was born during the monsoon. This is the best option for listeners who prefer to party only in the evenings. It will kick-start at 6 pm with sets from DJ Pearl, Ash Roy, Praveen Achary, Murthovic, Tuhin Mehta and Chinapa.
On: December 28-31, 6 pm onwards
At: Waters Lounge, Plot No 203/18, Ozran Beach, Vagator. 
Call: 9767200012 
Cost: Rs 1,300 onwards

Must-watch artistes
>> King Arthur
>> Rohit Barker
>> Aneesh Gera
>> Nawed Khan
>> Anjunadeep

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