Sunburn 2018: All you need to know about the dance fest

Updated: 28 December, 2018 09:45 IST | Shunashir Sen | Mumbai

Here's what to expect at India's biggest dance music fest in Pune this weekend

Armin Van Buuren
Armin Van Buuren

There are two types of festival-goers in India — those who can't wait for Sunburn every year and those who couldn't care less. But that's just the way the pendulum swings when conversation veers towards electronic dance music (EDM). Either way, there's no denying that when the event was first held in Goa, back in 2007, it opened up new frontiers in India. The country hadn't witnessed a dance music festival on such a scale till then. Over the years, the property has grown in strength despite a few hiccups (mainly in the form of the moral police getting their knickers in a twist about unsanskari hijinks within Sunburn's premises).

The venue was eventually shifted to the outskirts of Pune a couple of years ago, which is where it will return this weekend. And yet again, the organisers have pulled no stops in bringing down global EDM giants and roping in a clutch of Indian mainstays, meaning even if this genre isn't your cup of tea, there are thousands of others who will happily let their hair down on the dance floor while you sit back to enjoy the next jazz track on your playlist. Here's a brief look at the star-studded line-up for this edition.

For an India veteran
By now, Armin Van Buuren must be one of those seasoned foreigners who doesn't bat an eyelid while crossing a busy Indian street. For, the Dutch DJ first came to the country in 2009 and has been returning to perform regularly since, including at an earlier edition of Sunburn. Buuren stated last year that while dance music was barely scratching the surface here during his inaugural visit, "it's almost an entirely different world right now". Coming from one of the biggest trance DJs in the world, that's an encouraging assessment of the scene.


For desi beats
There are a host of artistes who will keep the Indian flag flying high at the fest. They include Sartek, a Delhi-based DJ who leans unabashedly towards EDM. Then there's Mojojo, a bass-heavy producer also from Delhi. Mumbai's DIVINE will be bringing his gully identity to the party, too, though the desi artiste expected to the draw the biggest crowd is Nucleya, a man who needs no introduction.


For old-school EDM
Along with Steve Angello, Axwell and Sebastian Ingrosso are the founding members of electronic music darlings Swedish House Mafia (SHM). And the good news for fans is that after a protracted break, the trio has announced that they will regroup in 2019. Axwell, meanwhile, recently dropped his own single after what seemed like ages. The track, called Nobody Else, is rooted in old-school house music with modern EDM elements making guest appearances over the course of four minutes. He and Ingrosso have also formed a parallel pairing. But Sunburn might be one of the last few occasions where fans will see the duo in action together, because they have said that they will shift their attention completely to SHM next year.

Salvatore Ganacci

For a bizarre routine
Was he taking the mickey out of people who love to hate EDM? Or was he unintentionally making a goof of himself on stage? Those are the questions people were asking when earlier this year, Swedish producer Salvatore Ganacci performed undoubtedly the most bizarre routine in the history of the world's biggest dance music festival, Tomorrowland in Belgium. Dressed more like a tennis player than a DJ, Ganacci urged the crowd to perform a zumba routine, seemed to fornicate with the speakers and his turntable, and generally danced around as if someone had slipped something into his drink. But can we expect similar shenanigans from him in Pune? Yes, possibly, since the man has pulled off mad-hatter antics in the past as well.

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First Published: 28 December, 2018 09:43 IST

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