Sunburn festival goes back home with a thumbs up

Updated: Feb 08, 2019, 12:21 IST | Chaitraly Deshmukh

Asia's largest Electronic Dance Music festival will be held in both Goa and Pune starting this year

Sunburn festival goes back home with a thumbs up
Festival will be staged at Vagator, where it was held for the first time in 2013. File Pic

After receiving tepid response to Asia's biggest electronic dance music (EDM) festival for three straight years, Sunburn is all set to be back in its birthplace Goa with a bang.

From this year, the excitement will increase manifold, as the organisers are planning to stage the concert twice a year - once in December around New Year, in Pune, and again in February, in Goa.

On Thursday, Percept Live announced the homecoming of Sunburn, which will be held in collaboration with Klassique Events from February 23-24. The show, which will be staged at Vagator, the venue where it was held for the first time in 2013, has a new format - Sunburn Klassique. In 2016, the Sunburn organisers had announced shifting of the festival to Kesnand Hills in Pune.

This time the event will be held in collaboration with Klassique Events. File Pic
This time the event will be held in collaboration with Klassique Events. File Pic

As the venue falls under the jurisdiction of the forest department, residents, villagers and right wing outfits had vehemently opposed it. It was then shifted to Moshi, but even there it faced opposition, as the area came under a development project. Finally, the event had to be held at Kesnand in Wagholi. The next two editions were held at Oxford Golf Resort in Lavale. However, all the three editions in Pune had landed them in public interest litigation cases and did not get the expected response.

According to sources, the festival was shifted to Maharashtra after the Goa government banned it sighting pending dues and rise in criminal activities. However, this also resulted in a major tourist slump in Goa.

The event organisers said, "There were some problems with the Goa government related to pending dues. In the meantime, the Maharashtra government, which was looking at giving a boost to the state's tourism, approached us. That is when we started hosting the festival in Pune. Last year, the Goa government had organised a similar fest, but it did not fare well. So they approached us and we accepted their offer. Now onwards, the fest will be held in Pune around December and in Goa in February."

When contacted, Karan Singh, CEO, Sunburn, said, "We are very excited to be back in Goa. We have signed many artistes, who had made their initial appearances in India through this festival. Over the past 12 years, we have evolved from being just a music festival to an aspirational brand with millions of loyalists. We hope our return to Goa is truly memorable and magical."

Confirming the development, Muktesh Chander, DGP, Goa, said, "We are working to ensure that the festival takes place smoothly. To avoid any untoward incident, we have organised a meeting with the traffic police, government officials, anti-terrorism squad, law enforcement agencies and festival organisers."

'Goa-pune shift was sudden'
Nucleya
'It's a great move. As someone from Goa, I know the shifting of the festival led to a huge loss for the local economy. Hopefully, this comeback will inject some of the much-needed money into the system'

Anish Sood
'I first played at Sunburn in Goa in 2010. The stages weren't that big back then and were located on the beach at Candolim. It was pretty magical, because the dance floor was practically the sand. The shift from Goa to Pune was sudden and I don't think anyone expected it, not even the promoters of Sunburn. It's a sensible decision to come back at the right scale. It's not an all-out festival this time and is being done on a smaller scale. So, that's a nice way to come back and test the market'

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