23 Aralık 2007 Pazar

Goa to host first legal electronic dance festival

MUMBAI: Led Zepellin’s reunions show at O2, London earlier this month was Jim Baggot’s last project. He has been producer for Glastonbury’s dance stages over the last decade.

This time, the producer who has also worked with Bruce Springsteen and Nelly Furtado, is a consultant for Sunburn Goa 2007, scheduled to be held over this weekend. The organizers flash him as one of their trump cards over the last music festival Goa saw, the Big Chill in April.

This is the second two day festival that India, and Goa more specifically, will see in 2007. However Devraj Sanyal, the CEO of PDM points out that this will be the first legal electronic dance festival in the country. Raves not counted.

The organisers are quick to highlight other differences. For instance, Nikhil Chinapa, the creative head and co-founder, says that he, “just wanted a party that was completely homegrown. This festival is going to be like that and not imported.” The VJ/DJ/MC is referring to the artist line-up.

Half of the 40 artists performing at Sunburn will be Indian. These include artists like Jalebi Cartel, Shaii’r and Func and the Midival Punditz. The Big Chill on the other hand had almost all their artists flown in, including those of Indian origin. Another key difference is that The Big Chill had a mix of more traditional live performers.

This time, playing the new fangled ‘instruments’ like turn tables and mixers are internationally known names like Carl Cox, Above and Beyond and Axwell. The sounds of these musicians will be boomed across 20,000 square meters with a capacity of 7,000 people.

What Jim Baggot brings with him is the technical knowhow to ensure that the V-dosc line array speaker system spreads 110 decibels evenly across the two dance floors. His expertise extends to the stage decor and lighting as well. “to me, there’s nothing better than being outside,” he says, adding that lighting will play a critical role given the fact that the festival is being filmed. The performance areas of the two main stages are around 200 feet apart.

During sunset, a third stage will come alive on the sands offering the west cost sunset as a backdrop. This stage is accessible to people who are not a part of the festival as well a free-for-all party. The core party is far from free with tickets currently priced at Rs 2,500 for the two days. It will go up to Rs 3,500 during the last few days upto the party. So far 1,800 tickets have been sold online and the organizers are expecting to see another 5000 tickets start moving as soon their publicity campaign begins.

The party, despite other reports does not go on uninterrupted for 48 hours. It begins at 10 in the morning on both days and wraps up by 11pm. With the support of the local police the festival aims to stay clean. Plain clothes police among the party-goers, will ensure the Goa-regulars leave their candy and stamp collections at home. Clean partying is the theme of the season, with the dance community Submerge driving the online buzz. The community aims at bringing together electronic music fans in India.

Also on board is the Ministry of Tourism. Aman Anand, the festival director, says that the festival enjoys support from the Ministry and that they are aware of the revenue potential that such events bring to the state. With the support of the government, the frequency of such events is bound to increase.

The intent is to make it as big as the biggest party Chinapa attended in Amsterdam Dance Valley, which had 13 stages and DJ Tiesto enthralling 85,000 people at the grand finale. Right now with a capacity of 7,000 people and two stages Chinapa says, “We have a long way to go and I’m happy to make the journey no matter how long it takes.”