Battle of the Beats
The competition between electronic music festivals kicks off this month and here’s what is in store
December, for the last fewÂ years, has usually been that timeÂ of the year when India’s electronicÂ music scene becomes a bit likeÂ a TV drama ”“ one festival [allegedly] stealsÂ another festival’s ideas, they fight over artistsÂ and venues. Even the politicians in GoaÂ get in on the game with some public figureÂ or the other ruing the circus that comes toÂ town.
But this year, it looks like it’s been a fair,Â clean fight among the likes of Sunburn,Â VH1 Supersonic and Bacardi EnchantedÂ Valley Carnival, who are all vying forÂ crowds from across the country and theÂ Mumbai/Pune region, specifically. AmongÂ the headliners are DJs making their annualÂ stop in India, now fairly well-establishedÂ as a mandatory stop on most DJs’Â tour schedules.
Sunburn is bringing back the likes ofÂ David Guetta, Martin Garrix, Aly & Fila andÂ Bass Jackers, while Tiesto returns to IndiaÂ to perform at Bacardi Enchanted ValleyÂ Carnival in Aamby Valley township nearÂ Pune. VH1 Supersonic, on the other hand,Â has been delivering with more of theirÂ Arcade gigs this year, booking dubstep starÂ Skrillex and calling back UK trance groupÂ Above & Beyond on tours. At the time ofÂ going to print, it looks like they’re still bidingÂ their time with the full lineup.
Adding to the alternative end of the electronicÂ music spectrum this month are MagneticÂ Fields Festival in Rajasthan [DecemberÂ 18th to 20th], headlined by BrooklynÂ electronica group Ratatat and Detroit electronicÂ musician Shigeto and Johnnie WalkerÂ The Journey in Mumbai [DecemberÂ 12th], featuring ambient/electro/rock artistÂ Tycho and electronic music veteran GiorgioÂ Moroder. Whether you’re the rave-happyÂ basshead or a fan of experimental andÂ crossover electronic music, there’s plenty onÂ offer this month in the country.
Â VH1 Supersonic
Â December 27th ”“ 30th
Â Headline Clout/Hipster Cred: The four-day festival will featureÂ headlining sets by UK garage/house duo Disclosure, SwedishÂ house producer Axwell and his techno counterpart Adam Beyer,Â among others. Other confirmed artists include rising EDM producersÂ like Bart Skils from Holland, Don Diabolo from the Netherlands,Â L.A. house DJ Deorro and Canadian drum and bass/houseÂ duo Zeds Dead.
Local Flavor: In a marketing gimmick of sorts, this year, SupersonicÂ organisers got a few lucky potential revellers to reveal theÂ lineup. The only Indian act revealed so far is Arjun Vagale. LikeÂ last year, you can expect fantastic themed stages, a beautiful foodÂ court and an activity zone.
Damages: General admission – Rs 6,096 (season pass), Rs 10,482Â (couples season pass); VIP – Rs 10,000 (single person season pass),Â Rs 17,193 (couples season pass).
Bacardi Enchanted ValleyÂ Carnival
December 18th ”“ 20th
Headline Clout/Hipster Cred: EVC, now aÂ joint venture with Universal Music GroupÂ South Asia, scales up with one of the world’sÂ top-rated DJs, Tiesto and UK producerÂ Norman Cook aka Fatboy Slim. A week priorÂ to the Goa takeover, EVC played their cardsÂ first ”“ announcing their headliners nearly aÂ month before Sunburn and Supersonic. OtherÂ big names include psychedelic producerÂ Simon Posford playing a Shpongle DJ set.
Local Flavor: There’s big guns like bass producerÂ Nucleya, techno producer Arjun VagaleÂ and EDM duo Lost Stories who’ll be representingÂ India on the multinational festivalÂ lineup. Unlike the rest, EVC also curates aÂ ”˜live’ stage and this year, they’ve got everyoneÂ from alt/prog rockers Coshish to world/fusionÂ act Achint, acoustic artist Dhruv VisvanathÂ and more.
Damages: General admission: Rs 3,999 (dayÂ pass); Rs 6,820 (season pass); VIP: Rs 12,400Â (season pass). Camping at the festival rangesÂ from Rs 6,640 (bring your own tent) to RsÂ 98,644 for a luxury four-person tent.
December 27th ”“ 30th
Headline Clout/Hipster Cred: Organizers Percept India haveÂ been slacking a bit in the game, with Supersonic taking the leadÂ with shows all around the year. But given the strong followingÂ they have, Sunburn has brought in David Guetta and MartinÂ Garrix to headline, along with a host of techno, deep house andÂ psy acts. American house and techno DJ Seth Troxler’s IndiaÂ show is one of the bigger pulls that might just attract hipsters toÂ even remotely consider the Sunburn experience of thousands ofÂ party animals by the beach, but then again it’s mostly an all-outÂ commercial EDM affair, with the main stage also featuring theÂ India debut of house producer KSHMR.
Local Flavor: There isn’t much different on offer compared toÂ previous editions of Sunburn, with the likes of Dualist Inquiry,Â Anish Sood and Progressive Brothers taking over the mainÂ stages, while psytrance producer Jehan Johar aka Janux takesÂ on the psy stage. /further, Sunburn’s own golden child ShaanÂ Singh also has a stage all to himself to party with his friends,Â aptly called Shaan & Friends.
Damages: Student – Rs 9,000 (season pass); General admissionÂ -Rs 11,200 (season pass); Rs 2,800-3,400 (early entry dayÂ pass); Rs 4,500-5,500 (regular day pass); VIP ”“ Rs 18,500Â (season pass).