Shortchanged – The Sunburn Experience

With inputs from Arushi Garg, Tushar Narang and Yashik Garg

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Can a few good things make up for everything that’s wrong? To a certain extent, yes, they can. But then, there is Murphy’s Law. Case in point: Sunburn 10.

Asia’s largest music festival shifting base from Goa to Pune, this news made the organisers receive their fair share of backlash and here I was, elated that I would finally be able to attend the festival.  The location was a complete departure from what Sunburn has stood for – from the sun-kissed beaches of Goa to the hills of Kesnand in Pune, and people were sceptical. But a few days later when the lineup dropped, it was impressive to say the least, befitting the 10th anniversary of the festival. From trance to house and from dubstep to hardcore, there was something in store for everyone and people were looking forward to it (at least I was). The proof of the pudding lay in the eating and the eating was yet to be done.

28th December, 2016 – As expected, a swarm of bees (read people) descended on Kesnand but what wasn’t expected was the management, or rather the lack of it. The traffic was an absolute mess and the ticket counter was 3 kms away from the venue, which was the good part. The bad part was that it was an uphill trek to the main arena. Sure, Sunburn is a pilgrimage for many but this wasn’t the kind we had been hoping for. After making it to the top of the ‘hill’, it didn’t feel like an accomplishment. The lights, the sound, the stage, all were there but the festival vibe and fervour was missing and barring the tricolour, there were no flags to be seen.

The DJs leading up to the main headliner were pulsating and the set by the Trancefather was sheer nirvana, one that left the crowd in a state of trance. And then, we got the news that the other headliner for the day is cancelled and Day 1 ended at 10 pm, which was unheard of for a music festival. And then, came the trickiest part – booking a cab. After an excruciating 2 hour wait and getting our hands and clothes dirty, we finally managed to get one and reach the comfortable confines of our hostel rooms.

To say that Sunburn 10 could have been much better would be an understatement. It was all there yet somehow it wasn’t and the sum total of all parts combined could not give us an entirely memorable experience. The organisers should work on the shortcomings of this year’s event; they owe it to their legion of fans around the globe. I will be waiting with bated breath – Sunburn, you better whip up a storm in 2017.