If the music quotient of a city is rated based on its annual line-up of events, Hyderabad sure has arrived on the electronic dance music (EDM) scene! The music timeline says it all – Afrojack’s performance last November, Blasterjaxx in February, Skrillex in October this year and Sunburn‘s second edition this month, Sensation next year.
Unlike Chennai which loves its Carnatic ragas or Bengaluru that is into headbanging, Hyderabad never really patronised any particular genre. But with a fresh influx of young techies and corporates from other cities, Hyderabad is witnessing a new love for new genres.
New found love
Actor Rana Daggubati is among the first few celebs who introduced EDM to Hyderabad with his tweets at the Sunburn Goa 2011. “Now, we have two reasons to party, once at Goa and once at Hyderabad,” he says about the shows coming up soon.
“Hyderabad prefers trance and underground music to a great extent. Our latest event of Sunburn Arena in Hyderabad featured Armin Van Buuren, a Dutch EDM producer, who saw a huge acceptance,” says Harindra Singh, the Vice Chairman, Managing Director, Percept Ltd, organisers of the Sunburn Festival.
The 2015 edition will feature artistes like R3hab, DJ Snake, Chuckie and Shaan. Unlike the flagship event in Goa where the three-day long festival has multiple stages, Hyderabad’s will be a day’s affair with a single stage with value additions like a mechanical bull, flea market and food stalls etc. “This will be a fleeting glimpse of what Goa will be like,” Singh adds.
“When the manager of the Amsterdam Sensation team arrived in India six months back to hunt for a perfect venue, he decided that Hyderabad would be the venue. The city has left behind the likes of Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru and Goa for such events,” says Vijay Amritraj, Co-founder and CEO, Voila Events, local partners for Sunburn 2015.
“Dance music in India will assume mammoth proportions in the next five years. Right from Tomorrowland to Sensation, some of the biggest festivals are eyeing India as a potential partner. What started as an underground movement has now assumed the stature of a full fledged business vertical that has spread its wing across the length and breadth of the country, not typecasting any city in particular for the growth of the dance music syndrome. Dance music is a phenomena today,” his colleague Vinay Hegde informs.
Nikhil Chinapa, a VJ and music entrepreneur, who was in the city in October for popular EDM festival RESET, says, “We’re seeing giant strides in bass music as well as the indie dance music scene with bands like Disclosure taking centre stage.”
Music for change
The DJs who perform at such events believe that the music industry can make a big contribution towards social change. DJ Arjun Vagale says, “The dance music community is strong and for the most part, loyal to the artistes they follow. So if one can persuade them to spread awareness of the countless issues we face as a nation, I’m all for it.”
Sunburn Hyderabad festival will be held on November 14 at Gachibowli Stadium. Come on Hyderabad lets ask for more.
Hyderabad is totally pro-EDM and I am sure Sunburn this year would transform the city into a huge hub for EDM events in India. Currently, nine out of ten bars play it in the city. I think the genre is recognised more in Hyderabad than in Bengaluru.
— DJ Aqeel
Different cities always have their own vibe and it’s sometimes easy to tell. Hyderabad has a great crowd that’s very responsive which is always a blessing for any performing artiste
— Madhav Shorey aka Kohra, DJ and producer
during RESET 2015 in October
The city has opened up to the genre a year ago, especially with the performances of international artistes, giving wide exposure to a lot of music lovers about the existence of an alternative music stream like this. DJs typically play it at least two days a week while playing rock and pop on the other days. Even those in the suburbs like Skybar and Game On have started embracing EDM. Skrillex songs are definitely on the loop of every DJ.
— Dominic Savio, EDM enthusiast
Beef up security
When international events come to a city, it means the city has arrived.. And evolved. It’s great to be on the international music map. Isn’t that great for tourism? I attended Sunburn in Hyderabad last year and felt that our police do not know how to handle such wild and crazy crowds. At Sunburn Goa, I noticed that there were bouncers who maintained the discipline in the crowd, but never really played spoilsport. I hope Hyderabad will follow suit in its security arrangements.
— Manish Arutla, EDM fan