From the newer Enchanted Valley Carnival to Sunburn Goa — chart your Indian electronic dance music calendar for 2015
What makes the Enchanted Valley Carnival (EVC) so anticipated, is perhaps that it does not start with a big bang! Instead of waiting for the line-up of DJs to drop the bass, scores of EDM lovers make their way into the Ambay Valley air strip (the venue) the previous night, setting up camp in a temperature of 12° and huddling by campfires with their guitars and drums. By the time the stage is set for the first performance on December 20, the party is already 12 hours past the starting line at the campsite. In its second year, EVC 2014 set expectations high with a total of 60 acts on three stages — besides the silent parties and after-hour gigs. With master of the genre, David Guetta, headlining the show, it is no wonder that over 35,000 people (over three days) turn up. The French DJ and producer has the crowd on their toes for two hours straight, screaming “Bang Bang” in harmony to his hit track featuring Skylar Grey, Shot Me Down. Guetta, known for his all night marathons at his F*** Me I’m Famous lounge club in Ibiza, waves the tri-colour flag before getting off stage, and promises he will be back soon.
Among the Indian artistes, rock/electronica expert Sahej Bakshi (Dualist Inquiry), DJs Rishab Joshi and Anish Sood, New Delhi reggae trio Reggae Rajahs and funny man Vir Das (and his band Alien Chutney) have fans running between stages — is there a better idea, with performances happening simultaneously? Thankfully, the organisers, Twisted Entertainment from Mumbai, have ironed out the creases of the previous year so there are no sound clashes between stages. In between the musical mayhem, there are the gut wrenching screams of daredevils who brave the nearly 100 ft bungee jump at the activity area that also includes ATV rides and dirt bikes. There is entertainment for the not-so-reckless fans too, with a flea market and plenty of food stations to fill up at. And for the posh crowd, if camping and street food does not sound like something you want to do, a brisk walk from the air strip to Ambay Valley City (scene of the after party action was) results in cottages with a view and multi cuisine buffets at Woodpecker, their restaurant. EVC 2015 we’re sure, will only get bigger and better.
Since its inception by Percept India in 2007, this has been the country’s go-to EDM festival. With appearances by top DJs (Axwell, Armin Van Buuren, Paul Van Dyk), it attracts a crowd of over a lakh. There’s sports like rock climbing and volleyball and of course all the flea markets and other attractions that Goa has to offer between December 27-30. Details: sunburn.in
Chasing Storm, Coorg
The main attraction of the Storm Festival (since 2012) has been the experience of camping out in Coorg. Its New Year’s Eve edition titled Chasing Storm, debuted in the hills, with a few thousand fans flocking to camp at Virajpet, Coorg. Though it might not be the choice of EDM purists, the late-night barbecues and bonfires make it the perfect prelude to the main festival slated for the second half of the year. Details: stormfestivalindia.com
Sound Awake, Bengaluru
Fans are looking forward to the third edition of the biannual EDM fest, this year. With a series of events starting in October and leading up to the festival in December, Sound Awake by DNA Networks has brought artistes like Yves Larock, Darude, Dirty Vegas and Carl Hanaghan to our shores. Takes place in the first week of December. Details: soundawake.in
Conceptualised by Nikhil Chinapa and Live Viacom 18, VH1 Supersonic has put itself on India’s EDM map in just two years of its inception. You could thank artistes Paul Van Dyk, Dash Berlin, Above & Beyond, Infected Mushrooms, Roger Sanchez, The Chainsmokers, Dillon Francis and others. Crazy fireworks, flea markets, mind boggling stages (2014 saw an Iron Heart main stage) and a crowd of 50,000 in its very first year — need we say more? Takes place between December 27 and 31. Don’t miss the Supersonic Arcade events (starting with DJ Steve Aoki touring Mumbai, New Delhi and Bangalore, between January 16 and 18) that will lead up to this year’s festival. Details: gosupersonic.in
Cirkus Indigo, Bengaluru
Another one by Nikhil Chinapa (with Rohit Barker), it debuted last year at the Jayamahal Palace grounds. The two-day festival saw flea markets, food stalls and even a special Sunday brunch, with home grown artistes sharing stage with international acts. In March. Details: cirkusindigo.com
Bacardi NH7 Weekender, multiple venues
Since 2010, the Bacardi NH7 Weekender that started as a three-day festival in Pune, has grown to include multiple cities. Focussing not only on EDM artistes, but top bands as well, this festival is a huge draw for music lovers with no restrictions on genre. Between October-December. Details: nh7.in/weekender
Reset, multiple cities
For more home grown talent (Arjun Vagale, BLOT, Kohra), try Reset. Touted an ‘electronic music showcase’ by organisers UnMute and Phoenix, Reset took its Funktion-One sound system (India’s only) to Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Pune and Chennai last year. In November-December. Details: facebook.com/reset.in
Tickets were priced from `2,500 for two days. Details: evc.co.in
The writer was at EVC 2014 on invitation
by Twisted Entertainment.