We are keen on getting new business lines associated with Sunburn in the next 2 years: Harindra Singh

After a hiatus of over 3 years, Sunburn will be making its grand homecoming as "Sunburn Klassique" to its birthplace, Goa. In an exclusive interview with Mumbai Live, CMD of Percept Limited , Harindra Singh, talks about the new journey - a two-day annual which will be held at Vagator.

We are keen on getting new business lines associated with Sunburn in the next 2 years: Harindra Singh

After a hiatus of over 3 years, Sunburn will be making its grand homecoming to its birthplace, Goa. Percept live recently announced a collaboration with Goa-based nightlife and promotions giant Klassique to co-promote all Sunburn events in the state and will begin a new journey of its own under "Sunburn Klassique" a two-day annual showcase at Vagator.

Goa has been the birthplace of Sunburn. Returning to Goa, Sunburn for its first year will be host multiple stages which will feature an elite mix of artists giving a throwback to what Sunburn was in its early years with a combination of great music including commercial, techno, and trance. The event will also host a food court, flea markets recreational, games and a lot more.

Mumbai Live spoke to Percept Limited CMD, Harindra Singh, with regards to the same. Here are the excerpts

Success story of Sunburn  

Sunburn has come a long way since 2007 and is the ultimate Youth Engagement platform today. How else do you explain the phenomenal rise of Sunburn? When the country was being saturated with commercial Bollywood music, Percept’s idea of an experimental festival called Sunburn on the far beaches of Goa and its growth alone is a crystal clear indication of why an increasing number of people want to actually socialize and hear music live. From 5,000 people over two days at Sunburn Goa 2007, the festival has expanded into a multi-city and multi-country affair with over 850,000 fans turning up for Sunburn through 2018-19. Music Fests like Sunburn are truly encouraging a ‘healthy social’ experience. At Sunburn you can spend hours doing exactly what you like with family and friends. A great place for like-minded people to meet, chat, connect, have a great time and make new lifelong friends. Sunburn wants people to get enveloped in a complete 360-degree social experience that cannot be felt on any social media site sitting in the confines of one’s home or office. Social Media apps have actually distanced people as they end up disconnecting at a personal level and pushing buttons on a screen; Music Fests like Sunburn is truly encouraging a ‘Healthy Real social’ experience. Instead of loosening your pocket of Rs.300 for a movie ticket (and then spending another couple of hundreds on food), people prefer to actually go out for a live event where they have a choice of fun, lively, interactive activities and experiences to enjoy.

The success of Sunburn can be attributed to a lot of hard work, research, investment and other tangible factors. However, luck also plays a key role in determining its success. Sunburn also broke new ground by putting India on the map of intellectual superpowers and leveraged the Indian economy to a large extent. Not only did fans from 52 countries attend Sunburn and bring in a massive quantum of inbound tourism and exposure for our country, but the brand has also expanded its footprint into international territories including Dubai, Colombo and Australia – a first again from the Indian stable of IPs.

Today, it’s no surprise that Sunburn is amongst the top 3 attended global music festivals; ranked amongst the top 5 music festivals across all Social Media platforms globally; classified as the No. 1 youth platform in Asia; and India’s leading Live Media Asset.

Redefining Sunburn in 2019-20

Given the dynamic audience pulse and partner brand expectations, we have constantly innovated, experimented, broken the mould and introduced newer and more formats recognizing the potential of Sunburn across the entire country. We have always focused on the experience of our fans, and we will continue to give them an even better, bigger and importantly more varied experience moving forward. There is so much potential in India with so many markets to tap into – the possibilities for expansion are endless.

We will also be introducing new formats like U21 which is completely targeted to the youth Under 21 age bracket as the name suggests. These shows will be held at more accessible venues and at a much lower price point which will make an outing for a Sunburn U21 experience similar to the cost of going for a movie or a meal. And we are confident that this format will enable us to tap into a new audience segment altogether and achieve really massive numbers.

Given our massive popularity overseas, International growth will see the brand extend its geographical footprint into more countries across Asia, Europe, South America and West Asia. Digital reach is targeted to scale up to hit over 50 million views this season with Live Streaming and other innovative Technologies backing our endeavour. On popular demand, we are definitely interested in getting into some new business lines with Sunburn in the next 12-24 months.

Sunburn as a brand, among other brands (sponsorship and advertising opportunities)

Sunburn has seen a steady increase in the number of leading lifestyle and consumer brands that have associated with us year on year. Apart from obvious monetary considerations, Sunburn makes available to Brands an opportunity to actively engage with their TG on various levels. Sunburn is a fantastic youth-centric on-ground platform that offers brands both exposure and experience enabling them to drive higher brand visibility, brand trials, awareness and top-of-mind recall. The festival offers various touch points and opportunities to partnering brands spanning category sponsorship, sampling, tickets & hospitality, high impact activations and brand showcases. A key differentiator is an ability of the partnering Brand to make people experience their products & solution via fun online & offline activations, rather than being told what they should think (as in the case of vanilla advertising).

Of our experience with the partnering brands since inception, the integration often is executed with a healthy mix of digital as well as on ground activations. The execution is customized depending on the location, target audience, and festival content. Greater value is seen when brands are cross-promoted by both Sunburn and the partnering brand. Sunburn Pune 2018 saw a Sponsor integration of more than 18 leading brands with every brand incorporating a unique on-ground concept – Kingfisher Packaged Drinking Water, Skybags, Zee5, Britannia, FastTrack, Spicejet, Magic Moments Music Studio, Bourbon, Little Hearts, Captain Morgan Cola, Havmore, Tinder, JBL, Park Avenue, Airtel 4G, Shein, Go-Pro, Appy Fizz, RedBull and ITC. Airtel also set up a network tower, which offered 4G speed to festival attendees.

Ranked among the top festivals in the world today, Sunburn is the perfect platform for brands looking to associate with the elements of fun, music, youth and excitement. Given that Sunburn has consolidated itself as the largest youth connecting platform in the country, it provides a perfect setting to brands to have a direct line of engagement with them in a non-disruptive focused environment. Sunburn is today the highest valued Live Intellectual Property in the Country which further endorses the value that this holistic Live Media Asset offers.

Digitizing Sunburn for the ones who do not attend

Sunburn has emerged as India’s largest Live Media Asset with phenomenal growth registered across all Social Media platforms over the past few years. Digitization has enabled our global and domestic fans to be a part of the entire Sunburn journey virtually over the past 12 years. With millions of followers on social media, Sunburn’s digital reach with the youth is unparalleled.

Sunburn has been ranked as the “Biggest Festival Page in Asia; 4th Biggest EDM Page in the World; and the 2nd most Followed Page in India in the Entertainment Sector” as confirmed by Facebook official sources and statistics. Today, Sunburn is one of the most visited Facebook platforms by Gen Next and a great window of opportunity for brands targeting the dynamic youth populace pan India. FB launched their 360-degree Video Feature with Percept’s Sunburn and this was the very first time that FB streamed all 4 days of a Music Festival in Asia. The strategy paid off as Sunburn went on to create history by attaining an unprecedented massive reach of 11 million on this FB Live Streaming platform.

Sunburn’s Twitter handle ranked #1 in the “Fastest Growing Event Profiles in India”; and ranked World #7 in the Event Industry. Sunburn is also rated among the Top 5 in the Entertainment Sectors in India, the only Indian Brand to feature in the Top 10 in the Event industry worldwide as per Twitter statistics. 

Sunburn has received over 19,800,000 total video views on Youtube & been recognized as “One of the Top 100 Most Subscribed Pages in India under the Entertainment sector.” Sunburn is the “Highest Subscribed Page under the Electronic Music sector in India” with the most viewed record-shattering videos being the “Hardwell Aftermovie” which received a whopping 2.6 million views and the “Sunburn Goa Aftermovie” that saw another 1.5 million views.

Sunburn created another record in the digital space when it tied up with Snapchat to ensure that it became the First Event Festival in India to have a “Worldwide Snapchat story on the Snapchats Global Newsfeed stream”. This initiative was officially ranked as “One of the most Engaging Snapchat Accounts in India under the Live Events Sector category.”

Digital Live Stream is a big focus area for Percept Live to cater to fans who cannot attend every Sunburn event on-ground. Sunburn incepted a new digital brand extension in 2016 called ‘Sunburn Echo’, which ensured a seamless Live Stream of the Sunburn Festival into the 5 cities of Jaipur, Raipur, Guwahati, Ahmedabad and Vizag to offer EDM fans a real-time experience of the Festival. The very first edition of Sunburn Echo saw a cumulative attendance of over 20,000 fans, with the number of cities and viewership successfully expanding over the past 2 years.

Sunburn and Goa - The second chance!

Sunburn Klassique marks the homecoming of Sunburn to its State of birth. We started Sunburn in 2007 in Candolim Goa as a 3-day music festival and over the years Sunburn grew to become an iconic music festival that showcased an eclectic mix of music, entertainment, experiences, celebration and lifestyle that has seeded music tourism in India starting with Goa. 2015 saw the last edition of the Sunburn Festival in Goa at Vagator. Yes definitely, we missed Goa every moment.  We left Goa in 2016 with a very heavy heart. We tried really hard to recreate the magic of Goa across other destinations, however Goa is Goa....incomparable to any other destination. It’s impossible to create the Goa magic anywhere else. And Sunburn is as Goan as the Goans!

Recently we sensed an opportunity to return to Goa and were lucky to tie-up with Mr. Shailesh Shetty, Klassique who will be representing Sunburn in Goa and taking on the onus of handling all the local logistics, permissions and licenses for ensuring a smooth and successful homecoming of Sunburn Klassique in the State. The weekend of 23 & 24 February 2019 will be the first 2 day Sunburn Klassique showcase at Vagator. The plan is to start with one event and based on the success and feedback increase to 2 events. Ideally, we would like to have one in the first quarter, one during the monsoon and one in the 3rd quarter. 

From the setup to the stages and the artists, Sunburn Klassique will truly stand apart. Sunburn evolved to a much bigger and commercial format post-exit from Goa. But we all missed the original Goa Sunburn. It was cooler, more intimate, more emotions, experiences, pre-post parties, shacks, local food and flavours. Sunburn Klassique will bring back the original vibe of Sunburn that is legendary and iconic. Sunburn Klassique will be all about nostalgia, emotions, fond memories and having a great time with friends. Just the way it was from 2007-2015 in Goa.

Opportunities for fans - Artist engagement and other possibilities 

Sunburn is a heady mix of music, art, online & offline engagements. Fans get an opportunity to listen to the best international line-up of global and domestic talent, participate in contests and win an exciting once-in-a-lifetime chance to meet their favorite local and international iconic artists backstage.

The animated flea markets, multiple adventure zones, and gastronomical delights added to the festivity. From appreciating birds eye view of the festival atop the Ferris Wheel and Hot Air Balloon Rides to regaling in chilly cascades in the Aqua Roller, to pedalling through the festival on the ostentatious Twin Cycle, there was something in store for all festival goers. Adrenaline junkies rejoiced with sundry selections from football-dart games themed “Kick” on 23 feet heightened Velcro wall, to a clandestine castle of 300 meters with 50 odd obstacles to overcome at “Monster”, to a heady mix of art and games at The Alcohol Arcade. The festival hosts one of India’s biggest campsites that gives every camper a comprehensive festival vibe. The artist village reverberated with all sorts of bass-lines is buoyed by the incessant energy of a crowd that offered an outpouring of love, excitement and positivity.

Technology is unsurpassed as the festival featured 4 stages including the main stage, Cubezoid 4.0 which spanned 300 x 100 feet (as tall as a 10 storey building and as wide as the Statue of Liberty horizontally) and had over 7000 sq. ft. of LED. Other stages included the brilliantly LED packed “Zee 5 Stage”, the flea market inspired “Kingfisher Good Times Stage” and the “Little Hearts Stage” by Britannia with immersive visuals surmounting a phenomenal 10,000 sq. ft. of LED special effects. The diversity of the stages and their themes left fans completely overawed and gave them jaw-dropping distinctive experiences within a singular festival venue.

Sunburn as an opportunity for Indian independent artists - upcoming and budding artists

Sunburn became a launch pad for many new local talents who have now become big names in the global and domestic music business. A very encouraging trend is the acceptance of original home-bred music. People are moving out of their comfort zones of willing to pay only for an evening of recognizable, popular music. Today an unknown local musician has a good chance of finding a paying audience – something unthinkable of, several years ago. Over the past 12 years, Sunburn has served as a great platform for many fresh acts to perform on stage and debut to a massive domestic and international audience, therein creating huge awareness for these independent Music Artists and local DJs and helping them promote their careers in a big way.

We will continue to bring in and debut many more international artists in India as also stay steadfast in our commitment to showcasing many up and coming new Indian talents in future editions of all our Music Fests.