One has to be passionate and committed to build a brand like Sunburn: Karan Singh

In an exclusive interview with Mumbai Live, Karan Singh, CEO of Sunburn Global shares the plan to take this year's festival a level-up

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The year is about to end and it is time to celebrate. Just like every year, people across the world have been planning their parties well in advance. While some choose to celebrate to at clubs, many prefer enjoying at music festivals with their artists performing LIVE.

Sunburn has been one such festival where music lovers plan to attend well in advance. Over the years it has garnered an impressive footfall and organisers have brought many globally renowned DJs to play the coveted festival. In a conversation with Mumbai Live, Karan Singh, CEO - Sunburn Global shares his thoughts about the festival, planning and more.


Take away from Sunburn 2017 and implementation in Sunburn 2018

Sunburn 2017 was a stupendous success at Oxford Golf Resort Pune and set new benchmarks in the Live Music domain in Asia that went beyond mere footfalls. It was also streamed live on the official Facebook Page of Sunburn and the Tata Sky mobile App, thereby reaching millions of fans around the world. The 350 ft Sunburn Main Stage went down in history as the largest stage ever created with over 15,000 sq.ft of LEDs complete with pyros, SFX, lighting, state of the art AV, confetti’s, installations crafted by artists from all over the world making it the world’s largest stage and many other experiences for the fans. The artist village, animated flea markets, multiple adventure sports and lip smacking gastronomical delights added to memorable takeaways for fans. A pivotal part of 2017 was the phenomenal level of security arrangements that ensured a safe and drug-free zone for all attendees.

Sunburn 2018 will break further barriers as over 70 A-list international & domestic DJs descend at the Festival to wow visitors. We will have a greater focus on the digital and social media platform to expand our digital footprint and reach. There will be many more engaging & elaborate gaming zones built by our partner brands this year. In addition to the on-site luxury camping options available, visitors will also get to experience over 50 plus food stalls, flea markets and fun experience zones at the festival venue. Internal shuttle services, RFID and technological advances at every step of the event will make sure that fans have a seamless experience.

The main stage design, along with state-of-the-art technology and SFX will be spectacular. And the artist line-up revealed has garnered very positive reviews from our fans around the globe.

Security will definitely be tighter this year in order to ensure a safe and totally hassle-free event.  There will be multiple levels and layers of security implanted. With a greater emphasis on security for women, Sunburn will ensure a separate Box Office window and entry lanes for women, a bar counter catering only to females, and a women’s safety squad. We want to make sure that the festival offers a safe and stress-free environment for all our fans.


The success of Sunburn City Festival across Bengaluru, Mumbai & Delhi

Given the popularity of brand Sunburn, the EDM festival extended and diversified beyond the singular 3-day annual festival in Goa to multiple formats and geographies over the past few years. The newer formats under the Sunburn umbrella include Sunburn City Festivals, Sunburn Arena gigs, Sunburn Club gigs, Sunburn Campus gigs and the newest edition called ‘Sunburn Reload’ which are specially designed and customized to cater to as many dance music fans, giving them a piece of Sunburn in their very own city. Last year saw over 80 events executed across 40 cities pan India to a total footfall of 850,000+ visitors.

This year we executed the Sunburn City Festivals across Mumbai, Bengaluru and Delhi. Given the popularity & demand of the Sunburn annual festival, we decided to give our fans a taste of the Sunburn festival experience through these multi-city tours. It offered an opportunity to those who haven’t experience the original Sunburn annual festival and would drive further footfalls of a new fan base from these cities to the upcoming annual festival in Pune. The attendance was phenomenal and stadiums packed to the hilt. All shows were sold out before the event reaffirming the success of the City Festivals.


Theme and concept this year

With a theme of “Welcome to Paradise”, Sunburn 2018 will offer audiences an amazing ethereal experience from December 29 through December 31, 2018, at the Oxford Golf Resort in Pune.

As the theme suggests, the festival will look absolutely stunning, and fans will just get the vibe of the place once they visit it. This year we are aiming to amplify a new brand experience with a lot more than what we delivered last season with a lot more new exotic & fun offerings in store for attendees. It’s going to be an awesome experience compared to last year. The way we have designed the entire festival, working on all aspects at different stages is going to be spectacular.

We have been working on the 'main stage design' for the last six months and a lot of thought has gone into creating a wow experience for our fans. There will be many surprises for attendees. The venue will give a comprehensive wow festival vibe with a whole load of new adventure activities, bonfire, gaming zones, flea markets, F&B stalls, camping options and more. Everyone can expect a world-class experience with the fan village, F&B by Eat Play Love, Flea markets, and chopper rides that will offer a spectacular aerial view of the main festival. 

There will be many more engaging, interactive & elaborate gaming zones built by our partner brands this year. Sunburn Festival 2018 is partnered by Kingfisher, Britannia, Fasttrack. In-association with Skybags, Spicejet, Magic Moments Music Studio, Bourbon, Little Hearts, Captain Morgan Cola, Havmore, Fashion Partner Shein, Ola and Tinder are partners to the event. I am thankful for all our sponsors. We work hard to deliver great value to them and give them an excellent platform to connect with the youth.


Any additional names of artists – your views of how Sunburn has become a platform for Independent artists from India

With more than 70 acts, this year Sunburn fans are going to have a feast for their eyes and ears. DJ Snake will return with us for the 5th time, Alan Walker is coming for the first time, Axwell & Ingrosso, and Armin van Buuren would be headlining the festival. Legendary artists like Vini Vici, Nucleya, Krewella, Salvatore Ganacci, Mercer, Don Diablo, Afro Bros, David Gravell, Bernet, Divine, Ellie Prohan, Hatcha, Hugel, Throttle and many more artists are going to set the stage afire for their fans.


Arrangements and safety at the events

Security will definitely be tighter this year in order to ensure a safe and totally hassle-free event.  There will be multiple levels and layers of security implanted. With a greater emphasis on security for women, Sunburn will ensure a separate Box Office window and entry lanes for women, a bar counter catering only to females, and a women’s safety squad. We have a Zero Tolerance policy to Drugs. We want to make sure that the festival offers a safe and stress-free environment for all our fans.


Digital Licenses, Rights, Permissions 

There are still many challenges in organizing music festivals in India, even though the industry has come a long way. There are various permissions required, with the process differing in each state, making it all the more difficult to navigate. India is still not a mature ticketing market either, and event promoters do rely quite heavily on sponsorship. The ratio of complimentary passes remains quite high. In addition, most cities don’t have proper event-centric venues and infrastructure, so festival organizers have to literally build the festival from the ground up each time. It definitely is an arduous task to build a festival in India, and one has to be passionate and committed for the long term to build a brand like Sunburn.

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