Supersonic 2013: A Step In The Right Direction
13 January 2014
Murmurs of the very public rift were naturally rife all over Goa at the end of December with the very ‘untimely overlap’ of Supersonic and Sunburn. There was definitely a morbid sense of excitement that surrounded proceedings and the uncertainty as to how Nikhil Chinapa and Viacom18 would put together a festival, on a beach in under 3 weeks, had everyone anticipating - not the worst - but a far cry from what greeted us.
VH1 Supersonic was a ship shape event. Production was tight, branding wasn’t too deg but kept in its place and thankfully without the arbitrary ‘brand zones’ or attempts to have ‘live art’ or redundant installations. Maybe the urgency to keep it minimal was a blessing in disguise as it meant that all the focus went on the stages, the sound and the lighting. We however gave a little salute to the sky dancers, holding their own and keeping the tone simple yet fun.
Now, whatever anyone says, five days is long for a festival. There were obviously reasons for this with a very ‘timely’ bleed before and after Sunburn and it was not until the sun eased off during the later half of the day that the numbers started to beef up on site.
At the end of the day, people were coming for the music and to be honest, it was never going to be our cup of tea over the whole five days. Yet, there were some surprise bookings that gave us hope and took a distinct step away from the Arban Von Traries (arbitrary) peddling the generic ‘hands in the air’ EDM (although there was a fair amount of this too). Acts on the lineup that stood out for us were: Midival Punditz, Vachan Chinnappa, FuzzCulture, Praveen Achary, BT, Benny Benassi, Booka Shade, Engine-Earz, Benny Page, Above & Beyond and Shaa’ir + Func.
The real ray of light that shone bright and true from the whole five days was the final day of 'Laboritoire Supersonique'. Tucked away it felt like its own little micro festival/party with a bass centric sound - featuring sets from Orifice Vulgatron (Foreign Beggars) , Engine Earz Experiment, Benny Page and Bare Noize. Programmed by Prash from Engine Earz and pretty much hosted by Orafice Vulgatron, sublime chaos ensued over the final hours, polished off with a cracking drum and bass set from Benny Page.
Dancing to drum and bass and jungle on a beach is amazing! The energy that was created in that little bubble of the festival was a real testament to the fact that Supersonic can go out on a limb and focus on representing a more alternative sound. What's better is that it felt like a festival within a festival - which from our experience is the way these things should be experienced. It should never only be about the mainstage.
While the masses will naturally flock to Sunburn, Supersonic has the opportunity to take a very conscious step away from the EDM brigade and showcase a different side of India. We vote for more house (less trance), drum and bass, jungle and maybe even a touch of live music, but that’s just our opinion.