VH1 Supersonic and Sunburn Impress With 2014 Lineups
24 December 2014
It’s that time of the year again where electronic dance music fans in India make the long pilgrimage to southern party capital, Goa, for two of the countries biggest music festivals. VH1 Supersonic and Sunburn festival will both take place from 27 to 30 and 29 December respectively, and this year’s clash of titans is predicted to be more massive than ever before.
It all began back in 2007 when entertainment megalith Percept partnered with tireless supporter and icon of EDM/tank tops for men, Nikhil Chinapa, to form what is now one of Asia’s largest music festivals – Sunburn. The festival was a hit right from the get go, bringing in massive, mainstream acts like Axwell, Above & Beyond and Carl Cox down to the subcontinent in its first year running. Sunburn grew exponentially larger with each year, spreading its brand of EDM joy to Indian masses across the nation. This year’s edition – the festival’s eighth, will feature 120 musicians, producers and DJs, and according to organisers is expecting a modest footfall of 1,00,000 people over 3 days.
Sunburn attained commercial success and garnered quite a reputation in its 7 years running - but not all of it was positive. With big crowds and money comes big trouble and in 2013, Nikhil Chinapa cut the c(h)ord with Sunburn and called it quits over conflicting opinion. But he didn’t give up his love for dance music, announcing his intention to begin a whole new festival – what we know now as VH1 Supersonic – soon after.
Both VH1 Supersonic and Sunburn are impressive in their own right but this article’s purpose isn’t to discuss the nitty gritties and politics that surround their existence. Or even the battle style format these festivals seem to operate in. Instead, we’re going to focus on its impressive, and quite honestly under written 2014 lineup. This year is going to be a treat for disciples of electronic music with both festivals bringing in not just the commercial acts we’ve come to associate with them, but also some genuinely exciting, quality underground DJs and producers who every music lover should be aware of.
VH1 Supersonic’s Arms House bass stage got our blood pumping as soon as it was announced in November this year. Basshead Alix Perez makes a comeback to Indian shores after the BASS CAMP festival earlier this year along with UK native Chimpo, DJ Die, DMZ’s SGT Pokes and DnB talent Icicle – just to name a few so expect some high octane sounds and a beach that’ll be reverberating with low end frequencies. The Laboratoire stage will also feature Metalheadz’ drum and bass master and an artist we honestly couldn’t be more excited about – Goldie.
Supersonic’s Iron Heart stage will feature mainstream commercial acts like Infected Mushroom, Mat Zo, Jeremy Olander and Paul van Dyke, which are definitely going to get the crowds pouring in. Our heart, however, lie with the Spectrum Stage which has included some excellent acts in its roster. London resident and genre juggler Maya Jane Coles is on the second day and anyone who’s heard her would know that she’s a talent to be reckoned with. US natives Magdalena Chojnacka or Magda for short and legendary “Detroit Techno” pioneer - Carl Craig will both be ending the stage on the first night.
With a lineup like that, it seems that VH1 Supersonic is definitely heading in the right direction when it comes to introducing new genres and sounds to the subcontinent. Sunburn, despite having a few heavyweights to its name, pales in comparison and sticks to the EDM sound its comfortable with. To its credit, it does have a very exciting ‘Secret Stage’ (one of five other stages) which will include performances by a number of exciting Indian acts (many more than VH1 Supersonic can credit) as well as a name we were surprised to see alongside the rest –dBridge.
The (mainly) DnB producer’s career began back in the early days of the genre’s conception back in the early 90’s and he’s been a regular speaker at Red Bull Music Academy as well as being a part of UK supergroup Bad Company. Space Station also features a lot of performances we're looking forward to like the incredible Jamie Jones (Head Honcho of Hot Creations), Sasha, Egbert and BLOT! Live.
We don’t envy anyone who has to pick between the two, but Goa this winter seems to be a great place to be. Follow VH1 Supersonic and Sunburn on Facebook for updates and check out full festival schedules here and here respectively.
**We’ll be recovering from the madness that was Magnetic Fields for a while, but if you’re going, let us know what you think.**
Words: Diya Gupta
Image of Goldie courtesy his website
Image Credit (Maya Jane Coles): Fiona Garden