Performing Artist Thrown Out Of Sunburn Festival For Attending Rival Event
6 January 2015
VH1 Supersonic and Sunburn have been major talking points amongst party-goers and industry people over the last month. The music festivals took place on the same days and had (more or less) equally good lineups, so many, naturally, made the decision to flit between the two and enjoy the best of both worlds.
Gaurav Malaker – member of one of our favourite electronic outfits BLOT! - was one of those people. After performing at Sunburn on 27 December, he decided to check out the music at VH1 Supersonic and suffered for it. He released a public note titled “The Politics of Dance and Other Short Stories” on Facebook yesterday, calmly explaining the unfortunate experience he had with Shailendra Singh - head honcho of Sunburn’s parent company Percept and “inceptor” of the music festival (here's his website). The note has received huge support in the last 24 hours, and we suggest you read the entire piece here before moving on.
A healthy sense of competition is important. In any industry, it’s essential to constantly want to do better than the other, simply because it discourages complacency and encourages hard work, quality output and a spirited sense of camaraderie - in an ideal situation, of course. The evolving and more forward thinking lineups at both VH1 Supersonic and Sunburn festivals in Goa were testaments to that fact. Both teams went out of their way to get some of the most quality acts that India has seen on its shores. Some of these included Goldie, Jamie Jones, dBridge and Maya Jane Coles (we wrote an extensive article about the performances we were excited about here).
The rivalry between the two festivals is one that has been heavily publicized since last year, when the former face of Sunburn (and EDM in India, generally) Nikhil Chinapa, pulled out of the festival under allegedly bitter circumstances and began VH1 Supersonic (which received pretty positive reviews this year, despite the extremely unfortunate death of one festival reveller).
It seems now, unfortunately, that the competition is getting to Sunburn. It’s shameful to treat anyone, whether a festival-goer, artist or member of the crew in the way that Malaker was treated, no matter what your standing is in the industry.
Walking around calling an artist who expended time and energy to perform at your festival a “whore” and throwing them out because they attended a rival company’s event isn’t exactly tasteful. Malaker also highlights the disrespect that exists towards homegrown talent, who put in no less hard work than the international artists who are known to get preferential treatment by many festivals and (it’s safe to say) would never, ever be treated this way. We're quite sure Jamie Jones was never denied his corn on the cob.
We have to give credit to Malaker for highlighting very problematic issues that the industry must tackle, in a commendably restrained voice as opposed to the emotion fuelled rants we’re so used to seeing on social media. Read the entire piece and let us know what you think.
Words: Diya Gupta