Sunburn’s inceptor, Shailendra Singh throws light on his future plans

Being recognized by the International Music Summit as one of the largest music festivals in the world, Sunburn has successfully promoted 115 large scale events in India in it’s Season 8. Sunburn has successfully organised several  events featuring reputed dance music artists including Armin Van Buuren, Tiesto, David Guetta, Hardwell, Avicii, Martin Garrix to name a few through it’s different formats namely, the Sunburn Festival, Sunburn Arena, Sunburn Reload and Sunburn on Campus, with the Sunburn Festival, Goa witnessing an aggregate attendance of 200,000 alone. With these larger than life stats, as Sunburn steps into Season 9, we had the opportunity of interacting with Mr. Shailendra Singh, Joint MD, Percept India, to know about what’s in store for the fans in Season 9 and the surprises we could expect in Season 10, Sunburn’s 10th Anniversary edition.

Hello Mr. Shailendra, what should we expect from Sunburn this year?

This time, we are engaging more with our fans. We wanna listen to our fans. With a total attendance of 650 thousand fans this year and a total digital reach of over 379 million people, Sunburn shares a special attachment with it’s fans. We want our fans to know how are we going forward, what are we contributing to the scene and what should the fans expect.

Having organised ASOT recently, we’re really curious to know what inspired you to bring ASOT to India?

I’m glad you asked this question.  Well we are doing this to keep Season 9 in perspective.

What’s different about Season 9? 

This season is critically important since it leads into Season 10, which is our 10th Anniversary. It’s all about stepping into Season 10, which is going to be a massive celebration not only for us but also for the industry at large, the fans, for everybody in the team because everyone has worked pretty hard. Everybody is going to be nostalgic about the journey of Sunburn. Sunburn is not a one man’s or one woman’s dream. It belongs to all the people who have participated in this journey.  Therefore Season 9 had to be built in a constructive manner. We need this is kind of foreplay before the Climax. Otherwise it’s no fun.We are on a mad journey on Season 9 so far and we have created a very kick ass season this year.

Speaking of Season 10, can you tell us what’s in store for the fans? 

Season 10 is not just a 1 day event, from 1st January 2016 to 31st December 2016, the entire year will be a celebration. We are going be have Sunburn Campus,  Sunburn Arena, Sunburn Reload all around the year. We really wanna engage with our fans and wanna know their intensity. That’s why, about a month ago, I had a fan jam with a round about of 80 fans in this room. We all sat down here  & we spoke about what they like and what they don’t. Like I said way back in 2007, it’s always been for the fans, of the fans & by the fans.

“Sunburn has put the Indian EDM scene on a global map” Can you elaborate on that?

We all know Sunburn is the largest music festival in Asia. It’s the largest single stage in Asia. Also, we have been successful in getting major dance music artists to India. Dmitri Vegas and Like Mike closed down the final day in Sunburn Goa, 2014. I am Hardwell show at Delhi NCR was India’s largest ever international music concert. Sunburn Festival is a carnival in itself. There’s the Cubezoid Stage, Space Station Stage along with the iconic Dance Temple Stage and there’s a flea market and bungee jumping zone as well. All of this continues to draw fans from all over the world. No wonder it’s been dubbed as one of the Top 4 music festivals globally that you need to discover before you die!

When Sunburn was launched back in 2007, you said Sunburn had the power to make a social difference. How do you see that happening?

We made a social difference in the people’s lifestyle. Initially, people would get dressed at 9.30 in the evening and go to a party. Now people want to come out at 4 pm and see a warm up set by Armin Van Buuren in an indoor stadium. That is a lifestyle change. We have to celebrate the brand that is Sunburn and what we’ve done for the fans. It’s they who do it. People come to me with a thought and I ask them to send emails, which they do, and we respond to it. We listen to our fans and try and adapt what they tell us.We love doing it.

How would you want the fans to see the brand, ‘Sunburn’?

It’s important to put it in the right box because that will bring about a sense of confidence in the fans. We don’t need to look outside India for any dance music festival, why can’t we create our own here, one that the world looks up to? We have so much confidence, history, culture, passion; we have the power to create whatever we want. And Sunburn is a standing example that India can create it’s own intellectual property. Take for example, the Dance Temple Stage in Goa. We tried to bring about the India historic culture while designing it, Retro Future. That’s because we are proud to be Indian. At 280 ft, it’s also the largest stage in Asia. Also, our staff works during daytime in the burning heat in an outdoor venue, even when it’s 42 degrees outside. All of this to make sure we give our fans what they came for and more. It’s been 9 years and we’ve done close to 2500 events of Sunburn and not one cancelled. There’s so much hard work and passion that goes into doing it.The IMS report clearly states that we are one of the Top 3 festivals in the world. That’s the Singapore IMS.  We need to bring that change where we are proud of our brand and inspire others to follow. There’s so much emotion attached.

With so much coming up this Season and as we gear up for Season 10, I’m sure the fans are really excited and happy. Any message you would like to share with the Dance Music Fans out there?

If all fans have any questions to ask me, they can ask through your platform and I’ll be happy to answer them. I’m happy to engage through your platform. Anything that the fans want to ask about dance music, I can answer through your platform. I’m sure the fans have questions, loads of them. I’ll be happy to answer them actually.

Coming from the man himself, if you have any questions for Mr. Shailendra Singh, send them over to info@edmofy.com with the Subject: Interact with SS & we’ll get them answered for you.

Think Sunburn Season 9 sounds kick-ass? Wait till you hear what’s in store for Season 10 of Sunburn. But that’s all gonna be a surprise for now. No spoilers! An entire year of celebration, now who won’t look forward to that? Stay tuned with EDMofy for more updates on Sunburn and all that’s round the corner for Season 9.

Interviewed by: Sneha Yadav
Edited by: Shine Saha
Photo Credits: Rohith Sarcar

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