Half-assed music, a half-assed concert, and making acquaintance with a vapid generation.
Fabled is the case of the year end Goa trip in colloquial conversations among the average Delhi jocks that I mostly would not encourage. Considering the amount of hooplah, folks cherish while reminiscing about their best moments of life having been etched into memories with Goa as the centre stage, I imagined it was worth a shot. VH1 Supersonic was to be the spot for hangouts during Christmas in Goa, or at least that's what I had expected. Little did I realise that the festival would be as much of a trending fiesta as an obscure club on a weeknight.
Oooh, bright lights at the Iron Heart stage, check
I'm not going to deplore EDM music for what it is, unbridled and mindless fun is something that one could easily delve into on occasion, in my opinion. But, I expected a little more from the festival which was laid over a massive section on North Goa's Candolim beach, with three stages set across corners and a line-up of supposedly amazing Djs from across the world, than a seemingly objectiveless party space for fairly clueless attendees. A majority of the festival goers I spoke to and/or overheard conversations of seemed to have been shuttling back and forth between Supersonic and Sunburn (which apparently held a bigger chunk of spectators). With maybe two or three stalls with any gaming experiences, a food court that seemed misplaced from the average mall, and sparse crowds that only picked up toward the wee hours of the night.
A certain Don Diablo working his set
I spent most of my evenings throwing back copious amounts of beer into the pits of my stomach, in a bid to numb myself enough to actually enjoy my time there. It worked. Spectrum, Iron Heart (main stage), and Laboratoire, three stages that - not ironically enough - pumped out pretty much the same progression of bass drops and easily digestible percussions. Blot!, Jaris Van Pol, Engine-Earz, and Nervo, turned out to be a decent set of artists that I could wash down with the alcohol. Mainly because their set lists included the most popular mainstream songs remixed over and over again which is a little hard to miss. But, by a certain point each evening I was woozy enough to begin enjoying bumping to all kinds of festival folk. The naive Goan looking for a good time, the Delhi boy under the influence of a non-chemical kind (hopefully), the lone party goer oscillating within his own two step and the hipsters who were too cool for everything, but somehow decided to spend all of their evenings in the midst of the supposedly 'mainstream crowd'. All of them bound by the superficial fabric of the love for EDM.
Oooh, brighter lights and fire. Splendid
“EDM is here to stay,” I remember a music journalist once reminding me; I would rephrase that with “Percussion induced jiving is here to stay.” The reason: most people at the festival I had the opportunity of interrogating about the artists they were looking forward to, had no idea what the line-up was, or why for that matter. It's just a spot to chill and I'm not judging them.
A paused moment of reconciliation
Pyrotechnics, smoke machines, confetti clouds, and fireworks, the stages did all they could to hold the fickle minded audiences attention span – which is usually the equivalent of an earthworm's. But, I shall not hate more than required. It's an experience; one that needn't be repeated more than once in a lifetime. But, I digress; Supersonic fell short of the mark even from a die-hard EDM fan's perspective – their words, not mine. Goa, maybe we'll have fun together another time.
Bright lights, pyrotechnics, fireworks AND Lasers, what a day!
By Aditya Varma