20 Lesser Known Festivals That Are Doing It Right: Sunburn Festival
While it's clear that music is the life force behind EDM, no one can argue that dance music would not be where it is now without the driving force of its festival scene. From Woodstock in the early 1970s to the early days of EDC in Los Angeles in the 2000s to the infamous underground festivals of Europe, music festivals have been deeply ingrained in music history and culture.
In a new weekly series, EDM.com is shining the spotlight on lesser known festivals around the world that are on par with marquee festivals like Electric Daisy Carnival, Ultra and Tomorrowland. These festivals are highlighted for the atmosphere, the people and most importantly, the music and the talent they bring to audiences. Covering events from Austria’s signature Snowbombing festival to ZoukOut in Singapore to Shambhala in Canada, this series will be your one-stop guide to some of the best hidden gems of the festival circuit throughout the world.
This week’s pick is the Sunburn Festival in Goa, India.
The Sunburn Festival is India’s premier electronic dance music festival held annually at the end of December on the beaches of Vagator in Goa, India. Considered one of Asia’s largest electronic music festivals, Sunburn is a four-day-long mecca of dance music, particularly for trance fans as Goa, India is thought of as the birthplace of “Goa trance” or psy-trance. The festival was inaugurated in 2007, and since then, has grown to become a melting pot of music, entertainment, sports, food, shopping and lifestyles that attract attendees from all over the globe.
As the motherland of Goa trance, it’s not surprising that Sunburn have become one of the world’s most iconic trance festivals. Year in and year out, the festival pulls incredible talent spanning several genres while always maintaining a focus on trance. The 2013 rendition of Sunburn welcomed trance legend Markus Schulz as a headliner alongside Axwell and Afrojack, in addition to undercard artists like Andrew Rayel, Pete Tong, Dash Berlin, Mark Knight and Ummet Ozcan, among others.
In 2014, Sunburn welcomed their biggest electronic lineup to date with more than 150 artists spread across seven stages. Headliners included big room symbols Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, trance legend Paul Oakenfold and underground icons Sasha, Damian Lazarus and Jamie Jones who catered to the 160,000 Sunburn attendees. Other artists like Baauer, Sander van Doorn and Krewella also made the trek to play the renowned Goa festival.
Music at Sunburn runs 24 hours a day for the entirety of the four-day festival. And not only does Sunburn strive to tailor its lineup to their attendees’ music needs, but the festival also provides a variety of hands-on activities to complement and enhance the experience. Festival goers can find ways to let loose and get moving with everything from bungee jumping to playing beach volleyball.
The ninth season of Sunburn Festival has yet to be announced, but phase one of the lineup is typically unveiled in October. Make sure to keep an eye out for it.