I thought the end of 2015 was going to be the usual dull affair. I’m an indoorsy guy and not given to partying hard to bring in the new year. But this was not to be. And that is because when Hungama gave men the opportunity to head to Goa instead of spending a quiet Christmas with family, I jumped on it. Suddenly, my end of the year plans had become a lot more happening. I eagerly looked forward to an awesome party in Goa. I was looking forward to all that is talked about in reference to a year-end Goa trip.
Hungama’s Superbus ride kicked off from Mumbai with a promisingly jolly group of VH1 Supersonic Festival attendees for Candolim Beach in North Goa.
Thankfully, we somehow avoided the dreaded rounds of Antakshari and instead wound up grooving to an extensive playlist with everything from Rihanna to Bonobo under neon-lit LED setups. While most of us caught a bit of shut eye for a few hours, the bus ride turned out to be slightly more eventful than we expected when our good-hearted driver drifted across the Karnataka border and we were pulled over for a little over an hour at the RTO office in the middle of nowhere.
Surprises are always fun and this was the best time to chill and catch a few good times with the group.
We arrived at Candolim on the evening of the 27th slightly later than expected and made for the festival as soon as the bus ride was washed off of us. I was giddy with anticipation for my first experience of a Goa music festival as I entered the massive grounds on Candolim beach.
Voila! Spread across a huge section of the beach, the festival grounds housed three stages with surprisingly different setups. It was hard to fathom all the information in one go, but I was hungry enough to gorge on every bit of the experience.
The Spectrum Stage rocked with the electronica vibe, LED screens and smoke machines, which were nestled away into the far end of the grounds. In my opinion, the stage showcased some of the best artists from the festival line-up and turned out to be my spot of choice for the entirety of the festival.
Blot!, Joris Van Pol, Pearl and Luigi Madonna were some of the DJs that performed for the ravenous EDM crowd huddled in front of the stage, each set more exciting than the one before.
I took my time to walk up to festival goers and met all kinds of people; the kind-natured Goan looking for a good time, the Dilli boy having a ball with his friends, the lone party goer rocking to her own groove 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.’
It would be hard to feel out of place. As a newbie to the electronica circuit, I couldn’t help but have unbridled fun with all my fellow festival folk.
I decided that it had to be made a point to experience the festival from as many pockets and stalls as one could. Not surprisingly, the VIP section called Iron Heart offered the best view of the main stage. Of course, I had to sneak in there. My endeavour paid off.
The spots set beside the VIP section were always packed with ecstatic festival goers and Hungama’s dance floor was the people’s choice for grooving to the rhythm and making memories that would last.
I considered myself as a part of the lucky few who had the opportunity to run backstage for a meet and greet with a few of the artists like Sultan and Ned Shepherd, and Joris Van Pol. I was also able to sneak a selfie with some of them. And also steal the occasional bag of chips from their lounge when no one was looking. Yeah, I know. I haven’t grown up much.
I spent most of the final day at the main stage which made for a ridiculously surreal experience, with its steam-punk / Mad Max-esque façade.
Eye-catching pyrotechnics, psychedelic visuals, fireworks and confetti clouds that accompanied the artist on stage had the massive crowd at the main stage swooning to a shared experience of a more than memorable finale to the festival.
I am glad I was a part of this festival. The music, the people and the colours of a good time will stay with me as amazing memories for a life-time. Goa; Supersonic; I bid you a melancholic goodbye.