11 Nov 2020
A heartfelt note from the desk of Shailendra Singh
– Former Jt MD of Percept Ltd, Creator/ Inceptor of Sunburn
I was deeply disturbed by the recent news of Sunburn Goa gaining permission to be held in Goa on 27th, 28th, 29th December 2020. Sunburn immediately began selling tickets, building up the hopes and dreams of the new, young India to travel and have a good time. I was relieved when permissions for the festival were subsequently denied by the Goan Government.
In this unprecedented time of global pandemic, hosting a live event in which large numbers of India’s youth will congregate is totally unnecessary and unprofessional. In it’s guidelines for ‘Considerations for Events and Gatherings’, the CDC states that the highest risk is found in “Large in-person gatherings where it is difficult for individuals to remain spaced at least 6 feet apart and attendees travel from outside the local area.” India has the largest population of young people in the world, travelling from all over the country to attend Sunburn, and each and every one of those young lives matter.
When I created Sunburn in 2007 as an experiment on a Goan beach, I never expected that we would become the 3rd largest dance music festival in the world by 2013! Sunburn has certainly made India proud and put Goa on the global music tourism map. In the family separation executed on 23 February 2017, I gave up executive power over Percept Ltd and Sunburn and my heart bleeds to witness such a dangerous decision being made for Sunburn by the current management/ decision makers. Dangerous because hosting the festival at this time is insensitive to the global reality of COVID 19 situation and the lives of the youth of India, their families and the entire nation.
Commerce cannot be a priority when there are literal human lives at stake. The government of India, state governments and front line workers are putting in 24×7 efforts so that India can fight against COVID19. They are risking their lives every hour of every day, to save and protect our lives. It is just not fair to jeopardize their continuing efforts.
Sunburn, and other such live events, should wait until the vaccine is here and available to the citizens of India. My heart goes out to all music lovers, Sunburn fans, musicians, DJs, technicians and industry professionals whose livelihoods depend on live events like Sunburn. I beseech you to please be patient. Each life is precious and India cannot afford an outbreak out of a large gathering live event such as Sunburn.
Let’s unite to fight COVID19 by playing it safe, and emerge victorious to celebrate many more days in to the future. As I write this note, I too am withdrawing all my live event and initiatives currently in progress, until the vaccine is available in India, for all Indians. I love music, I love Sunburn, I love India and I respect every life in this great nation.