Pune, Dec 31 (IANS) One of Asias biggest electronic music festivals, Sunburn 2018, completed its first two days on Sunday with exhilarating visuals and tributes to Swedish legend Avicii, and EDM-pumped performances by international and Indian DJs like Armin Van Burren, Alan Walker, Nucleya and Axwell-Ingrosso setting the temperature high in the month of December.
The 12th edition of the musical extravaganza opened on Saturday for its loyalists from across the globe who count every single day, anxiously waiting round the year for the Electronic Dance Music (EDM) giant’s indulgence to begin their New Year with zeal.
The festival saw lakhs of EDM enthusiasts, young and old – packing the 100-acre Oxford Valley here for thumping performances by DJs on four separate stages. On the first day, the main stage, named ‘Cubezoid 4.0’, with 7,000 sq. ft of LEDs, witnessed spectacular performances from Julia Bliss, Sara Santini, Anish Sood, Vini Vici, Don Diablo and Axwell-Ingrosso creating a perfect celebratory atmosphere.
What stole the show on the first day of the festival was Axwell-Ingrosso’s (2/3rds of the Swedish House Mafia) performance with their everlasting anthemic songs like “Sun Is Shining,” “Reload”, “Out Of My Mind”, “Daning Alone” and “More Than You Know”.
The pair closed out their emotive set with Klahr’s “Falling In Love” under an aura of flushed smoke and slowly-rising sparklers.
Towards the end, they paid their respects for the passing away of Avicii by playing “Wake Me Up” on “Don’t You Worry Child”. Thousands of people also scribbled Avicii’s name and drew his logo on a long black chalkboard as a tribute to the 28-year-old DJ who took his life earlier this year.
As per speculation, this may have been one of the last performance by Axwell-Ingrosso, as the complete group – Swedish House Mafia – prepares for its 2019 relaunch.
On the other stage – Zee 5 – desi bass king Nucleya set the stage on fire with his street-style music from “Raja Baja”, “Bass Rani”, Tota Myna, and some occasional Bollywood drops. Kash Trivedi, Amann Nagpal, Ritviz, Paratra, Sara Santini, 39 Kingdom, Zenith, GREFF, 18 East, Dual Vibes, Basspatch, Hugel, David Gravell, and Progressive Brothers also took to the stage and amped-up the audience on day one.
“With Sunburn moving to Pune, the festival has become more affordable and accessible to our audiences. Pune is a fantastic host city with the right mix of the people and the infrastructure to support a festival of such magnitude. This year due to heightened security measures, we have adopted extensive state approved measures to ensure a catastrophe-free festival given that visitors’ safety has always been paramount at the event,” Sunburn Global CEO Karan Singh said.
The second day, on the other hand, was all about Armin Van Buuren, and Alan Walker’s performances in the evening as the venue got packed with people as soon as it hit 7 p.m on the clock.
“On the second day, we saw a 10 per cent increase in turnout from Day 1 and expect a further 15 per cent increase on Day 3 as we have been able to deliver an improvised experience to our festival goers,” the CEO said in a statement.
While performances by Salvatore Ganacci, Ravtek, Madoc, Shashank, DJ Chico, Rave N Crave, Akade, Kalpanik Bass, Kryll, Shaan Gidwani, Basshunk, Zylor, VDJ Cas, Twisted Bass, NDS, Ishani X BobKat, Afro Bros, Candice Redding and Throttle built the anticipation levels for the headlining acts of the evening, Norwegian DJ and producer Alan Walker proved that he is a true force to be reckoned with within the contemporary electronic music scene.
The introduction to Walker’s set was “The Spectre,” followed by a remix of Sia’s “Move Your Body” and “Sheep” by Chinese musician Lay. “Alone” had strong melodies and atmospheric vocals. He closed his versatile set with his international hit “Faded,” where he left the main stage crowd thirsty for more.
As fireworks lit up the arena and booming sounds blared from the speakers, one of dance music’s busiest DJs, Armin van Buuren, took to the stage for an unforgettable act. Tracks like “Blah Blah Blah”, “The Last Dancer”, “Just As You Are”, “Popcorn”, “Sex, Love & Water”, “Our Origin”, “Wild Wild Son” and “Ready To Rave” had the entire arena exploding with sound and energy. Known for his emotive sets, he performed “This Is What It Feels Like”, dedicated to his son, and also the “Barso” remix by Ritviz.
(Shreya Das is attending the Sunburn festival at the invitation of its organisers. She can be reached at [email protected])