Sunburn 2013 Faces Cancellation Threats From Goa Government

Goa and organizers Percept lock horns over bribery allegations and licensing permissions, former festival director Nikhil Chinapa speaks out

Pop Team September 19, 2022

India’s longest running and most successful dance music festival, Sunburn 2013, slated to be held between December 27 to 29, 2013 at an undisclosed location in Goa, faces cancellation in it’s seventh year. According to a PTI report published by various publications recently, former Goa Tourism Minister Franciso Miccky Pacheco “demanded that Sunburn should not be allowed to be held in the state as long as allegations of bribery levelled by the organizers were not looked into.” Pacheco was reacting to an SMS he allegedly received from Percept Live, the organizers of Sunburn, claiming that bribes were paid to obtain venue permissions during Sunburn 2012. The festival has been held at North Goa’s Candolim beach every years for the past six years and this year, Percept Live hope to bring Sunburn 2013 to the same beach, but might have hit a roadblock instead.

“Goa government should think twice before allowing the event this time. The allegations levelled by the organizers should be probed,” Pacheco said, who later shared the SMS details with Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar and ruling Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar. Enraged, in an interview with a local news channel, Parrikar demanded an “apology from Percept” over the allegations and instead said, “They didn’t have permissions for smoking cigarettes last year, but there were cases reported for smoking cigarettes and what not…they are selling tickets also, but there is no permission taken. This is wrong.” Parrikrar also threatened that he would not let Sunburn return to Goa.

Meanwhile Pacheco has announced his own three day EDM festival called Goa Beach Grind to be held between December 27 to 29, 2013, the same days as scheduled for Sunburn 2013, at Betalbhatim.

Nikhil Chinapa, Pearl and Shailendra Singh at Sunburn 2012

The seven year music festival, which recently expanded to Dubai and Sri Lanka, and also hopes to add Singapore and Thailand editions in the coming years is a property Percept India joint Managing Director Shailendra Singh considers to be, “born locally, sold globally.” While he is silent on the alleged bribery charges, he spoke in detail about Percept’s recent split with former festival director Nikhil Chinapa’s Submerge Entertainment that has designed the festival’s lineup in it’s previous years. “Nikhil is a professional that we have worked with and we had a contract with him for five and a half years. After five years we were not getting the delivery that we expected in all honesty, and he could say the same thing to be honest. That is completely fair and we just parted ways as professionals. For us it’s horses for courses. We all of us work in a company and we are responsible for the gig and the fans, we are responsible to sponsors. We have a huge responsibility and certain employments or professional engagements end. And I don’t know why there’s so much drama and emotion for godsakes,” Singh said in a recent interview with The Bangin Beats.

Watch more of his explosive bytes:

Rubbishing rumours that Percept has uncleared dues towards Submerge, Singh added, ”For everything Nikhil has done for us, he’s got his dues, he’s got paid. He’s been on stage, he’s enjoyed the glory we’ve enjoyed Nikhil’s contribution. …the world is his oyster so what’s the stress? We’ve got a big scene coming and I just wish he sends us good luck and chocolates and champagne  for sunburn 7.”

While, Chinapa has maintained radio silence till now, he finally spoke up in the form of an open letter on his Facebook page. “It now appears from videos and other public statements that I’ve been pushed out of Sunburn - a festival that I conceptualized, gave it’s name to and helped create. I guess that’s life. Score one for big business,” he writes.

Here’s the full letter: