Sunburn 2012 Mumbai – Guest Review

Avinash Mansukhani guest reviews Sunburn 2012  Mumbai for Power Struggle.

Sunburn 2012 Mumbai

My friends call me a social butterfly, yet i find myself going for almost all EDM gigs alone in this EDM illetrate city, and so the saga continued for Sunburn Summerfest. After spending a month asking my friends to lend me their ears, one scored a free pass. Yay! Someone to talk to while each DJ played Lethal Industry to appease the illiterate  crowd.  And so my trek to Juhu began.

Old /vs/ New

This december i spent 2 and half hours outside the sunburn venue to get my pass. Not one to make the same mistake twice this time i went at 5. Flawless organisation this time around, I walked in to see the usual shopping and promotional stalls, followed by a mini stage ‘ELECTRA’ where i found the beaming Anish Sood belting out some tracks to his little audience. Cute.

A bit of a pathway followed with a bar and food counters on either side. What lay after that amazed me. The huge expanse of tulip star , pool built over et al, was covered in green carpet ending in a pimped up ‘HELIA’ stage. The visuals looked amazing. There was a bar behind me and to the left of me, VIP along the expanse on the right, and a smoking section behind me. Sett.

Day 1

Lost Prayag
(Lost Stories)

I entered to catch the end of Lost Stories. A big fan of these 2,  it makes me proud to see them put India on the EDM map at such a young age. However 4 out of the 5 times that i have seen them its been Rishab alone on stage. Maybe Prayags busy finding a story.

Ask Yourself – Can you Dance?
(Mat Zo)

Mat Zo and India: In my top 5 Dj’s i always make it a point to catch this kid whenever i can. His tunes give me a very happy vibe. This guy seems to be mastering all the electronic genre’s. He’s tried his hand at Dub Step and recently forked out a drum n bass remix of Above and Beyond’s – Love is Not Enough.

Early last year i went for his gig at a club formerly known as ‘Red Light’. The turn out was 15-20 people. On the last day of sunburn December this year, me and my friend eagerly went for the after dark to catch this talent. We entered into a completely deserted club, and were about to bounce when we spotted Mr. Matan Zohar sitting alone at a table. We had a couple of drinks with him and discussed the bewilderment over the low turn out for his set. He then played what i thought was the second best set of Sunburn December.

This time around things were different. A nice turn out for his set, early in it he drops his remix of Kyau and Alberts – Be there for You and Bipolar. Followed by some dubstep inspired tracks, when faintly you can hear Superman creep in. And the crowd recognizes it. WHERETHE FUCK HAVE YOU ALL BEEN THESE YEARS???, im used to seeing blank faces with hands flailing in the air. Sudden contentness spreads over me as Superman seeps in and the sun sets behind me. From that moment on i knew these next 3 days were going to trump my previous Mumbai EDM experiences.  Finally he closed with Mozart. Even Beethoven dances in his grave to this tune.

5 Minutes Silence – R.I.P Sunburn Goa
Just as Mat Zo was ending his set the Day 1 Headliners Growling Mad Scientists (G.M.S) came out to set up their equipment. Something went wrong and we were left tuneless for 5 minutes. I looked around me and took in the vast green expanse. No traffic to get here, No drunk locals dancing, hardly any aunties/uncles, very decent crowd, 1 minute to get a drink, and the possibility of going to pee and coming back while the same track is going on, Sunburn Mumbai > Sunburn Goa.

Round and Round is the Sound

10 years ago i heard JUICE and that was as far as i remember was my introduction into EDM. I spent my junior college days listening to these guys during my psy days before i switched to trance/ progressive house. Having heard them a million times their set was pretty standard. Juice got the crowd going and so did a mix of SHM’s – One. But what made my night was when they dropped Rounders, that track just makes you flip out. Day 1 ends on a good note.


Legs sore and being exhausted from all the stomping the day before,i made my way much later in the day for Day 2. What was missed was apparently an exceptional set by Shapeshifters.

To find another race

You can flip out to psy set , but you can reach different levels during a live psy set. Skazi comes out with his troup, violinist included. Serious Tunage. What i expected was a crazy psy set. And i got that as belted Outer space and Psycho Killer. What i did not expect was even some mental dubstep. The skaz-step killed the crowd, people were going insane, bodies moving in ways i haven’t seen before,.. and i move like a mad man on crack. I made my way home from Juhu to Cuffe Parade barefoot cause all the Wubbing had worn out my foot wear.  Unfortunately the Sunburn Gift Shop doesn’t sell chappals.


Armed or should i say footed with new flipflops I made my way for the 3rd day. I reached at around 5:30. Helia looked super chilled with bean bags n umbrella’s to shade your back from the fierce sun. Very well done.

And it only takes a moment
(Sultan and Ned Shepard)

In tune with the sun setting came happy vibes from the dreaded Sultan ( his hair not him) and Ned Shepard. Sultan shot to fame in India after his sunburn 2009 set. He blew the fuckin place apart that time and that is what is generally expected of him with every set. Normally he doesn’t meet that bar of expectation, but this time was different. These 2 produce some really catchy tunes with a dash of vocals, be it Fight for you, Crimson Sun, Fire in your new shoes or Pressure. None of the above was played, this time they seemed to want to go the commercial way, and it worked. The crowd felt the shade slide over the back of their necks while bouncing to mixes of Gotyes Somebody I used to know, Calvin Haris’s – Feel so close to name a few. Easily the best set of sunburn so far, everyone had that baby content look on their faces….. And then it came.. A Million Stars.. Or as I like to call it A Million Goosebumps. This track makes hair on my body in places that have never seen sunlight, stand up. Wow.

The calm before the storm.
At the end of the 2nd day it was announced that there was to be an airconditioned psy room all day where the vip room was, and it was to be open to all. Having heard Pearl 385.5 billion times, we decided check the scene there. Clearly the bouncer hadn’t been informed because he didn’t let us in even though he had 30 people telling him he was wrong. ‘Ye vip room hain’. Anyway we sneaked in while he wasn’t looking. The cold air was welcome as was the dark psy. You always know where to find the ex ravers ever since bombay got rave raped.

Into the Light
(Gareth Emery)

So if you follow me on twitter you would know  my handle @fighthesunrise is named after a track of Gareth Emery’s. Yes I’m beyond obsessed with this track. I first heard this legend play in Ibiza just as his album, Northern Lights was releasing, and since then have seen him 4 times. Each time I tweet to him to play fight the sunrise, and as each time goes i was left disappointed. However he earned my forgiveness with the set he unleashed on the sweaty trance hungry crowd. He started with his signature Tokyo followed by Mansion and my vocal tune of the year, Concrete Angel. He then dropped SHM’s Grey hound, Citadel, Arrival rolling in the sweet deep, Into the light, the banger of the year-Omnia and Ira’s- The Fusion, Big Sky, Kernkraft 400 and of course On a Metropolis Day (i think i died here).. Finally he ends with Sanctuary as the streamers float down onto the stage, only for the crowd to erupt once again as Tokyo is encored. Fuckin stellar set.. Writing this article 2 weeks later and I still remember the tracks. Easily one of the best sets ive witnessed live. Gaz absolutely smashed it.

I think the only hiccup the Sunburn Organisation faced that was known to those outside was the Afterdark venue organisation. On the first day it was at a banquet hall at the venue itself. They apparently ran into Cop trouble. Surprise surprise. The second day it was shifted to Rock Bottom. Vip passless i missed the first 2 days, last day i got my entry sorted.  Aly n Fila were set to play at Royalty formerly known as poison. Way too crowded i left the scene after these 2 pyramids(they’re from Egypt) of trance dropped In and Out of Phase and The Fusion. Twice in one day. Excellent.

My Advice: I think if Sunburn had priced their passes at 3k instead of 5+ k, it would’ve been slightly more crowded. I know over 20 people myself that would’ve paid 3k for Gareth and Matzo, but who weren’t willing to shell out 6k. So thats a possible 60k sunburn missed out on on just 1 persons friends. Also one more smoking section would’ve prevented us from burning each other.

Track of Sunburn: The Fusion

Verdict: At the end of it all  Summerfest was a Success. I enjoyed myself more than i did in all the years ive been goin for the goa Sunburn. Alot of people were expecting it to be Sunburn Bummerfest, but i think it turned out to be Sunburn SummerBEST.

PS.: Yes,  Lethal industry was played twice.

Avinash Mansukhani
EDM lover!/fighThesunrise

Videos courtesy Sunburn Festival

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