The sands were gone, but the music played on. Sunburn Goa moved to a new destination – Vagator, after half a decade at Candolim Beach. This year’s edition promised to be bigger, better, bolder and it lived up to its expectations – be it the astronomical number of people expected to attend the festival this year, the huge venue or the mind-blowing ‘Dance Temple’ mainstage.


Day 1

Dualist Inquiry kickstarted the madness with his energetic and interactive set at the Cubezoid stage as the sun came down on the beautiful Vagator beach, and DJ Apster took over as the Dance Temple mainstage became the ‘Jacked Stage’. In what ended up as one of the most memorable sets of the day, Apster opened with Drumology, and dropped chart-busters like Resurrection, Clarity, Pair of Dice, Silhouettes, Pallaroid, Pandor and Sunrise, and even some of his own tracks like Buckleneez, the soon to be released Photobomb, and an ID track of his. But what probably lifted his set to another level was the way he ended, with Zedd’s remix of Alive, Bassjackers’ remix of Wild Child and finally making the Vagator crowd go wild, with ‘Drop Fifteen in the EDM Scene’ blasting on the huge mainstage speakers, which were hanging by a crane on the superbly designed stage.

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[Image Courtesy: Shantanu Puro]

His performance set the perfect mood for what was an epic set by Shermanology, probably the best set of Day One at Sunburn. They interacted with the crowd, dropped some crazy beats, and the live singing element only added to the charm of the Sherman trio, who sang live acapellas of She Wolf, Can’t Stop Me, Don’t You Worry Child, Living For The City, Wake Up Me and This Is What It Feels Like. The energy never dropped, and the crowd only kept increasing as Shermanology played a brilliant set, full of groovy progressive house tracks, including a couple of Hardwell tracks like Jumper and Countdown, Symphonica, Wizard, Pallaroid, Rage-Aholics, Revolution and ending with D# Fat, leaving the crowd wanting for more.

The last act on the mainstage was the much awaited performance by Afrojack, the only DJ Mag Top 10 artist on the lineup. The expectations were immense, and a mammoth crowd had gathered to see the Dutch DJ play his set. He opened with his usual ‘Bangduck’ intro, and went on to play his latest track – a remix of the new Tiesto track ‘Red Lights’, his banging remix of Wrecking Ball, and a couple of new ID tracks. He also played some delightful mixes, like Eat Sleep Rave Repeat and Reload, Take Over Control and Rocker, and Jack That Body with Can’t Stop Me. He also played some of his other usual tracks, like Ray Bomb and As Your Friend, and also dropped Slow Down, LRAD and his new single, ‘Musician’. He ended with his new unreleased track, currently titled ‘Keep Our Love Alive’ featuring soothing vocals by the immensely talented Matthew Koma. His set was a typical Afrojack set, filled with the kind of drops he’s famous for and he made sure fans who came in to see him perform weren’t disappointed.

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[Image Courtesy: Rukes]

All in all, it was a memorable first day to kickstart the festival, and while Afrojack, Apster and Shermanology all played great sets, if one was to be selected as the performance of the day, it had to be Shermanology, simply because of the way they interacted with the crowd, and the level of energy, right from the start to the very end.


Day 2

After a thrilling but exhausting first day at Sunburn Goa, the party carried on, with some stellar performances lined up on Day 2.

Those who got there early, checked out some of the other attractions at the massive Vagator venue. While some checked out the Ferris Wheel, the others tried to survive the bullring, get a bit of an adrenaline rush from the bungee jumping, or get a birds-eye view of Vagator, with the Paracopter experience.

Festival goers were ready for another day of their favourite music, braving the heat and traffic to reach the festival in time to see their favourite DJs. While Day 2 didn’t feature any special stage like Jacked on Day One, the lineup did consist of some incredible individuals, such as Arnej, Markus Schulz and Quintino.

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[Image Courtesy: Shantanu Puro]

Lost Stories got the party started at the Dance Temple stage, playing the high energy sets that they’re famous for. They dropped a lot of familiar tracks, including Heads Will Roll, Springen and Crackin, and managed to keep the crowd on their feet the whole time. Their remix of Afrojack’s ‘The Spark’ got the crowd pumped, and the track itself is a proof of why they’re one of the better emerging acts on the scene right now!

Arnej followed soon after, and mentioned how much he loved India, with his performance in Goa being his fifth visit to India in 2013 itself! He dropped ‘Incredible’ to kickstart his set, played most of his biggest tracks in his ninety minute set, including ‘The Strings That Bind Us’ and the trance fans definitely loved this set.

Closing out the day on the Cubezoid stage was Quintino, famous for his banging drops and massive big room hits. The crowd definitely got more than what it expected, as Quintino completely killed it with set. Dropping Fifteen, Puzzle , Get Loose, If I Lose Myself and many more ‘epic’ tracks, Quintino turned the place into a huge party. The crowd did a sitdown on his raging track ‘Epic’ with the crowd still wanting to jump on the track that’s been played everywhere and by almost everyone, from electro house djs to progressive house dj’s and even some of the biggest names in trance dropping the hugely successful track in their sets, a proof that quality work never gets old. He dropped Epic again after playing the build-up of ‘Welcome to The Jungle’, sending the crowd into raptures, and that moment was probably the highlight of his set.

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[Image Courtesy: Sunburn]

At the end of Markus Schulz’ set at the Dance Temple stage, the host invited a loud roar by screaming out “Pacha who? People of Vagatorrrrr”, probably an indication of just how massive the first two days of the festival had been, with hitherto unseen attendance, and performances that made one want to go back in time to relive them.

The lineup for Day 3 was undoubtedly the biggest among all three days, and the madness on the first two days had set up the stage perfectly for the closing day of the marvellous Sunburn Festival Goa 2013.


Day 3

Two thrilling days had set the set the mood for Day 3 – the closing day of Sunburn Goa 2013, packed with an explosive lineup and some smashing sets were to be witnessed.

The crowd got to Sunburn as early as 4pm, with Anish Sood and Lost Stories playing a b2b set at the Dance Temple, carrying on from where they left off the last time they played together, interacting with the dedicated crowd who couldn’t care less about the scorching sun and just wanted to get the party started. They played familiar commercial tracks, and the superb edits that they prepare like always, and both Anish Sood and Rishab Joshi have transformed into amazing live performers, keeping the crowd on their feet the whole time.

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[Image Courtesy: Sunburn]

Next up on the mainstage were the mindblowing duo Wolfpack, who left everybody stunned with their set, proving that even 45 minutes of a well played set is enough to put up a ‘Smash The House’. Everybody knew what to expect from them, and Wolfpack delivered and how! Cannonball, Party Without Me, Stampede, Tsunami one smashing track followed another and everybody just wished for them to go on and on. They played their own tracks as well, like Ocarina, Find Tomorrow and Turn It Up, and all the Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike tracks you can think of, literally causing some serious ‘Madness’ with G.I.P.S.Y and Watch Out For This. Wakanda got a huge roar from the crowd, and Mammoth and Pursuit of Happiness was probably the best ending to a brilliant performance.

Ummet Ozcan’s first performance in Inda was next, and if the set was anything to go by, it definitely will not be his last. Some knew him, some had heard of him, and some were there just to check out the mainstage, but once he started playing, nobody, and I say this with the utmost confidence, nobody left till he was done playing his set. A Turkish Tornado had hit Vagator, and nobody was complaining. Dropping Springen right away, Ummet took his set to simply another level, and people were jumping left, right and centre. He played his own track The Cube soon after playing Fifteen and We Like To Party back to back, along with W&W’s remix of This Is What It Feels Like, probably the most played track of Sunburn Goa 2013. More W&W tracks followed, like Whitelabel, Thunder, Jumper and D#Fat. Everybody was waiting for that one track, currently dominating Beatport, his remix along with Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike. And towards the end that moment came, when the lyrics of the song that’s now an anthem blasting on the huge speakers. There was this DJ Ummet Ozcan, doing something sick, and the crowd was hands in the air and all, and it was time for Eat Sleep Rave Repeat. People were on each other’s shoulders, jumping around here and there , and when the viral drop came, people just completely lost it. It was hands down the best set of the festival, electro fans, trance fans ask anybody and they’ll agree!

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[Image Courtesy: Sunburn]

Lastly, it was time for the closing act of Sunburn Goa, one-third of the group that was once the mighty Swedish House Mafia, Axwell. Starting out with Starlight, Axwell played an ideal closing set for what was probably the largest crowd a gig in India had witnessed. He played Rasputin and Wakanda, and most of the recent tracks from his label. The crowd sang along to ‘I Am’ and Vagator even became the ‘Centre of The Universe’. There was total madness for a while there when he dropped Greyhound, without a doubt one of the biggest and best dance tracks in recent times, and a memory of the group that created history one song at a time. In expected fashion, he closed out with Save The World, a song that probably everyone there knew, reminding us what the beauty of dance music is – It suddenly didn’t matter who you were or where you were from, what languages you spoke or where you worked, for those three minutes everybody was just in one state, The State Of Dance.


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[Image Courtesy: Shantanu Puro]