A successful first edition? Absolutely!
The World’s Biggest Guestlist Festival held its first edition in Mumbai on the 2nd and 3rd of December at the D.Y. Patil Stadium in Nerul, and Hardwell fans got to witness their God in action in the midst of an awe-striking ambiance. But the real heroes at WBGF’17 weren’t ONLY Hardwell and the world-class DJs on his ‘We Are United’ foundation or the host of live acts that showed us a wicked time over the weekend. The real heroes were also the festival attendees, who contributed to a worthy cause by simply purchasing their ticket for the festival. In case you didn’t know, the profits from WBGF’17 were generously donated to their charity partner – Magic Bus, one of the largest poverty alleviation programmes in India, that is working with 400,000 children and 8000 trained volunteer mentors in 21 States and 71 districts. Hardwell and his United We Are Foundation working with Guestlist4Good and the ‘World’s Biggest Guestlist’ festival’ managed to draw attention to the social issue of the lack of education for underprivileged children living in India.
Talk about spreading joy together, right. Well, there is much to be told about the two-day WBGF’17 and we’re just getting started. So read on:
This part was fairly simple. Even though the venue was located on the outskirts of Mumbai (no offense to Navi Mumbai peeps here), the D.Y. Patil Stadium is a well-connected venue. The nearest station is just a 10 min rick-ride away; the nearest bus-stop is literally two steps away, and Uber/Ola was available to a lucky few who managed to get out in time to book one. Those who chose to drive down were met with little to no inconvenience. Traffic was beautifully managed, and so much so that no outsider would even suspect there is a major festival going on inside the venue (however, there were enthusiastic fans in Hardwell T-shirts to give that away). There were nearly 75,000 people that had assembled over the two days, so if things progressed this smoothly, we have some serious applauding to do. A big shout out to the traffic cops and the volunteers who were omnipresent around the venue.
With zones clearly marked out and help around every corner, not to mention signboards at every possible junction, it was easy to find your zone. Right beside Gate 7 & 8 was a wide lawn area that hosted a couple of sporty activities for the fitness freaks, with the most memorable ones being a Bossaball court and a fitness centre by Shivfit. The F&B zones were present around the periphery of the stands, ensuring attendees could sink their teeth into a variety of cuisines ranging from Shawarmas to Pizzas at their leisure. Once inside the stadium, one could find their zone with ease as each area of barricaded to prevent spillover (except for a one-time exception when the crowd from the zone behind were given access to the zone ahead). The VIP zone and other MIP zones were located at the back and given a bird’s eye view of the festival. Though these zones were the most comfortable ones, the only disadvantage was that the artists were far up front and it wasn’t possible to get a close-up glimpse of them, except through the big monitors around the stadium. These zones enjoyed some good F&B on the house.
We do feel more festivals should consider having D.Y. Patil Stadium as their venue.
After passing through security and before entering the stadium, there was an important halt to be made. The ‘integriti Dance Music’ stage was right there, all set to host some pretty massive names like Nina x Malika, Julia Bliss, DJ KAN-i, B.R.E.E.D and more! Attendees were more than happy to divide their time between both stages because there was enough action taking place on both stages and one couldn’t afford to miss out on either.
But nothing, and we mean nothing, could prepare fans for the spectacle that awaited them inside the stadium – the Main Stage. Awe-inspiring in the day, and beyond breathtaking at night, the Main Stage has been one of the best that we have witnessed in a really long time. The red exterior was further accentuated under the bright sun, making it difficult to take your eyes off the splendid structure for even a moment. But post-sundown was when the real magic began. The light and laser show annihilated every set, going in perfect sync with every beat that the DJs dropped. Patterns were rarely repeated, and most often they would surprise you with something incredible. The fireworks and red pyro flames were next level crazy! And don’t even get me started about the sound quality; it was off the roof! The stages were definitely a fitting addition to the World’s Biggest Guestlist Festival.
It would be blasphemous to say that Hardwell wasn’t the primary reason for most of the crowd in attendance at the festival. However, those who did make it to the festival were in for a pleasant surprise, courtesy the talented line-up that took over the two stages over the two days of the festival. As mentioned earlier, the ‘integriti Dance Music’ stage brought on some pretty impressive acts who dropped some sick beats and got the crowd raging to their mixes. As for the ‘Main Stage’, the acts gave us a great variety of sound and performance. Day 1 saw the likes of MojoJojo, Hiren, DJ SA x Sound Avtar, Shaan, Mithoon, Adnan Sami and a grand headline act by Nucleya. A few memorable highlights being the launch of Shaan’s latest single ‘End Of The World’ and the surprise ‘Zingat’ to drive the crowd into a dancing frenzy; Mithoon bringing Mohammed Irfan, Jubin Nautiyal, and Sukriti Kakar to croon to his massive hit singles; Adnan Sami’s insane piano skills and a perfect finale to his set with the uber-popular ‘Lift Karadey’ and, of course, Nucleya’s explosive beats that never fail to disappoint his fans.
We must make a special mention here to his new track ‘Paintra’ with Divine for the film Mukkabaaz, as Divine did make a special appearance to perform the track with Nucleya at the festival. Also, another special mention to the kick-ass Bollywood visuals that were edited so well, they almost looked like the official video for all of Nucleya’s tracks. Hasit Nanda also gave us a beautiful piano solo performance of some big EDM hits like ‘Don’t You Worry Child’ and ‘Closer’.
As for Day 2, it was EDM all the way. It was also a big day for Hardwell and W&W fans, as they artists would be taking the stage in an epic finale for the first edition of WBGF’17. But before any of that took place, Candice Redding, Sartek x Joshi, Shaan and Suyano set the pace and tempo through the afternoon and evening. It was then that Hardwell’s ‘We Are United’ partners (Kill The Buzz and W&W) took the stage for some unforgettable performances. Once again, the highlights were Suyano’s crowd leading tactics that had everyone flaying their hands up at his will; Indian-origin Dutch DJ – Kill The Buzz – bringing on a killer set, W&W paying homage to Chester Bennington with ‘Numb’ and finally Hardwell, putting in 2 hours of extreme madness with an energy-fuelled performance.
This video beautifully summarises Day 2:
The F&B options were the usual finger food that is good enough to satisfy mid-festival hunger pangs. We’re talking pizzas from Dominos, Subs from Subway, Chinese from Urban Spice, Shawarma, Vada Pav, Popcorn, and more. Bar Solutions took charge of alcohol duties and, being the festival favourites that they are, swiftly managed to cater to the big crowd without any hassle. But, we absolutely have to talk about Bikaaner, the life-saving shop outside the stadium that swiftly served up some really good sandwiches, chaat, frankie, Dabeli and more to hungry patrons.
The Two Big Additions
Shailendra Singh gave us a piece of news that got us really excited for December 2018 already. He will be bringing “World Club Dome” to Mumbai next December along with BigCityBeats, for the very first time in India. In case you aren’t familiar with “World Club Dome”, it is the largest club in the world created for three whole days! You can read more about it right here.
Secondly, both days of the festival ended with a magnificent closing ceremony (a first-of-its-kind in India) that had the kids at Magic Bus take the stage to partake in the festivities along with the WBGF’17 anthem playing in the background while firecrackers lit up the sky.
All In All
We will definitely note this one down as a sure-fire success. WBGF’17 did its part in raking up a good donation to Magic Bus with the help of fans and sponsors alike to bring a brighter future through education to more than 100,000 young children. Hardwell proved that he can be a crowd puller in India even after 2 long years, and we’re sure this isn’t the last we’ve heard from him or any of the international acts of the night. Adnan Sami played in the country after 17 long years, and we were rewarded with a performance that made up for his absence on the big stage.
Thank you for the great weekend, Guestlist4Good.
(Image Credits: Sonal Manohare Photography, RC Photography, RVR16, WeAero & Festival Sherpa)