The Go Madras journey began six years ago as a single day event and has transformed into a full blown music festival packed with top notch artists, activities and visuals. The Sherp sheds light on how the festival has gradually cemented its place at the center of India’s growing electronic music culture.
Incepted by the trio of Shiv Gupta, Hema Sethuraman and Tuhin Mehta, Go Madras started off as an experimental platform to provide the best musical experience that perfectly complements Chennai’s crazy beach party scene. September is a fabulous month to be in Chennai, with its light showers and spectacular weather, and here’s a trip down memory lane on how it all came together from day one.
Go Madras Episode One
The very first edition of this fabulous beach party went down at the scenic Taj Fisherman’s Cove, with a completely local line-up. The fact that the inaugural installment racked up a crowd of more than 1000 people from Chennai itself spoke volumes about the immense word-of-mouth effort put in by the three organizers. Social media absence meant that promotions were not as easy as it is now, but the team did a stellar job, so much so that by the end of the festival – their newly gathered fan base were already asking for a second outing as soon as possible. And this is exactly what they delivered.
Go Madras Vol.1 (March) became such a hit that Vol.2 (September) took place in the same year, 5 months later. Sticking to their outstanding venue, GoMad delivered another outstanding installment with a few international acts featuring on the roster along with the fantastic homegrown names. Constantly growing in stature, attendance went up by 50% as word spread about this brand new electronic music festival.
The Visual Experience
The third installment of Go Mad directed its focus towards providing a complete activation of the senses with state of the art production, 3D visuals and lasers. Quite aptly, the edition was called Go:Madras 3D, and moved to East Coast 41, one of Chennai’s top night club hotspots. Their breakthrough opening in 2011 lead to the festival expanding to three days with an amazing melting pot of international and local artists such as Manuel De La Mare, Chriss Ortega and Jaia. Musically, the festival’s arsenal was lacking nothing, and you could see people really grooving to electronic sounds, that were fairly new to India back then.
Go Madras took another giant leap with their fourth edition. Moving to yet another home, the Chariot Beach Resort, this edition gave the festival acclaim like none of it’s previous editions. With over 50 artists, international and domestic playing across two different stages with unique decor and production, the festival took another huge step of being able to organize a multi stage event successfully to rave reviews from the regulars and the people who travelled across the country to be part of it. Shiva Moon, Brute Force, Chubby, Arjun Vagale, Anil Chawla, Boombay Central, Kohra, Adam, AFM, Kini Rao, BBC, Vachan, Vinayakaa, Fibre Stomp, Beat2, Helium Project, Priyanjana, Praveen Achary, Blank were just some of the local names lighting up the most successful edition of Go Madras 4.
The fact that Go Madras has always attracted like-minded people who are definitely there to applaud and appreciate the music and service on show meant that the festival had by now, become a very important event in the Chennai calendar. The festival decided to drift away from the hustle and bustle of the city to a small town to give life to the true meaning of a ‘destination festival’. Moving to the Radisson Blu Temple Bay in Mahabalipuram for round five, Go Madras’ single minded approach towards providing unadulterated ‘good music’ caught the attention of not only the locale, but also people from all around the country. What also made them stand out was the fact that they never really commercialized into a festival with big international names, but rather provide a platform for India’s booming electronic music talents.
Round seven of the Go Madras experience kicks off in early September, and if you haven’t already blocked your tickets for this festival, do it NOW.