India’s biggest electronic dance-music festival, Sunburn, may bring cheer to thousands of revellers annually, but its performers aren’t too happy. Apparently, Percept, the festival organiser, hasn’t paid several artistes who performed at the 2012 edition held in Goa in December. According to the artistes, the company hasn’t even given a reasonable explanation for it.
“I’ve been waiting for two months and there’s no indication as to when the payment will come. I had been given dates earlier, which have elapsed,” says Stefan Kaye, keyboardist of Delhi-based band, The Ska Vengers.
Other artistes, mostly indigenous ones, haven’t been paid either. However, they are hesitant about bringing up the issue for fear of being blacklisted by the company. Kaye confirms this. “Every artiste I have spoken to has told me that they’ve not been able to get a satisfactory response from Percept. That artistes are treated as commodities by event companies is known, but when they are kept waiting for months on end and are routinely palmed off with empty promises, it is disrespectful. It is time companies treated people with more consideration,” says Kaye.
On being contacted, Sunburn CEO Karan Singh says, “We had more than 140 artistes performing at Sunburn Goa and there is a process of reconciliation of expenses. The dues of most of the artistes have been cleared. Some cases might have been delayed due to lack of supporting documents. They should get cleared soon.”