For the last one year, Aniket Bharadia, 20, has skimped on eating out, avoided buying his favourite game CDs, even helped friends with odd-jobs and internships to collect Rs17,000.
The sizeable sum is what Bharadia needed to book a special student package to Sunburn, the electronic dance music festival taking place in Goa from December 27 to 29.
“I have done everything I could think of to save my pocket money and earn a little extra cash, so that I could go to Sunburn, which can work out an expensive proposition for a student,” he said.
“Luckily, I managed to save just enough, and could avail of the student offer they are providing, which includes accommodation, passes and airfare,” added the student of Jai Hind College.
Bharadia is among hundreds of Mumbai college students who have planned their year around their trip to Sunburn, which has, since its inception in 2007, grown into one of the most popular music festivals of its kind in Asia.
Last year, over 46,000 people visited the festival, which brings together musicians and DJs from all over the world for three days of trance music, flashing lights, endless parties and high-energy entertainment.
Rahul Malhotra, 20, and his friends made the arrangements for their trip in July, going to every extent imaginable to make their Sunburn experience perfect. “We were getting free accommodation in Goa at a nice resort through a friend, but instead opted to pay for a strictly decent hotel because it is seconds away from the venue. We have even started our own Facebook page to appreciate and share the kind of music they play there,” added the student of Lala Lajpat Rai College, Haji Ali. He has been attending the festival for the last three years.
Student packages, contests and promises of strict security have made Sunburn a viable holiday attraction for students, who previously found it difficult to get permission to attend such events.
“When I wanted to go last year, I had to convince my parents but now they are comfortable with me going. It is safe for us to go there as long as we stick to our friends and avoid doing anything silly,” said Charvi Bubna, 20.
Sunburn is not the only music festival to have created a buzz on campuses. The multi-genre event, NH7 Weekender, which took place in Pune, last month, drew hundreds of collegians from the city.
“At least 50 % of the people there were college students,” said guitarist Daniel Rego, who performed there with his band Demonic Resurrection.
“I think the appeal of such events is the atmosphere and the freedom, thrill and experience of attending them,” he added.