Don’t music and destinations make travel worthwhile? Devraj Sanyal, MD & CEO of Universal Music Group, South Asia seems to think so.
He is a prominent leader involved in bringing quality music performances across India. The man behind the Bacardi Enchanted Valley carnival chats with Lonely Planet India about his personal passions about music.
What factors made Aamby Valley a final choice for the Bacardi Enchanted Valley Carnival?
Aamby Valley is smack in the middle of two major cities in the western region of the country. It’s a short drive from Mumbai and Pune. My partners Sunil and Shoven Shah have had an incredible experience in the last two years hosting innumerable fans at Aamby Valley City. Viability and affordability are two major factors in play. Also, Aamby Valley does not have the issues other venues have across India so it was a clear winner for us.
You founded the Sunburn Festival in Goa. Again, what influenced your choice of the location? And what have you learnt in all these years since its inception?
Goa was an obvious choice for a music festival in 2007 as the scene was just picking up and Goa was the hub for dance music as it saw a lot of travellers from all over the world. Besides, it was unchartered territory at that time with a massive cult following, it was like a gold mine waiting to be discovered.
What is the relationship between music festivals across the world and locations? What really, ties the two together, be it a historic Woodstock or a Glastonbury Festival or even a Hyde Park or Crossroads festival?
I’ve always been of the opinion that locations play a vital role in a festival/music event. When people go to festivals, they intend to get away from their daily routine and environment to experience something new, something different. Cities have confined us to spaces and somewhere it limits anyone’s freedom in a way. There are many factors that go in choosing a location, and these factors vary across different aspects; such as logistics, ambience, ease of access, environment, presence of residences, safety, security, presence of wild life, etc. Once you lock a location, the festival must enhance the space and we always work on adding value to the area by community building, way finding systems, beautification, etc.
What are your top choices for music festivals locked to a travel destination in India?
All festivals in India have some great locations and there isn’t one festival I have attended that does not have a location that compliments it.
List your favourite music festivals and destinations across the world.
North Sea Jazz Music festival in Rotterdam and Mysteryland in Amsterdam top my list currently.
As told to Sudha G Tilak.