Goa beach party ban casts uncertainty over music festivalDecember 21st, 2008 - 9:10 pm ICT by IANS
Panaji, Dec 21 (IANS) The ban on beach parties in Goa has put a question mark over the Sunburn music festival, featuring top disk jockeys (DJs) from the world, scheduled to be held at the popular Candolim beach Dec 26-28. Organisers of Sunburn 2008, billed as Asia’s biggest music festival, which attracts thousands of music lovers, are not sure if the festival will be held at all.
When asked if Sunburn 2008 would be called off, in view of the ban on parties on the beaches and open spaces from Dec 23 to Jan 5, Manoj Aggarwal, the chief executive officer of Percept D’Mark, the organisers of the music fest,said while all the necessary permission has been already taken, things would be clearer on Monday.
“The festival is not held at the beach. It is held in a private property in an enclosed area and entry is by tickets only. So it is not exactly a party on the beach,” Aggarwal said.
A notice on the festival website: www.sunburn-festival.com said: “Conflicting reports in Goa newspapers cast doubt on post-10 p.m. parties on public beaches, but Sunburn runs from 12 noon to 10 p.m. on private property and has the full backing of the Goa government and local authorities.”
When contacted, North Goa District Collector Mihir Vardhan, whose office issued the order banning beach parties, said the ban applies throughout the day. “It is not a night ban alone. There is a ban on all beach parties throughout the day from Dec 23 to Jan 5,” Vardhan said.
Vardhan denied the district administration had exempted Sunburn 2008 from the ban. “No exceptions have been made,” he said, adding that the district administration has been asked not to speak to the media on the issue.
Sources in the state government said the festival was being backed by Congress legislator Agnelo Fernandes as it was being organised in his constituency, Calangute.
“The police and the district administration are being asked to allow the event, a virtually impossible thing to do considering the specific nature of inputs received by the Goa government about a potential terror threat,” the sources said.
Fernandes could not be contacted for comment.
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