"We register 100% growth each year"- Jaideep Singh, Live Viacom 18
The stage is set and it is finally that time of the year when music fans from across the country are heading Goa to attend their favorite EDM festivals. Vh1 Supersonic, the annual music festival property from Live Viacom 18 is undoubtedly one of the biggest players in the category and is all set to rapture audience from 27 December to 30 December, at the sultry sands of Candolim, Goa.
With massive expectations riding on the festival, we at EE reached out to Jaideep Singh, Sr. VP & Business Head - Integrated Network Solutions at Viacom 18 on expectations from VH1 Supersonic ‘15, brand participation at the festival and so much more.
What can we expect from VH1 Supersonic this year?
Building an Intellectual Property is a sustaining activity and it is only after a due course of time when you can really reap the fruits of what you sowed in. With that being said, considering this is the third edition of Vh1 Supersonic things are bigger and better than ever. Much like previous editions of the festival the focus for us this time around too has been on the overall content of the festival and to ensure that it has the same tone and a friendly vibe embedded in its ethos.
To deliver the best content for our audiences we have brought in artists like Skrillex, Rudimental and others. These are new guys who have not performed in India in the last 5-6 years but the audience wants to see them live. We have had a magnificent amount of extension events as well ranging from Vh1 Supersonic 101 Campus Nights, Vh1 Supersonic Club Nights to Vh1 Supersonic Arcade in multiple cities.
The upcoming main festival in Goa will have more content, more engagement and more artists who will be bringing different genres of music to the festival. The lineup is stellar as we have performers like Axwell, Disclosure, W&W, Bart Skils and so many others who already have a massive fan following in the country.
Also we at Supersonic believe that festivals are what you put up as artists and the overall production of the event. As a result there has been a push from our side to elevate the technological elements of the event to give the audiences a superior experience at the festival this year. Stage is a very important part of the festival and thus we have scaled up in that area as well. The audience this year is in for a massive surprise as those who attend Supersonic will take back with them some incredible memories.
Early bird ticket sales for the event started at the end of May this year. How has been the response in terms of ticket sales so far?
With an increased number of events in the country the audience now has gotten into the habit of purchasing tickets closer to the event. In my sense and experience most people today zero down on their plans on going to festivals somewhere around 2 weeks before the event or even closer than that.
In our previous editions too we saw a good amount of tickets being sold on the final day. So overall the audience for the festival has increased enormously to around 50% but the advance ticketing figures been down.
What is number of audience you are expecting to have at the festival this year?
We are expecting 20000-30000 people on a daily basis at the festival this year.
VH1 Supersonic as a property is not profitable yet. Do you expect to churn out profits this year?
Any media property takes a minimum of 4-5 years to become profitable so till then the importance is on how has your property grown and we at VH1 Supersonic have registered a 100% growth year on year basis. The overall scale of the property has increased by 50%-70%. This will only be the third edition of VH1 Supersonic and we are hoping to break even in this year itself.
You are competing for the same audience as Sunburn is. What are you doing differently?
I believe that there is a larger audience for the EDM festivals today than it existed in the past and Supersonic and Sunburn have grown the category together. As a result we have seen huge growth in the number of audiences at our festivals as even all the extensions are houseful and similarly even Sunburn has not seen a dip in their numbers. And this is the reason why I don’t think these two festivals will eat into each other’s business.
We at Supersonic have kept music at the core of the festival and have brought in right partners and the right kind of performers who audiences in India want to see live. Our emphasis is on the overall experience at the festival that an attendee takes with them and hence we have an array of engagements from the box-office to the security section, food areas, flea market areas and all other touch points. This time around the audience at the festival will also have the access to better washrooms and bath experiences. We also understand that being hydrated is important for people and thus we have also created free water points.
We want to create a happy place for people with Vh1 Supersonic where they can come with their friends and have a good time. This has always been the crux of what we have tried to do with the festival.
Which brands are participating at Supersonic this year and what kind of activations will they be doing?
We have a good number of 10 odd brands whom we have participated with. These include Mobikwik, Smirnoff, Hungama, E-Zone, Jim Beam, Tic Tac and others. These brands will be doing numerous installations and activations at the festival. Additionally, a handset brand and a 4 wheeler brand is also about to come on board.
What are the special arrangements made at VH1 this year in terms of medical safety and security for attendees?
Medical safety and security is without a doubt a very important part of any event for us. For Supersonic this year we have partnered with multiple hospitals and at the festival itself we will be having 3 ICU equipped medical rooms which will be able to accommodate 30 patients at a time. We will also be having ambulances and an ICU ambulance at the festival area. In terms of security we have added 40% buffer on the security figures mentioned in the SOP guidelines and also at the festival we will be having 10 security experts who have been flown in from South Africa to take care of on-ground security.
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