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I'm very excited about my debut with Supersonic: Saugato Bhaumik

Live Viacom18's popular music festival Supersonic is moving camp from Goa to Pune this year and slated for 10- 12 February 2017. While this will be its first edition in Pune, 2017 marks few other 'firsts' for the festival. Similar to other music festivals in the league the property this year will be going from a quintessential EDM festival to one thats multi-genre, trying to establish a pervasive appeal. Interestingly also, the festival's main man Saugato Bhaumik marks his debut as the curator of the festival. In an exclusive chat he shares some spoilers to what he's planned for us this weekend at Pune.

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• Supersonic is being hosted for the first time in Pune, what are you most excited about and what are you most nervous about?
On a very personal front, this is my first Vh1 Supersonic as the head of the business, so I am very excited about hosting the vibrant, young, youthful, multicultural, cosmopolitan youngsters of Pune as well as Mumbai at Vh1 Supersonic. The other thing is our expansion of the music festival to an international multi genre music festival with introduction of international Hip Hop. I am super excited about that.

Well, not really nervous, but obviously I want to ensure that the beautiful experience that we have designed for our audience, from the food, flea market, technology, gaming, augmented reality, all of that goes flawlessly because we are working really hard towards it.

• Was there a strategic thought behind the choice of the venue?
Absolutely. We wanted a venue that had the infrastructure to host more than twenty to twenty five thousand people a day. It is very well connected with the city of Pune and situated in the heart of Pune and not outside. We believe that the Mumbai audience would like to straight drive down to Pune and head into the festival venue rather than continue further on or farther into the city because it creates lot more complications. We wanted a venue that has a thriving ecosystem of food, beverage and accommodation around it. We wanted a venue that is very well connected by local convenience. All of that fit beautifully with Laxmi Lawns. We were happy when we identified this venue and booked it immediately.

• Sunburn, NH7 and EVC have closed their season, do you think you are at a disadvantage hosting last?
Not at all. We have far exceeded our last year’s ticket sales. Also we don’t see this as competition. Frankly, I believe that our job as members of the entertainment and live industry, is to grow the category and build more audiences into the category. Hence, the more the merrier. Frankly I am very happy about all the other festival brands that are coming up and those that are already in existence because together we can really grow the live industry and work towards a mutually beneficial partnership with everybody.

Regarding Vh1 Supersonic, we are establishing February as a bold new date for people to party. I think it is a great time in the year when people are done with New Year festivities and they’ve spent about 40-45 days into work. They would like to get a break soon and that’s where we are. The weather is great, its still not hot and it’s a great time. There is no clutter of any other festival right now. Supersonic is the only thing on everyone’s mind.

• Many members of the core team of Vh1 Supersonic have moved on, does that make you nervous at some level?
My understanding is that our core team members are those who are working very hard as of right now to bring alive the enhanced and new vision of Vh1 Supersonic to life. Teams would always evolve and it would come and go, but the sustained brand legacy would continue and organisations create infrastructure and create procedures to ensure a healthy level of churn. This is going to be the strongest year of Vh1 Supersonic.

• Any changes in the format of Vh1 Supersonic this year given the variables?
The festival has now evolved into a much more compelling, much larger multi genre international music festival, with a complete balanced line up across every genre of trance, techno, drum and bass, reggae, big room, house, progressive house, underground, and now the introduction of Hip Hop. And our plan is to continue growing our genres. So while it may appear as a format change, its really not. We have rather become a larger more compelling proposition for our audience.


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