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Unhappy camper: Do we smell trouble for Enchanted Valley Carnival?

The fourth edition of Twisted Entertainment's Enchanted Valley Carnival is slated for 17th and 18th December 2016 at Aamby Valley airstrip. While the artist lineup is awaited, the music festival recently opened its first phase of ticket sales with promoters Shoven Shah and Devraj Sanyal sharing their excitement through a spirited message; but looks like theres more to this than meets the eye...

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This is turning out to be an eventful year for the music scene in India. Electric Daisy Carnival is debuting this November at Buddh Circuit, courtesy of a partnership between it’s promoters- Insomniac Events and the guys behind NH7 Weekender- Only Much Louder. We were almost halfway through digesting that piece of news when Global Citizen Festival decided to join the party and announced its first show in Mumbai on 19 November where Coldplay and Jay Z would be headlining. Oh all the excitement. 

But not all is bright and cheery in funkytown. 

Looks like trouble may be brewing for Enchanted Valley Carnival. Do you remember that music festival held in Aamby Valley each December? The one with the camp on-site USP? Well, its seeing its 4th birthday this year. And we don’t think its going to be a happy one.

Enchanted Valley got us all very excited when it first got on the road in 2013. Camping at the festival site, three days straight, a solid lineup with Martin Garrix, ATB, Jeremy Olander, sounded like 72 hours of mad fun. Except it wasn’t all that we expected. People didn’t have much to do in the day and the fact that they had paid out of their noses to be there didn’t do much for their mood. But since it was the debut edition benefit of doubt was given and all was forgiven. 

Come 2014, the promoters at EVC responded, cleaned up their mess and upped the ante. More activities, bonding zones, David Guetta. Now they really had our attention. They encashed this hype by securing a 50/50 partnership with Universal Music and later in the year bagged Bacardi as the title sponsor and Saavn as powered-by partner. With risk reduced by half and money-bags full, EVC set off with it's new formed army into 2015. 

Everyone expected a lot of tricks up EVC’s sleeves in 2015. EVC became BEVC. RFID technology lend to cashless transactions. Bigger camping arena. A fancy cafeteria with a fancy name- Cullinarium. And for lineup? Tiesto and Fatboy Slim were the marquee artists. Meh. Now we don’t know if EVC realized this but Fatboy Slim is no spring chicken. Their biggest single ‘funk soul brother’ was released almost TWO decades ago. And if they were betting on Tiesto for redemption (who is almost over the hill too in our honest opinion) they shouldn’t have waited till the last set of the last day to bring him on. To make things worse it was unexpectedly hot throughout the three days with even the artists reportedly “covering their laptops and equipment with cardboard to avoid getting heated up”. Another issue was that the ground was so unleveled at the campsite that people could not get any rest. 

Looks like last year served a big blow to EVC and aftershocks can clearly be seen.

Bacardi seems to have withdrawn as lead sponsor of the festival as their name is no where to be seen. Guess BEVC is back to being EVC.

The three day festival has now been reduced to only two days. This may very well be due to the inability to keep the crowd engaged for that long. Guess it’s a good idea to pack all the activities into a shorter time frame. 

They’ve dropped their ticket prices considerably. While cheapest available tickets last year were Rs 6,200 (exclusive of stay), this year the same are going for Rs 2,500. The price for regular 2-man camp has gone down from Rs 15,390 to Rs 5,000. Luxury 4-man camp has been reduced from a whopping Rs 89,000 to Rs 32,000, and in case one wishes to pitch their own tent it would cost them Rs 2,000 as opposed to Rs 5,130 last year.

In order to regain balance and remain relevant in the competition it is imperative for EVC to pull in a sizeable crowd this year. Realizing this probability EVC has decided to fit bollywood and pop into its trademark EDM and techno identity. 

The festival is also promoting itself as a kid-friendly event with no age barriers. Devraj Sanyal, MD & CEO, Universal Group stated “We want to be the Indian Glastonbury where there’s something for everyone who listens to any form of music”. While this may be a good move to draw attendance from an admissible demographic there’s just the matter of charging kids Rs 1250 to enter while at Glastonbury their access is free. Like Cmon. 

Well looks like its going to be a pivotal year for EVC this 2016. There are speculations that Farhan Akhtar and Pitbull may have been signed to perform but, we all know, they will have to do better than that. While we wait for the line up to be unveiled we dare say.."only music will save the day…”.



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