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We are not driven solely by profits, the intent is to augment Goa tourism- Vaishal Shah, Time Out 72

Having launched Watermelon Events just a few months ago, the enterprising 32-year-old Vaishal Shah is all set to launch music festival Time Out 72 in Goa this December. All eyes are fixed on this young newcomer as he gears up to compete in the major league and take a swing at the outrageous precedent set by Sunburn and Supersonic. While only time will tell if the festival survives or dives, Shah remains impressively nonchalant and self assured in this exclusive conversation with Everything Experiential just weeks away from the debut.

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Goa. The promised land. India’s Mecca for pleasure seekers. The place that gave the country its first global music festival- Sunburn. And then welcomed with a warm embrace the millions of revelers who would descend at its sandy shores for years to come. But things changed swiftly when Sunburn, followed by VH1 Supersonic, decided to pack their bags and leave as a result of increasingly restrictive state policies. With big boys gone this was an opportune time for all Johnny-come-latelies to enjoy the extra elbowroom. But in the world of events, grit and patience is the only solution to sustenance. A common Catch-22. Several music events mushroomed but were quickly silenced or, at best, remained a background noise. But the turn of 2018 holds a new promise. A new entrant, 3-day music festival Time Out 72 prepares to pitch camp on 27 December at Vagator, the erstwhile home base of Sunburn.

The festival is being organized by Waterlemon Events, an initiative by three live-event rookies from Ahmedabad. What draws all eyes on them is the fact that not only did they triumph against India’s leading event companies in an exclusive tender invited by Goa Tourism, they are also betting their bottom dollar by engaging international collaborators like EA Events and acts like Wiz Khalifa, Jason Derulo and Martin Garixx. As Time Out 72 prepares to hoist its flag in Goa, here’s an exclusive interview with its 32-year-old founder Vaishal Shah.

Q. From a background of movie production to founding a full service event agency, how did you decide to form Waterlemon Events? 

It was the enthusiasm of three friends for music culminating together on a single platform in the form of a business enterprise built out of passion play- Vaishal Shah, Aayush Mehta, and Argha Chatterjee are the hustlers to be precise. Movies has been a successful venture for us and music seemed like the next best logical step considering more than 65% of Indian population is driven by live music concerts and gigs.

Q. With what objective was Time Out 72 born? 

To reconnect with your inner self over a span of 3 days through music and dance, we all need that “time out” from professional and personal pressures and that is exactly what Time Out 72 aspires to do.

Q. You won a multi-agency pitch for Time Out 72 in Goa competing with several established players. How did you manage to win that contract? 

We would like to believe that there is a sincere commitment that was seen in our endeavour by the higher authorities which made us the ideal candidates. As a company we are not driven solely by profits but our intention is to create a long term asset that will augment state tourism and increase local commerce and trade in a legitimate manner.

Q. Several music festivals have exited Goa most recently while you are setting up camp. What is your strategy and are there any apprehensions? 

Goa is the ultimate recreational destination for families as well as the youth. There was no other venue barring Goa that cropped up in our mind when we decided of debuting in the live event business. There is something magical about Goa and the state resonates with the spirit of dance, music and live entertainment. We thank our good fortune that the local authorities, bureaucratic offices and administration have been supportive of our decision and are working in collaboration with our team effortlessly and efficiently. Our principal goal is to develop a category creator in the rather crowded marketplace through a well curated artist line-up, top of the line production, strategic brand alliances, eclectic global partnerships and engaging fan experiences. It’s a set-up of great technology coupled with top-quality music set against an aesthetic milieu that doesn’t discriminate anyone basis their vocation, caste, culture, gender or creed.

Q. The scale and experiential elements at Time Out 72 seem incredibly exciting. What is your vision of the event? 

Most importantly, we don’t wish to be typecast as yet another player who is entering the market. Our vision is to bring to the table a larger than life live experience similar to what global giants like Tomorrowland and Electric Daisy Carnival do world over. We want to build franchises all over the globe and bring India on the world map in a true enterprising fashion. We are not run of the mill by any standards and we believe we have already set the bar high with our phase one announcements. It takes a lot of courage to bring to multi-platinum artists for a brand new festival especially when the consumer is flooded with options to choose from and there is brand building exercise every new player needs to undergo to create a strong top of the mind brand recall value.

Q. You have engaged world-class artists and international outfits like EA Events. What are the funding streams? 

We have raised capital for this project between the three partners apart from investing our own monies.

Q. The company was formed in April this year and Time Out 72 slated as your first large format event. Do you have experts from the industry assisting you in the project? If yes, who? 

We have an excellent set of professionals working on this project which will amplify our vision of becoming category creators within the marketplace. With Aayush Bansal for artist curation, Rahul Merchant for marketing, Ninad Shah and Utkarsh Bansal for sponsorship, Rodney Barnes for production, Jashoda Madhavji for publicity, Param Dhanoa for project management, Khantil Mehta for design, the core management team represents India's very best.

Q. What other events can consumers look forward to apart from Time Out 72? 

Currently our single pointed focus is to deliver a smashing edition of India’s very first intrinsic festival. Over the next 3 years we will look at roping in artists like Rihanna, Drake, DJ Khaled, Calvin Harris, U2 amongst others for multi-city homegrown tours


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