PANAJI: The Goa government on Friday decided not to allow Sunburn Electronic Dance Music (EDM) Festival at Vagator beach in December this year in view COVID-19 pandemic.

Deputy Chief Minister Babu Ajgaonkar told Prime Media TV that though the government had given in-principle permission to the Sunburn organisers the same would now be withdrawn.

Ajgaonkar said that the government had initially decided to grant in-principle permission to hold the Sunburn EDM festival since revenue generation was at the slowest pace in the State and keeping in mind the interest of small and big business and tourist taxis along the coastal belts, who were affected during lockdown enforced to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus.

“We were hoping that Sunburn festival which attracts large number of people in Goa could help to restart business activities and generate revenue for the government. Also we had also decided to restrict the number of people during the festival,” Ajgaonkar said adding that there was now possibility of second wave of coronavirus outbreak and taking this into account the government decided not to allow Sunburn festival this year.

Earlier, in the day Youth Congress activists and NGOs staged a protest at Panaji demanding that the government should withdraw the in-principle permission granted to the Sunburn festival. They also threatened to stop the festival if the Department of Tourism fails to withdraw the permission.  

Percept Live chairman and managing director Harvinder Singh had also clarified that they will go ahead with the festival only if COVID-19 situation is brought under control.

The 14th edition of the three-day Sunburn EDM festival was scheduled at Vagator beach from December 27 to 29.