PANAJI: The Goa Pradesh Youth Congress (GPYC) on Friday stated protest in the city demanding that the State government should withdraw the permission given to hold Sunburn Electronic Dance Music (EDM) festival at Vagator in December this year.

The activists of GPYC and NGOs staged protest outside Vivanta By Taj, Panaji where the Sunburn organisers addressed a press conference and shared the detailed COVID-19 protocols for the upcoming three-day festival.

The protestors refused to leave the place till the organisers meet them and clarify their stand. GPCC general secretaries Sankalp Amonkar and Janardhan Bhandari, GPC president Varad Mardolkar, Congress member Rudolf Fernandes, former Mormugao chairperson and NGO Savera chief Tara Kerkar addressed the protestors.

The protestors alleged that the government was risking the lives of the people by giving permission to hold three-day Sunburn EDM festival, which will be attended by lakhs of people from across the world. They pointed out that the Anjuna-Caisua panchayat had also decided not to give permission to the event in December this year in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The protestors also cautioned that many States were experiencing a second wave of Coronavirus outbreak and taking this into account the government should not allow holding of Sunburn festival. “We will not allow to hold Sunburn festival at Vagator in December this year.” They said.

On the other hand, Percept Live chairman and managing director Harvinder Singh said that they will go ahead with the festival only if COVID-19 situation is brought under control. He clarified that the organisers were only seeking permission to prepare for the event and that the final event would be subject to a review in first week of December 2020, when the authorities can better assess the likely COVID-19 situation and take the final call.

Singh said, “Usually an event like Sunburn Goa takes over a year of planning and work, hence the application is done in January for that year’s December event. International and domestic artistes blocked to ensure they are available for Sunburn, as those dates there is huge demands for such artistes globally. The early bird tickets are announced and launched in May. Again as people need time to plan travel and stay. Also the entire permission process involves SLPC presentation and then seeking NOCs from every concerned department, which requires time.”

The 14th edition of Sunburn EDM is scheduled at Vagator beach from December 27 to 29, 2020.