It was with high hopes that we woke up on the morning of 28 Dec 2016, humming a tune as we got ready for one of the biggest music festivals we were about to witness. We made our beds, enjoyed a hearty breakfast, laid out a fresh set of clothes, and got ready for Sunburn 2016.
Cut to 3:00pm when we finally embark upon what would be one of our most memorable BAD road-trips.
3:30pm : at Phoenix MarketCity
3:45pm : traffucked a little ahead of Inorbit Mall.
4:00pm – given up hope of reaching before sunset. A packet of Uncle Chips is opened.
4:05pm – Yaar, daaru le aate.
4:30pm – <we’ve probably moved a total of 500mt>
5:00pm – we FINALLY get off the highway (a total of 5km was covered in a little over an hour) and into the narrow village lanes.
We reached the venue by 6:00pm. Here’s when the REAL fun started.
“Guys, don’t park here, the Box Office is a kilometer away, there’s a lot of walking to be done”
The three of us were fit enough to do this, so decided to walk down anyway.
At the Box Office –
“THERE ARE SO MANY PEOPLE HERE I DON’T WANT MY PASS”
Thankfully the line for our passes was a short one. Took us a total of 10minutes. Now the “Age Verification” was what took us time because
- Volunteers were too slow, causing the line was moving at an annoyingly slow pace
- Few girls thought it was acceptable to break and enter lines because…well, I really want to know why.
We walk back to the parking (done with around 3km of walking till now) to wait for the shuttle. The volunteer there had some golden words to share: “The shuttles are not working, there is too much traffic and there is a jam, it’s not been organized well. It’s better if you walk it up”
LOL. We actually LOL-ed. And then thanked the heavens for keeping us fit, and decided to climb up the hill.
After 2kms of walking and running uphill (thank goodness we were also smart enough to be comfortably dressed) we reached a very lackluster entrance.
After the usual looking around- clicking selfies -checking out the venue and gigs we made our way to the bar. Oh the look on our faces when we were informed there was no alcohol on Day 1. Ha. Ha. Ha.
By this time we were convinced that the Universe was playing a very rude joke with us, and we left 10minutes into Armin’s gig.
While walking down, we saw people still trying to make their way up. I fail to understand why they’d hike up the sides of the hill in heels and open footwear when there was a road, but that’s best left to them. I do feel sorry for some who twisted their ankles and were crying on the side of the road after realizing they couldn’t walk anymore. The dust and absence of street lights was not helping either.
In a nutshell, here is what was wrong about Day 1 –
- No directions/hoardings – GPS zindabaad, but what do you do when it doesn’t direct you to a legit place? (happened with us! And we are sure it happened with many others)
- Parking- at the foot of the hill, in a farm, FOR 100 BUCKS? As if people hadn’t spent enough already.
- Traffic management – or rather, mis-management. It was a nightmare getting there in the four wheeler. We opted for the two wheeler on days 2 and 3, and covered the distance in half the time.
- Mis-management at the queues- slow service by the volunteers and thousands of people breaking lines; it was terrible to say the least.
- No Shuttle Service – I bet there were a bunch of people who missed out on the gigs because they couldn’t reach the venue on time thanks to the climbing and walking that was needed. Many were also injured. My friend compared it to a “long range patrol” and I found it quite apt (and funny)
- No internet signal at the venue- which is fine, I guess we can live without the internet for a bit. But no phone signals made things a little tough. But what really got to our nerves was the payment bit – with demonetization, we have shifted over to card payments. Now imagine our plight when we realize there is no signal for payments, and we are starving thanks to the climb? :)
- Chaos at the Bar- Exorbitantly priced alcohol wasn’t available on Day 1. And check out the system for payments: activate a sunburn card for payments, and this comes for a fee of Rs. 100.
- No lights on the road – which meant we could have walked on a snake, or into a ditch or twisted our legs on a rock (many did) Add to this the copious amount of dust that was on the road thanks to cars still making their way to the venue (at 9:00pm, when the festival ended at 10:00pm)
Sunburn got off to an ugly start, and I had my doubts about day 2. But surprisingly things went really well after this initial disaster. Stay tuned for highlights from days 2 and 3.