Percept in the News

Sounds of music ring in the festive spirit this season
25 December, 2013

The leafy pine branch, more dead than alive, decked with chocolate wrappers, plastic cups and packets by giggling children outside a shanty in St Inez makes one do a double take.  The cabbies outside Baga's crowded watering holes sport Santa hats, waiting to fleece tourists as they stagger into the nippy night in high spirits. And carols, many of them re-mixed with techno beats, blare out of supermarkets and restaurants. Christmas is in the air, everywhere, even in the most unassuming of places.  At Vagator, the yuletide spirit is heightened by cheer brought in by another festival —almost 2,000 workers are working away at the 25,000sqm stretch to get it ready for the electronic dance music (EDM) festival Sunburn, which will kick off on Friday. "Goa's Christmas mood is contagious, and it has influenced our creative team who are coming up with all kinds of funky ideas," says Shailendra Singh, joint MD, Percept.  Colourful reels of cloth are being stretched to form psychedelic scaffolding around the site, and young artists arepainting the huge boulders in neon glow-in-the-dark colours. "At night, the boulders look like colourful bean bags," he adds.  The 'Sunburners' have already started trooping in— with around 30,000 tickets sold and 1,40,000 footfalls expected, Goa's hotel rooms will be stretched to capacity.  According to figures with the Goa tourism development corporation the state has around 33,000 hotel rooms (of all categories) and nearly 60,000 beds, but tourists with last-minute plans say they are unable to find accommodation.  Says DJ Nikhilesh from Bangalore, "I arrived in Goa with a group of friends two days ahead of the music festival to search for accommodation, but nothing is available. We now have passes for both Sunburn and Supersonic, and are trying to bunk with other friends who had booked hotel rooms back in October." He quips that he won't mind sleeping in his car as both festivals would be worth roughing it out.  On Candolim beach, the team behind the five-day 'VH1 Supersonic 2013' music festival that starts on Thursday is bustling with energy, setting up art installations and solar-powered stalls for their hippie market.  North Goa's nightclubs are gearing up for all the after-parties to be thrown by the two festivals, but Christmas is still their first festival, scream the red and green decorations.  At malls and star hotels, towering Christmas trees, made of the finest plastic, creak under the weight of decorations. Christmas consumerism is in full swing and elaborate crib sets that make you believe that Jesus was born in a fully-furnished cave are part of the larger-than-life celebrations.  While Goan homes are filled with smells of baking, the shops are singing a sweet note. "The bakeries are full of plum cakes, there's hardly any bread. Looks like we'll have to follow Mary Antoinette's advice this Christmas!" gushes homemaker Maureen Paul on a shopping spree for baked goodies at a supermarket.