A New Wave of Covidiots: Goa’s Sunburn Festival is Back With the Pandemic Edition


A New Wave of Covidiots: Goa’s Sunburn Festival is Back With the Pandemic Edition

Illustration: Robin Chakraborty

The coronavirus outbreak has moved major aspects of our lives to virtual spaces. Although the unlock rules come with a certain sense of normalcy, the pandemic is far from over. Being cautious of our health and surroundings is still as important as it was back in March. But it seems like India’s popular music festival, Sunburn, has decided to throw caution to the wind.

While the rest of us struggle to figure our way around the new normal, the organisers of the Sunburn festival took to Twitter to surprise drop the dates for this year’s event. Set to take place in Vagator, Goa, the official account stated that the festival will be returning with a “completely new avatar” from 27-29 December.

Err… okay? And what about Covid?

Seems like the organisers haven’t completely forgotten the pandemic yet. In compliance with the WHO guidelines, the festival will allow a limited capacity of 20%. Social distancing and thermal scanning will be put into action. Festival-goers are needed to keep their masks on throughout and won’t be allowed entry without the Aarogya Setu app.

Except, the Aarogya Setu app has pretty much been debunked. Not even the government is sure who made our beloved “Covid tracking” app. Making the app mandatory for festival-goers would also risk their privacy. Plus, wearing masks while doing strenuous activities is… avoidable.

Tbh, netizens aren’t impressed either. And their anger is justified.

Beach dance party > pandemic?

Sunburn 2020, the Covid-19 edition.

It was barely two months ago that the state government had put the proposal of the music festival on hold. “To us, the safety of people is more important,” tourism minister Manohar Ajgaonkar had stated. “I’m not in favour of allowing EDM festivals at least till a vaccine for Covid is introduced.” While we are far from sealing a deal on the Covid vaccine, it’s ironic that these festivals are now being deemed important.

Are we about to witness a wave of new Covidiots?