Karan Singh was elevated to the post of Chief Operating Officer, Percept Live in 2019 and is responsible for managing and leveraging additional Percept IPs including Solaris, Bollyboom, EPL (Eat Play Love), Windsong, IMS (India Model Search) and XCC (Xtreme Combat Championship), and is responsible for providing strategic direction to Percept’s overall IP business.
From receiving his MBA from Harvard business school to being the CEO of Asia’s largest music festival brand Sunburn, Karan Singh combined his interests to push his passion for music! Singh received his bachelor’s degree in management from the London School of Economics and Political Science. He worked as an investment banker for three years at Ambit Corporate Finance before working at Sunburn which is a part of his family’s business. Sunburn started providing the music festival experience starting in the year 2007. The first festival was in Candolim, Goa.
The music festival brand has put on over 5,000 events over the past 15 years. In 2022 The Sunburn Festival will be in it’s 16th year. And now they are the only Indian brand to be featured in the Global 100 listing, that too to get to the prestigious #10 rank in the world.
Sunburn has been rated as the #10 Music Festival in the Global Rankings. Your thoughts?
This is a huge feat for Sunburn and the entire Indian dance music fraternity. To be the only Indian brand to be featured in the Global 100 listing, that too to get to the prestigious #10 rank in the world is surreal. More so, given the limitations we had to face during the Covid-19 lockdown of 2020-21. To have leaped from #27 to #10 in one of the toughest periods in event history says a lot about the appeal and value that Sunburn has with fans around the world. We stand humbled and in gratitude for the massive love and patronage received over the past 16 years; we could never have done this on our own. This was a collective win and we owe a lot to all our fans, artists, government authorities, sponsors and the DJ Mag team.
What made Sunburn leapfrog From No 27 to Top 10 in the global 2022 rankings?
Constant innovation, keeping abreast of the latest global and domestic trends, and our commitment to presenting the very best WOW experience to our fans has been our driving force. Despite the pandemic and the many regulations imposed to host ground events, the “#LifeIsCalling’ themed 15th edition of Sunburn saw a spectacular three-day showcase featuring over 60 elite artists across 3 stages. We upped the game by ensuring the best of Technology, AV and SFX was incorporated, in addition to hosting a wide array of novel on-ground engagements, curated gourmet experiences, and more.In the past year, the artists we have brought into India are ranked absolutely top in the world, and that’s the only way to be atop the game. We are also very strong on social media, in the Top 5 globally on each platform, and our engagement levels are very high. We are at the forefront of all social media trends and regularly post cutting edge content which has helped us garner great global visibility, authenticity and organic traction.
What does Sunburn Festival offer that has made it a hit with Indian and global audiences and a must go every year?
Over the past 16 years we consciously kept re-inventing ourselves basis consumer evolution and trends. If you’re in that 18 to 25 age bracket we made sure that we are focused on your likes, desires and aspirations. We constantly keep researching global trends, partnering with the best in the world, innovating and changing the pace of the acts. Sunburn associates with the latest and the best, with whatever is trending today. From pure EDM music in 2007, we have expanded to include Techno, House and Psy genres today.
From setting up the biggest stage in Asia, to importing world-class technology and SFX, to flying in top ranked global artists, a host of engaging brand-partner activations, best on site camping facilities, After Dark parties and over 100 curated gourmet food experiences, Sunburn keeps researching, engaging and listening to customer feedback, evolving and growing consistently every year to offer novelty and the very best to discerning fans year on year. And that’s what keeps them coming back for more year-on-year. It’s a Festival by the fans, for the fans!
How do you handle Sunburn trolls and haters on Social Media? Does it bother you when you receive negative comments?
There will always be haters and trollers, and every brand undergoes its share of hate online. Many people misunderstand what it is we are trying to do, and it becomes our task to inform and demonstrate what we truly represent – a large, open, collaborative platform using the power of Music to empower the Youth of India to network, engage and just be themselves.
If any negative feedback received is valid we acknowledge, remedy, learn and grow from that experience. Otherwise, we just stay focused on the mission at hand and keep moving forward to produce a larger and enhanced experience for our fans.
Tell us about your plans for Sunburn 2023?
We are already working on an exciting 2023 artist line-up but cannot reveal anything at this early stage! However I can definitely say here that we are looking at a combination of some of India's popular acts as well as new fresh sounds.
Sunburn has already expanded into Sunburn Clubs and Lounges, Sunburn Radio, Sunburn Academy for Music, Merchandise, Real Estate, NFTs, Fitness Programs, Cafes and Beverages, and will keep growing in the year ahead. We are currently busy with plans to roll out new products and brand extensions basis the ongoing consumer research, trends observed and feedback received. So there will be some interesting announcements soon!
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