In the dynamic realm of music festivals, Vh1 Supersonic not only marked its presence, but pioneered an evolution in the very concept of live music experiences. From addressing the diverse preferences of festival goers to venturing into the vibrant space of lifestyle curation, Gaurav Mashruwala, Head of Operations, Viacom18 Livedelves into the journey of the festival, reflecting on the core ethos that has fueled its growth through nine successful editions and more…
Reflecting on the festival’s journey, Mashruwala highlighted Vh1 Supersonic’s roots in the EDM and techno scene, which has evolved alongside changing music consumption trends. “When we started Vh1 Supersonic back in Goa, the dominant music trend among consumers was EDM and to some extent techno. Over the years, we have noticed a significant evolution in music trends, particularly in consumer taste preferences. spanning multiple genres. With the advent of streaming channels and the widespread use of streaming audio, the music landscape exploded. Consumers began to listen to a variety of music. With that, we said, okay, if that’s the case, then you should be the prime movers in creating the space for our consumers to enjoy,” he shared. The festival strategically expanded into a multi-genre music event, featuring genres such as EDM, techno, house, disco, indie, live, reggae, Afro and many more, to meet different consumer preferences.
He emphasized the festival’s commitment to a holistic experience, beyond the music. “People will like one, two or five sets of artists that will probably come to a music festival. With what’s happening, what’s happening is the consumer comes in to hear those four or five artists that they like, but they’re buying all day tickets, it’s kind of unfair because they only come for the artist playing for about 60 to 90 minutes, yet they pay for the whole day,” explained Mashruwala. This led to curating well-defined experiences at FNB, fashion, lifestyle and art, creating a complete three-day extravaganza. “We started booking artists, not only for their musical talents, but also for their impact on our fashion and lifestyle experiences. We started showcasing designers, artists and artworks that were gaining popularity on social media, all from a consumer perspective,” he noted.
As Vh1 Supersonic marks its ninth edition, Mashruwala shares insights into the bold choices that have contributed to the festival’s identity and success. “The consumer was clearly discovering the sounds,” he said. The festival took bold steps to showcase upcoming artists and unique sounds, some popular internationally but relatively unexplored in India, creating a unique and captivating musical experience.
Additionally, in the experience space, Mashruwala emphasized creating interactive and engaging experiences tailored to diverse demographics, including Gen Z and the millennial crowd. These bold choices set Vh1 Supersonic apart from other events, offering an immersive and dynamic festival experience.
Mashruwala shed light on how Vh1 Supersonic is successfully cultivating a diverse and inclusive community. “We created mini-festivals inside Supersonic,” he shared, emphasizing the festival’s multi-touchpoint approach. Catering to a variety of interests including music, fashion, art and culinary experiences, Vh1 Supersonic ensures an inclusive environment where attendees can find their niche. Security measures, women-only areas and a well-defined festival layout contribute to a safe and secure atmosphere, welcoming people from all walks of life. Mashruwala highlighted the significant participation of women in the festival, reflecting the success of their inclusive initiatives.
On brand partnerships with a seamless experience he shared, “When we work with brands like Budweiser, Nexa or Maybelline, we align their goals with the festival experience. This includes curating on-site experiences in line with the brand ethos and leveraging our extensive digital assets for engagement and outreach. By ensuring a cohesive blend of brand identity and festival atmosphere, we create an immersive and memorable experience for attendees.”
In response to the dynamic nature of the industry, Mashruwala explained how Vh1 Supersonic is adapting to stay relevant. Engaging in ongoing conversations with consumers, analyzing data and staying attuned to evolving preferences guide the festival’s approach. “It’s the data that tells us what’s next as opposed to cooking it up,” Mashruwala emphasized.
Looking ahead, Mashruwala reflected on the legacy of Vh1 Supersonic and its impact on the future of festivals in India. “We’ve pretty much shaped the festival landscape year after year,” he shared. The festival’s legacy lies in being a mainstay across all demographics, especially the Gen Z and millennial crowd, synonymous with all things cool, free and alive.
Mashruwala shared the future ambitions for Vh1 Supersonic saying: “Our ambition is continued growth with plans to add more extensions to the brand, building on successes such as the Supersonic main stage. Experimentation, data analysis and consumer feedback will guide our future endeavours. with possible expansions into house and techno. Our focus remains on providing an innovative and evolving festival experience for our diverse audience.”
Watch the full interview with Gaurav Mashruwala below: