This year, “Sunburn” took place in India’s sunny and sandy beach state of Goa from 27 to 29 December. International music icons including DJ Snake, Martin Garrix, and The Chainsmokers among others played at the electronic dance music (EDM) celebration.
The spirit of the festival, however, was dampened by the mysterious deaths of three tourists aged between 23-30.
According to media reports, the pattern for all three of the deceased was exactly the same – collapsing at the venue, being rushed to the hospital and dying mid-treatment.
At present, the reasons for the three mysterious deaths remain undisclosed on public forums, but the row has definitely ignited a debate among politicians who firmly believe that it was the result of a drug overdose.
Goa is widely seen as India’s “desi” rendition of America’s Las Vegas. Tourists from all over the world land in the country’s smallest state for fun vacations. The state is often blamed for not applying a stricter approach to dealing with the drug menace that is often associated with the culture of Goa.
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Former speaker of the Goa Legislative Assembly from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Rajendra Arlekar took to Twitter to reiterate how music festivals like “Sunburn” are unnecessary.
Do we really need events like Sunburn to promote tourism?— Rajendra Arlekar (@rajendraarlekar) December 30, 2019
Can we not redefine our priorities in this sector ?
Chief of the opposition Indian National Congress in Goa, Girish Chodankar also said that the state is now a “drowning and drugging” destination.
Goa is now 'Drowning & Drugging Destination' of @TourismGoa Babuko Kaabu mey rakho @goacm Josh of @BabuAjgaonkar is surely not in Hosh.The Owl may hv filled his Bowl but has made Goa Foul.Its high time @DrPramodPSawant gives him discharge from theCabinet @INCGoa pic.twitter.com/okfAu0drRH— Girish Chodankar (@girishgoa) December 30, 2019
Currently, the police are waiting for a final verdict from the doctors at the Goa Medical College and Hospital to move ahead with their investigation. The final cause of the mysterious deaths is expected to be released within eight days.
Chief Minister of Goa, Pramod Sawant has backed the Sunburn Festival saying the government supports such events to promote tourism in the state.
Sunburn is the biggest EDM Festival in India. It attracts over 350,000 people and hundreds of artists every year.