Why did Universal choose EVC? Devraj Sanyal answers this and more…

Marketing | October 14, 2015 | Interview

Enchanted Valley Carnival EVC Bacardi Saavn.com Devraj Sanyal

In an exclusive interview with EVENTFAQS, Devraj Sanyal, MD & CEO, Universal Music Group & EMI Music, South Asia reveals the strategy behind partnering EVC and the plan for sponsors and growth of the property now that Universal in on board. Excerpts below:

Why did Universal choose EVC to partner with?

We were looking for a festival that grew rapidly in terms of scale and vibe, and EVC matched that perfectly. We also wanted to stay away from the political and other issues we have in festivals hosted in Goa for instance, and Aamby Valley presented that opportunity. Also the EVC boys have worked hard in building a great and amicable property.

What's the strategy behind partnering an international ticketing platform: viagogo.com?

Well the typical way forward would be to go with the more popular ticketing platforms in the space, but we've gone a little differently by partnering jusdial for a wider reach amongst our audience. And viagogo was the obvious choice for generating awareness amongst the international audience. We expect much traction for the property from the larger Asian region and viagogo helps us achieve this.

What's in store as far as Universal getting into the festival space in India? What other plans beyond EVC in creating more offering?

We don't really publicise this enough but Universal is already involved in the about 600 gigs a year, but this is through its artist management division. Then of course with my background (having been part of the Percept team in the initial years of Sunburn), we wanted to get in to the space of festivals as well. 

The primary reason for this is that few people pay for music but many are willing to pay for an experience. Audiences are ashamed to spend 5-10 bucks on a song or a 100 bucks on a streaming service, but are happy to pay 170 Euros to spend 2-3 days at a festival, so it was an obvious space we had to be present in.

What will Universal do for EVC to accelerate its growth / scale / success?

We're very non-promotional of our own brand - Universal. Even if you see the branding there's no logo of ours strapped on to it. This is a festival for the fans!

As far as content goes, we have a huge role to play. EVC is a multi-genre festival and not only an electronica festival so there's great potential there already. Also we're a camping festival, and we look to grow that positioning of the brand as well.

Further, before announcing Universals involvement in EVC, we already worked towards bringing on board long-term partners to the property. We were interested in such alliances so the brands grow along with the property, and that’s why we have Bacardi and Saavn.com as partners for 3-5 years at least, so they're on-board with the vision of the property and neither we nor the brands are in it for short-term gains.

You've said that this space of festivals / LIVE concerts has the potential of growing from its current size of 100 crores to 1000 crore in 2020. Where do you project that growth to come from? What role with Universal play in this?

There more than enough business for all of us in this space. I find that with the current top 4-5 players we haven't even scratched the surface. It’s rapidly growing, we're going after ticketing and not just sponsorship. The population is huge, the youth is boisterously big, the wallet is out there and we just have to take advantage of this. The time is now!

Also read: Five things to look forward to at the Enchanted Valley Carnival 2015

The forthcoming edition of Enchanted Valley Carnival (EVC) is lined up from Dec. 18 to 20, at the Aamby Valley City Festival Arena, with Bacardi & Saavn.com, as its lead sponsors.

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