1 of the 13 Containers that arrived by Sea & Road

Will Sensation India Make Business Sense? Also: Exclusive Chat With Vijay Amritraj of Voila

Entertainment | March 4, 2016 | Feature

Sensation Voila Events

The stage is finally set for #SensationIndia…

The buzz in the industry (righfully) is around the pertinent question: Will it make business sense?

Bringing a global event brand of such a mamoth scale to India is no easy task. And for that we salute Voila Events - The agency that has brought the IP to India led by Founder & CEO Vijay Amritraj (interview below).  

Sensation is organized by ID&T, which is one of the biggest global dance organizations. ID&T has a 16-year legacy backing the event. Sensation originates from the Netherlands and has toured more than 33 countries, with sell-out shows in cities like Dubai, Amsterdam, New York and Bangkok and has welcomed over 2 million visitors.

Read: All You Want To Know About #SensationIndia Tour: Production, Stage, Lighting, Dress Code...

Coming back to the pertinent question: Will it make business sense?

The initiative is understood to be supported strongly by Telangana Government and has Budweiser as its title sponsor apart from a few other sponsors. 

Some crude math: Assuming 10,000 passes are sold at an average of INR 3,000 each, that's INR 30 Million (3 Cr.) in revenues. Let's assume (since these numbers never come out officially) an event of such a stature would be able to rope in sponsorship revenue of INR 15 Million (1.5 Cr.). That a total of INR 45 Million on a rather optimistic front. 

Now coming to the costs. Venue rental, permissions, taxes, local production elements apart, as it is understood from our earlier report and the interview below, a crew of over 30, and close to 13 containers have been flown / shipped / driven to India. The special effects planned have never been seen before in India. 

Industry experts estimate the production costs alone to be in the tune of INR 60 Million (6 Cr.). Then there is the element of royalties and marketing costs. 

Clearly this is more than an uphill task for Voila Events and we wish them All The Best for tommorrow! This is truly a new chapter in the history of India's LIVE Entertainment Industry. As for our support to the event, we will be in Hyderabad and reporting LIVE from the scenes! So follow us on Facebook and twitter @eventfaqs to keep with the happenings. 

Local partners understood (not confirmed by the organiser) to be involved in the project are Production Crew for aspects of on-ground execution, SOUND.COM for Audio Solution, Star Dimension for LED & Lighting Solutions as well as Services India, Men at Work, Maan Decorator and Udappa in varied capacities.


And now in an exclusive conversation with Vijay Amritraj, Partner & CEO, Voila Events (the agency that has brought the IP to India)…

What can we expect from #SensationIndia in terms of artists and lineup? Any new elements?

Sensation’s resident DJ, Mr. White will create the perfect vibe during the six-hour show, followed by epic sets by world renowned artists including the legends Axwell, Afrojack, Laidback Luke and Lost Frequencies. The new element is the mandatory white dress code which is a first for a large format show in India.      

What are your plans for the stage set up? How extravagant is it going to be?

A team of 30 engineers has worked on the design and construction of the show for 5 consecutive months. The pyro design includes more than 70 positions from where the pyro will be shot. The show contains more than 800 LED lights that are specially designed for the show and can be controlled individually. The stage is a big carousel with flying horses. The carousel rotates 3 times per minute. The rotating top by itself weighs 9 tons and turns separately from the DJ booth, they can turn in opposite directions. The carousel contains 12 winches driven by computers; in these winches 8 dancers will be hanging and other 4 dancers will be in the arches.

Sensation has a center stage, rather than a usual concert setup with an end stage, giving easy access to all fans. Sensation will have more than 130 speakers and subs to give the crowd a best possible sound experience throughout the venue. It took over seven days to build the show with over 100 local crew support. Over 96 moving heads are installed in between the decoration. The inflatable girls are made of 3000m2 of fabric. The arches are driven by a hydraulic system and will be controlled with a computer.

What about on-ground activations?

As this is Sensation's first time in India, we had to think out-of-the-box for on-ground promotions. Our teams distributed nearly 20,000 Sensation glow bands to fans across the city. They reached gigs, campuses, clubs, offices, parks, malls, everywhere. This created tremendous visibility and brand recall for Sensation.

Has there been any strategy to engage fans especially on the social mediums? What have the results been?

The Sensation dress code being white, it was very easy to set the tone for social media promotions. Fans posted pictures in white and with white, as it touches all of us in our everyday life, which we could viral all over. Also we engaged a host of local celebrities who played an active part in propagating and amplifying about the gig.

Who are your production partners/vendors?

All aspects of production are being handled directly by Sensation. A team of 30 engineers flew down from Amsterdam and are currently working on erecting the set at the Gachibowli stadium. Sensation travelled with 13 containers from Amsterdam to India by road and water. Other sensitive and high value equipment came by air. It's a truly international production that India hasn't seen before. 

Safety is the No. 1 concern at such large-format gigs. What provisions have been taken?

The audience is our main priority for any event. We have incorporated an all-round safety check from security, fire safety, health and first aid. We have more than 800 security guards, bouncers, women guards patrolling the entire venue at any given point of time. Fire engines and extinguishers are available to ensure no fire mishap occurs. Quick response team, in reflective jackets, will be available to address any emergencies. 


Will Sensation India be a commercial success? Share your thoughts in the comments sections below..

*Festivals, Lifestyle, Sports, and Business... Click here for the full list of categories in Event Intellectual Properties at WOW Awards Asia 2016. 


India is the first to see an outdoor version of the event that's scheduled for tomorrow, March 5 in Hyderabad.

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