The state’s tourism minister Manohar Azgaonkar said that no EDM festivals will be permitted at least till a vaccine is developed. This comes a day after the minister said that tourism in Goa will only pick up after a vaccine for the virus hits markets.
It is highly unlikely for the vaccine to be available publicly this year, which means, the Electronic Dance and Music (EDM) festivals that the state hosts every year during the last week of December is highly unlikely to occur.
The state government has reportedly kept the proposal to hold an EDM this year on hold, as the situation continues to be volatile.
“To us, the safety of the people is more important,” the minister said. “I’m not in favour of allowing EDM festivals at least till a vaccine for covid is introduced,” he added.
Ironically, the minister, saying that the ‘safety of the people is important’ had opened up the state borders for domestic tourists amid increasing covid-19 cases. The domestic tourists furthermore flocking the coastal state have also created a fury among the local population as several have been found involved in several illegal activities, including rash driving along the beaches.
Goa every year would host EDM festivals, primarily along with the North Goa’s coastal belt areas of Vagator and Anjuna. This year proposals were received by the state government for EDM festivals for a smaller capacity gathering.
However, the minister said this isn’t the right time for such events, and adding that even for smaller crowd events, people need to be disciplined to follow social distancing norms – something highly unimaginable during an EDM fest.
The EDM festivals such as Sunburn and Supersonic provide a major boost to Goa’s tourism industry, as nearly 20,000 tourists – domestic and foreign – arrive in the state for these music and dance festivals. Furthermore, this also coincides with the busy new-year season, prompting several businesses to gain from the arrivals in the state.
This year, however, because of the pandemic situation, several tourism-dependent businesses have been badly hit. Also, several shack owners along the beaches are still skeptical to open up owing to low footfalls in tourists, especially considering that foreign tourists’ numbers will be low due to fewer charter flights arriving in the state this tourism season.