Panaji, Dec 26 (IANS) In a late night development, the Goa government Friday granted a conditional go-ahead to the Sunburn 2008 music festival, touted as the biggest in Asia, notwithstanding the ban on beach parties.
Sunburn 2008, the second edition of the annual music fest, is scheduled to be held at Candolim beach, North Goa, Dec 27-29. It will host about 40 top musicians from around the world. It is promoted by MTV personality Nikhil Chinappa.
The police granted a conditional No Objection Certificate (NOC) to the organisers of the event.
The mega event, which will feature leading DJs from around the world, was in limbo after the police had refused to grant an NOC to the organizers, which is a pre-requisite for the District Collector to issue a license to the organizers.
The conditional NOC was issued by the police Friday after intense lobbying by the organizers and the Congress MLA from Calangute Agnelo Fernandes, who has publicly endorsed the festival.
The police did a virtual turnaround, first saying that they would never issue an NOC to the organizers and finally issuing one with certain conditions in place late Friday.
Police sources said the conditional NOC was finally given after the organizers assured that they would have at least 60 security guards, including 20 bouncers, sniffer dogs and other security measures in place.
'They have also assured us that entry will be limited to adults who have purchased tickets only,' sources said, adding that the organizers had given the police a written assurance. 'We are free to withdraw the NOC if we find that the organizers have not kept to their side of the bargain,' a police official said.
Goa's ban on beach parties is from Dec 23 to Jan 5. The police had earlier claimed the music festival would never be granted an NOC due to fears of a terror strike in the aftermath of the Mumbai attacks.