International Festival Review: Sundowners Collective

Words: Iman Athira


On the 14th and 15th January, a transformational event took place on the shores of Palolem, Goa. Sundowners Collective is the love baby that emerged through the collaboration of creative minds from across the globe.

Tucked away on the south end of Palolem’s coastline, on a small island secluded from public eye, the picturesque location was unparalleled.

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The idea behind this event was to create a space of conscious partying, where like-minded people could come together in an environment with not only bangin’ tunes, but also where aspects of lifestyle and arts could be appreciated. Its concept resembles many larger ‘doofs’ (as Australians know it) that are exemplified by Rainbow Serpent Festival in Australia, Symbiosis Festival in the USA and Afrikaburn in South Africa.

Thus, this marks a significant development to the approach of electronic music in Goa. Since the genres of deep/tech house and techno is still relatively unexplored here, as is the notion of a ‘lifestyle’ festival, Sundowners Collective have taken the leap and created something that was truly special and unforgettable to those who attended.

Attracting 250 people on the first day alone, it was a perfect amount for the small space of the location. One of the highlights of the two days was when a girl started doing a variation of flowing yoga in rhythm to the music, which eventuated to a row of people following her movements as the sun began its descent in the cloudless sky.

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With headliners Jan Oberleander from Berlin and Yeti from Cape Town, the international selection of artists definitely did not disappoint. Other crowd favourites were Jose Noventa, Joey Payne and Carlitos. All played tunes that were unique to their own sound, but kept the crowd going for hours on end. Not only was everyone in the crowd extremely smiley and attractive, but there was never a point where there were no bodies vibrating on the dancefloor.

Furthermore, decorated to embody a fishing village, all items utilized were fully sustainable. A large fishing boat borrowed from the locals was where the DJ decks were placed, and potato bags were recycled to provide shade from the heat of the Indian sun.

Come nighttime, everything looked like a dream. Fairy lights dotted the area, and a bonfire was lit for partygoers who wanted to chill for a bit longer. A drum circle was formed around the fire, and those who wanted to showcase their voice or instruments were warmly applauded.

So, if you happen to find yourself in Goa next January itching for a dancefloor with serious doof vibes, be sure to check out Sundowners Collective on Facebook and stay posted- it can all only go uphill from here!