Exclusive: Nikhil Chinapa On Women’s Safety At Concerts, Gender Diversity In Artists At Music Festivals, And More

A dive into the craze of music festivals!
Exclusive: Nikhil Chinapa On Women’s Safety At Concerts, Gender Diversity In Artists At Music Festivals, And More

45 days into 2024, we’ve all witnessed several concerts take place across the country including Lollapalooza and the next one coming our way is Vh1 Supersonic. Set to take place in Pune from February 16 to 18, India’s favourite DJ and host, Nikhil Chinapa is the festival curator for the grand event. Nikhil has been time and again credited with popularising EDM amongst Indian music enthusiasts. Apart from featuring in television reality shows including Roadies and Splitsvilla, Nikhil Chinapa has also played a major role in setting the music scene and popularising music festivals like Sunburn and Vh1 Supersonic. So, we decided to find out what he has to say about gender equality or rather diversity in artists at music festivals as well as get his take on the hot debate of women’s safety at music festivals. So, without further ado, dive in to read what the festival curator has to say.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Nikhil Chinapa (@nikhilchinapa)

Q. What is your favourite aspect of music festivals?

Nikhil Chinapa: At Vh1 Supersonic, it’s the crowd and the vibe. I think we’ve got one of the best audiences of any music festival in India and they always bring their A-game with their smiles, their attitude and their sense of fashion. And they’re very passionate about the artists that they come to listen to and that love reflects in the artist’s performance as well.

Q. The music industry, including festivals, is often criticised for not featuring enough female artists. What is your point of view on gender diversity and promoting women in music?

Nikhil Chinapa: I believe curating a diverse lineup and a lineup that is inclusive and addresses the issue of diversity, is important. It’s also important to look at artists neutrally – not as “female artists” or “non-binary artists.” I believe it does a greater disservice to inclusivity and diversity to program artists for the colour of their skin or their sexual orientation. That said, I believe greater efforts need to be made across the live events industry as a whole, to include professionals (not just artists) from diverse backgrounds and orientations.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Nikhil Chinapa (@nikhilchinapa)

Q. In light of the global conversation around women’s safety at music festivals, how do you ensure that during performance women are safe and respected?

Nikhil Chinapa: At Vh1 Supersonic from the very first festival we held we have always kept a steady outflow of messaging from the stage which is to prompt – one is to give women space because they are here to enjoy the music as much as you are. And the other is – if you see something say something which means if you see anybody misbehaving with anyone not just with women with someone who is weaker or if you see people ganging up against an individual then involve and protect your own community. Of course, our security is there of course our quick response teams are there. But the first line of defence is always the community of people we’ve curated at Vh1 Supersonic, which are the fans themselves.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Nikhil Chinapa (@nikhilchinapa)

Q. Having been at the forefront of promoting EDM in India, how do you think the music scene has changed in the country since Vh1 Supersonic’s inception?

Nikhil Chinapa: This music festival was built on an existing trend in 2013 which was a very clear diversification of music interests in India. We were able to see that with the kind of music being consumed on Vh1, the channel, and also music that was being played in clubs. We are generally known as the Festival of Firsts for being the festival that first brought in various artists to do their first shows in India including Major Lazer, Chainsmokers, Eric Pritz, Disclosure, and Illenium. The list is very long and of course, we were also the first to program Techno into a festival with the Awakenings Stage back in 2015. And Techno is one of the biggest genres in India right now.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Nikhil Chinapa (@nikhilchinapa)

Also Read: From Sunscreen To Sanitary Pads, Everything That Deserves A Spot In Your Concert Bag!

Q. The festival not only showcases international artists but also highlights local talent. How do you go about selecting these artists and what impact do you think this has on the Indian music industry?

Nikhil Chinapa: We always try to find a balance of artists that are going to be attractive for festival fans. We combine that with artists that we feel are bubbling under and are going to break through soon, and we also add artists that we believe fans need to know about or need to see. These tend to be younger artists or artists out of the usual sound spectrum of what you would tend to hear at Vh1 Supersonic. So, it is very much a balancing act and it’s great to offer the stage to young artists, especially local artists to showcase their talent. And this year, we’ve curated one stage called The Box, which is filled only with local talent and we are expecting that to be one of the most fun stages at the festival as it’s going to represent the local scene of Pune and Mumbai.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Nikhil Chinapa (@nikhilchinapa)

ICYMI, known to be the country’s first and biggest multi-genre music festival, this time Vh1 Supersonic has much more to offer with leading artists like Major Lazer Soundsystem, The Yellow Diary, Kohra, King, Adam Beyer, Bass Maya, and several other legends playing at the grand event.

Gearing Up For A Concert? Take Notes From Kriti Sanon, Ananya Panday And More To Slay The Perfect Look!

 

Janvi Manchanda

​​She uses her pen to slice through patriarchy. She could be Geet one day, Wednesday Addams next. Writing is the bane of her existence and the object of all her desires!

Read More From Janvi
Seen it all?

We’ve got more!