The sun is dipping low into the horizon, casting a golden glow on you and your friends as you sip on a refreshing drink against the backdrop of floor-thrumming beachside reggae music that pushes you to do a little one-two step. When was the last time you enjoyed a sundowner? Worry not, for reggae DJ and producer Rudy Roots has your back this weekend.
As the founder of Goa Sunsplash and a supporter of India’s reggae movement, Rudy is coming to Hyderabad for Olive Bistro’s Sunday Sunsplash, thrilled after more than 18 months of a too-quiet music scene in Goa.
“The last year and a half have been pretty productive for me and my team; we’ve been fighting to keep reggae music and the party scene alive in Goa even though it has been difficult globally. We’ve done live-streams too which has not been easy because Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and other sites block people for copyright, which we understand, but we still kept the reggae fight on.”
Loyalty to offline concerts
Earlier this year, Rudy and his team hosted the first digital edition of Goa Sunsplash, and were thrilled at not just the new international audiences for the event, but also the new repertoire of artistes participating. “We, of course, miss the in-person festivals because that’s where you capture the energy and we have a sound system on the stage that makes a difference.” Rudy is also developing a venue at which some events have already taken place.
Coming to Hyderabad, will Rudy have to pivot a bit for his set at Olive Bistro? “The music I play is not so developed yet for Hyderabad; so when I play there, the few people who look for an alternative scene really enjoy it,” he responds. “Let’s see how this year goes as I am seeing a lot of interest around less mainstream music. On Sunday, I’m going to play the way I do in Goa, and I’m excited to see people react to that.”
Also performing for the night are MC Soopy from Delhi and Hyderabad-based Kayvee and Khushboo. Soopy has high hopes for a post-pandemic concert scene, explaining, “While I would hope for a complete return to normalcy, that might be a while away. I think venues, promoters and artistes need to be at the forefront of this post-pandemic scene and from now on place safety above everything. Hopefully we can soon put this chapter behind us and party like we used to.”
Go, Goa, go!
Goa has also undergone a renaissance, with the influx of domestic travellers and work-cationers. There are more restaurants, cafes and party venues offering something new to even the most regular visitor. “We saw a lot of old places closing, which was really sad. We also saw many new ones. This was drawing in new crowds, many of whom are coming to Goa for the first time. Also, people are spending more time here with no plans of going out of India. So there’s time and space to show Indians music they find new.”
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With a busy festive season ahead and New Year’s ahead, Rudy is excited to see some movement in Goa already, injecting profits for businesses that have long struggled. “I’ve seen so much improvement in Anjuna and on Palolem Beach especially; the shacks in the area are now fancier and more well-made,” he describes, “We’re seeing a lot of Delhi and Mumbai investors, changing the energies and hopefully bringing better quality to businesses in the long run.”
Sunday Sunsplash with Rudy Roots, Soopy and Khushboo will be held at Olive Bistro on October 17 from 4 pm till 8.30 pm.