Before the screenwriters of The Hangover run after my life for lifting their line 'What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas’, let me post a corollary, ‘What happens in Goa, does NOT stay in Goa’.
Which is why, I’m posting this blog after Goafest. And this one is not a travelogue. How differently can you write about 3 days on the beach?
Alex Garland attempted it in The Beach, but that was Koh Samui in Thailand.
This is about Cavelossim. This is about Goafest.
I'd attended one two years back.
That was when Naked's Jon Wilkins spoke at the Knowledge Seminar, Raghu Bhat and Manish Bhatt were very much in Contract (they created a fantastic Goafest campaign), Jagdip Bakshi was the Goafest CEO, LinOpinion was the PR agency for the event, Aggie was with JWT, Paddy was in Leo Burnett, Ramanuj was in Rediffusion, Contract and McCann Erickson participated, Rajeev Raja, Subhash Kamath were at Bates David Enterprise, award results would be handed out to the media after the event. I used to write for DNA Money.
Two years later, much has changed. You’re aware where the above mentioned names are right now. Contract, McCann were not at Goafest 2010. The media received embargoed press releases with the results. Cheerleaders shook their booty everytime Mudra went up to pick an award.
So change is good. Change is something every speaker advocates in the knowledge seminars – change your way of working, change your outlook...change your agency (Okay, I made up the last one).
Off-work, my activities at Goafest also saw a change.
After the Creative Abbys got over, I went on a long walk till the far extreme of Cavelossim beach and slept for at least an hour in the sand, with nothing but the waves and wind for company. That was my Robinson Crusoe moment. Fantastic stress buster.
I’m a teetotaller, but I made friends with a bottle of Bacardi Breezer at the Rediff shack. I ended my friendship when I gulped it down.
I did some video interviews with 30-somethings from different agencies. I realised that people, in general, are extremely paranoid about being on camera. I must dig deeper on this – why does this happen?
I tweeted throughout the Fest with the #goafest hashtag. Wonder if the PR agency will count that as coverage.
I did NOT flick free shampoos, soaps and toothbrushes from our room at The Leela, the hotel we were working out of.
I did not shove my visiting card into the hands of every adlander I met. I'd done that the l last time – I was in hypernetworking mode then.
Also, this time, I longed to be a part of the rain dance. I looked at it wistfully while it was happening. The last time I'd come here, I'd told myself that these folks are making an ass of themselves in public. Now I don’t. Frankly, for people of my age, rain dance is therapy.
For the first time, I met my friend Nikhil Fernandes (Cheil Worldwide) with whom I'm in touch with since the year 2002 over blogs, MSN chat, Facebook, G-chat (in that order). I spotted him during Goafest, standing alone on the beach, capturing the waves in his camera. When I greeted him, it reminded me of the final scene in the film Shawshank Redemption where Morgan Freeman gets together with Tim Robbins.
To sum it up, there were a lot of firsts. If you were at Goafest, I'm sure even you had some. Feel free to share.