Preeti Hoon
May 02, 2024

Should Goafest have been rescheduled in 2024?

SOUNDING BOARD: For the first time since its debut in 2006, Goafest is moving to Mumbai for 2024, amidst the buzz of impending elections. So, how does the industry feel about it? Campaign India speaks to adland to find out.

Should Goafest have been rescheduled in 2024?

With Goafest fast approaching on May 29th, the advertising industry is buzzing with anticipation for the live festival of all things creative again.

This year's theme, "The Age of Adaptability," reflects the dynamic nature of the industry, with a chameleon chosen as the mascot to symbolise the need for constant evolution in response to shifting landscapes.

However, unlike previous years, 2024's festival has a noteworthy shift, relocating from Goa to Mumbai due to the ongoing Lok Sabha elections in India. This is the first time in the event's 18-year history that it'll be held outside of Goa.

Naturally, the decision to change venues has elicited a mix of responses within the advertising community. While some have expressed concern that the event may lose some of its unique charm and atmosphere, others feel the change in location will not diminish the essence of this significant annual gathering.

Campaign India caught up with members of adland to gather their opinions on possibly postponing the event to retain the original venue, their thoughts on this year's theme, and their expectations for what is set to be a bustling event in Mumbai—the heart of India's advertising sector.

Aditi Patwardhan
Chief strategy officer
Sideways Consulting

Goafest belongs in Goa. Would they move the Cannes Lions to Paris? My vote is for postponement. Goa is more than just a venue; it has lent character to the event. That is precisely what I will miss. It's impossible to transport the Goan air to Mumbai or to dial down the city's business vibe and "urgency."

However, I am looking forward to the exchange of ideas, the connections, the international thought leaders, and the innovators. This year's theme—"The Age of Adaptability"—marks a significant shift in our society. There was a time when adaptability was seen as a sign of weakness, with adaptable people viewed as pushovers.

Given that we live in an era of unprecedented change, adaptability has come to be seen as a superpower. It is a sign of intelligence, indicative of our brain’s neuroplasticity. Arguably, it is the most crucial intelligence for personal and organisational relevance today.

Ashish Khazanchi
Managing partner

Goa will certainly be missed, but the essence of Goafest has always been about highlighting the defining work of the year, which can inspire the industry and motivate the younger generation to strive for glory in the following year. While Goa certainly added to the vibe, we should all be back there again soon. Kudos to the organisers for not letting the year slip by.

Shifting the festival to a later date would undoubtedly create complications for next year’s entries and eligibilities. Overall, it was a sound decision.

The festival in Goa facilitated many reunions, conversations, and catch-ups. That will certainly be missed; however, Mumbai has the advantage of keeping the focus solely on the work, which is beneficial.

The festival theme is interesting. It will be great to hear perspectives from industry leaders across the nation and elsewhere on what’s on everyone’s mind right now—about the role of creativity and the changed landscape of creation itself. It couldn’t have come at a better time.

Manoj Jacob
Chief creative officer
The Crayons Network

Why is Goafest happening in Mumbai? Is Cannes happening in Belgaum? Oh, it's because of the elections (I just googled). That's understandable—elections are more important than an ad fest! I’m okay with it being held wherever they choose. I’d rather visit Goa on my own terms.

I won't particularly miss the ad fest being in Goa because when I miss Goa, I simply go to Goa. I don’t need an ad fest for that. Since it's taking place in Mumbai, I'm expecting a traffic jam or perhaps several.

I feel neutral about this year's theme. Also, isn't every era the age of adaptability? I'm honestly looking forward to seeing a few ads that significantly impacted the client’s bottom line win.

Aalap Desai
Chief creative officer and co-founder

One of the key aspects of Goafest is that it allows the industry to break away from the everyday and enjoy the festival atmosphere. Should they have postponed it? I don’t think so. An award is an award, and there's a specific time of year for it. That, in my opinion, is more important than the venue.

It was the break we needed. The sun and the sand were a welcome recharge, great for the teams to decompress. Going a little away brought us a lot closer. That’s what I will miss.

For me, the awards are more important. I'm expecting great work to be rewarded and recognised. I’m expecting the winners to be super excited and everyone else, super motivated—basically, everything that made the Goafest I remember, awesome.

The theme is great, but the awards should also live up to it. The categories should be evolving, as should the jury selections and voting process. It sounds great, but I hope they are walking the talk too. I'm looking forward to seeing the good work being recognised.

Nikhil Narayanan
Head of creative strategy

If it was just a matter of a few days, the dates could've been pushed. Of course, I will miss Goa. We used to joke that Goa comes alive twice a year—once during the tourist season and then during Goafest. So, I will definitely miss that. I was planning to buy passes next week, but now I’m reconsidering.

Advertising has always been about adapting—perhaps even more swiftly now than ever before. Some have managed this well, while others have struggled to keep pace. So, this year's theme seems like a subtle wake-up call to those needing to catch up.

Campaign India

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