Image: Facebook/Electric Zoo
Music festivals are turning into a solid reason to travel. Adhering to the worldwide demand, South East Asia is thriving with beat-tiful festivals of its own.
Good music apart, the pumping atmosphere, engaging activities and the opportunity to meet like-minded buddies from around the world guarantee an experience like never before.
So, listen up music maniacs: this is where you should splurge your money!
Beyond the promise of pulsating music, this three-day festival offers plenty of exciting things to do and see. The Pattaya Field Siam County Club is decked up with a well-equipped camping area, cultural workshops and amazing art and stage installations, mostly made of bamboos to spread the awareness of environmental responsibility.
The main appeal is obviously the booming music scene from some of the most sought-after DJs and performers in the world who keep the dance floor grooving till the end. When all of these work up an appetite, enjoy a scrumptious spread of Thai and Western cuisine and innovative cocktails to match.
Don’t be hesitant if you’re coming with kids because there’s a camp dedicated solely for kids to have fun.
13-15 July 2018
With over 20 years of experience, the Rainforest World Music Festival is admired for its individuality. Held at the foothill of Mount Santubong, Sarawak, it’s all about appreciating acoustic music from indigenous instruments that are commonly used in remote parts of Borneo.
In traditional costumes, both local and international performers not only highlight their culture but also reverberates the tempo of Mother Nature through music. Ringed in a rainforest backdrop, the festival does feel magical in some respects.
Free wellness workshops such as yoga programs, meditations, Silat
courses and Zumba take place in Iban longhouses while Sarawakian cuisine awaits to pamper your palate.
16-18 November 2018
While a wide spectrum of music serves as the main pull factor to this famed festival, other scoring points lie in the workshops, art collections, pre-erected camping zone and great outdoors since it’s held at the heart of Ba Vi National Park.
So you have no shortage of stunning views to take in when you feel like slowing down.
The patrons are known to dress up in eccentric, Instagram-worthy clothing to be on par with the carnival-like vibes. The six hand-crafted, Vietnamese-themed stages feel like a music buffet of dreams, offering hip-hop, techno, jazz, pop and everything in between to make sure the crowd’s feet are off the ground.
Hailed as the largest music festival in the Philippines, you are sure to be dragged into a realm of party ecstasy that you’ll never want to leave.
Roping in some of the biggest DJ names to perform on a visually-arresting stage fixed with fireworks, smoke guns, laser lightings and of course, powerful water cannons, the diverse crowd in all of their freedom of expressions and grooves, are assured an unforgettable experience.
Mid December 2018
You can never doubt a music festival when it’s organised by one of the leading nightclubs in Asia, Zouk. This premier electronic dance music event takes place on Siloso Beach, Singapore, so talk about taking care of two cravings at once.
The beach transforms into a sea of sound buffs on the opposite of an incredible stage occupied by A-list talents from around the world. Raise your hands high up in the air to the beat of the energetic music, keep your eyes glued to the soaring laser and pyrotechnic shows and when your hunger pangs call for attention, head to the food trucks.
Also, what better climax than catching the sunrise along the coastline.
One might have guessed already: It's The Ship is party on a cruise! You’ve got to up your budget for sure but it would be a voyage like never before. With an international crowd to rub shoulders with, sail out from Singapore on Genting Dream Cruise Line, crossing international waters to Phuket, Thailand.
Pumping up the energy levels on the ship are well-known headliners, where previously Sander van Doorn, Kaskade, Tigerlily and DJ Soda have occupied the DJ decks.
Since it’s a luxury cruise, there’s an array of activities too - water slides, a bowling alley, mini golf course, rope course, casino and numerous restaurants and bars. Overlooking panoramic views of the ocean as the cruise resonates with fun, laughter and excitement, does it get any better?
2-4 March 2018
All the things you’ve heard about Java Jazz Festival being a paradise for java music lovers, well, it’s all so true. It has been organised every year since 2005 and is showing no signs of slowing down.
Don’t do the rookie mistake of saying there’s no variety because you’ll be astounded by the jumble of jazz such as acid jazz, smooth jazz, bebop, swing and many more.
Want more? This year, a whopping 1000 Indonesian and international musicians will perform on the grand stage at the Jakarta International Expo. So keeping the crowd heaving all day long would be an easy task.
If you haven’t spotted the exceptional ‘Hanuman’ stage, jaw-dropping fireworks and beats of Maya Music Festival on social media, you are definitely following the wrong accounts.
Since it’s held in Bangkok for a single day, it easily fits in a short holiday plan. It may sound like a quick party, as compared to others in the list, but the sheer scale of every aspect alone is sure to etch in your memory forever.
Make sure your camera is fully charged because there are endless firework displays. Well, pictures don’t lie.
Beginning of December 2018
You don’t always head to the mountains to find peace because music is on offer too. This two-day music festival is surrounded by undulating mountains of Kaho Yai which gives away an off-the-beaten-path appeal. Yet you’ll ignore the scenic backdrop once stepping into a space that thrives with hedonistic spirit.
Thailand's Luk-Thung country music, Moh-Lam folk songs and other genres like indie, rock, pop and of course, electronica performed by both local talents and international artists get the fist-pumping crowd going.
Particularly at night, the entire area ablaze with a fusion of visuals and colours, so you’ll have a good time choking up your Instagram feed as well.
21 to 22 July 2018
Fairly a new contender in the EDM league but Good Vibes Festival is already in the running for one of the most anticipated music festivals in South East Asia. It takes place in the town of Gohtong Jaya, pretty close to Genting Highlands, which means cool climate and cooler music set the scene.
The line-up has yet to be revealed but judging from the big names that gave 13,000 music lovers a multi-sensory excitement last year, they are not going to hold back to the slightest this time too.
It’s also a rated as a family-friendly festival because alcohol drinking is only allowed at allotted locations across the venue and the drool-inducing food choices keep your stomach growling for more.
15-16 June 2018
Ultra Music Festival seems like they have one goal in mind — global domination. From Miami, Croatia, Korea, Japan and South Africa, they have recently turned their attention to Singapore.
With more than 20 years of experience in delivering a diverse mix of music, each and every element of the festival highlights why they have been a template for many festivals that came in after.
From the visually-winning stages to excellent music and spirited atmosphere, be prepared to spring new life to your senses.
Djakarta Warehouse Project is one of the most awaited music festivals in South East Asia, if not Asia. The main stage, ‘Garuda Land’ which symbolises unity, is enough to lure you over.
And then, there’s the inspiring line-up that comprises both big hitters and up-and-coming talents as well as vibrant visuals that result in a contagious partying mood. Holding culture close to heart, since 2016, they have been paying homage to the country’s motto 'Bhinneka Tunggal Ika'
(translates as Unity in Diversity) through dance performances that were widely appreciated by the audience.
Without a shadow of a doubt, one can expect something bigger and better this year as well.
10 March 2018
The Filinvest City Event Grounds, an hour drive from Manila, may not look like much for most of the year but come March, it evolves into an indie music and art wonderland.
Put on crazy outfits, add some glittering paints and colourful temporary tattoos, sing with locals to the beat of traditional drums at the Jungle Jam and devour delicious food before allowing music to get the better of you.
This year, the pulsating stage will welcome international big names such as Kodaline, Lauv, Carousel Casualties and many more. The festival is close to numerous hotels, so getting rest after a full night of party is as easy as a few steps.
Bali has always been on the radar for its beaches. Come July, add booming beats to the equation, thanks to the Sunny Side Up Tropical Festival.
It’s held at the Potato Head Beach Club for two days, where cutting-edge international artists and DJs put in a variety of genres to ensure the partying crowd enjoy to their heart’s content.
Despite the upbeat unison, the festival manages to maintain an intimate feel due to its proximity to the beach. So you can turn from a party animal to a beach bum in no time. If your mind is casting to cocktails, you’re in safe hands too!
Vietnam may not be the first place that comes to mind when partying on a big scale is what you seek. But Epizode begs to differ. Planted at the picturesque paradise of Phu Quoc Island, it’s about getting lively revellers fall in love with a livelier line-up of techno music.
The Vietnamese food fare and art installations deserve mentions as well, particularly the tree-houses for those needing some rest with a good view of the festival. Last year it was held for 11 days, so do expect something similar later this year.
When not dancing and drinking to thumping tunes, broaden your horizon exploring the gorgeous island. Two very contrast things to do in the same location. Interesting indeed.