Nevermind Coachella, head to one of these music festivals in Asia instead
ASIA has no shortage of destinations and attractions. And in the past decade, the region has been buzzing with top-level festivals, both local ones and extensions of international brands.
The spread of music festivals is testament to the growing appeal, and attendance numbers are continuing to rise. More and more artists have also regularly started including Asia in their tour schedules.
As with its broad variety of cuisines, Asia’s melting pot of cultures means there is something for everyone at festivals, from electronic dance music (EDM), hip hop and alternative, to K-Pop, J-Pop, indie, rock, folk and pop.
These days, revelers can expect to get more than just a party, because events are fused with art and punctuated with the multicultural sounds of music – a sight for sore eyes and a treat for the soul.
If you love a good dosage of music and art, here are some of the events worth traveling for this year:
The Philippines: Wanderland
Philippines-based Wanderland is an annual music and art festival that prides itself in hosting both international indie bands and homegrown acts on the same stage. Wanderland may only be six years old (fairly young compared with other festivals in the region), but it has already curated a loyal following in the form of the #WanderlandCommunity, simply by celebrating good music and good people. Aside from art installations, the festival also showcases live art from talented live artists. This year’s edition will include Kodaline, FKJ, Lauv, IV of Spades, Jhene Aiko and more.
Date: March 10, 2018
Shanghai: Electric Daisy Carnival
This year, a couple of big brands are going to Shanghai as part of an ambitious first foray into the Mainland China market – one of them being Las Vegas’ Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC). Come spring, Shanghai International Music Park will host the highly-anticipated Electric Daisy Carnival Shanghai, with three stages and a stellar rumored line-up of Martin Garrix, deadmau5, marshmello and W&W. “Early owl” general admission passes for the two-day event are already on sale now at RMB880 (US$140).
Date: April 29-30, 2018
Malaysia: Good Vibes Festival
Hailed as the most diverse music event in Malaysia, Good Vibes Festival brings together a variety of people and music over a single weekend. Since its debut in 2013, the festival has seen outstanding local and international acts such as Ellie Goulding, Smashing Pumpkins, Empire of The Sun, Disclosure, Mark Ronson, Two Door Cinema Club and more. The vibrant, feel-good festival also encourages revelers to show off their best festival outfits, so don’t be surprised to see people rocking giant flower crowns and feather boas while dancing until late.
Date: July 21-22, 2018.
South Korea: Ultra Music Festival
Miami-based Ultra Music Festival (UMF) has been extending its reach as part of its aggressive worldwide expansion and has now spread to over 23 countries. Ultra Korea made its debut as an outdoor two-day festival in August 2012 at the Olympic Stadium in Seoul. UMF is mostly a commercial EDM brand, but by nature of it being held in Korea, Korean artists are often added to the bill of performers such as SISTAR’s Hyorin, f(x)’s Amber, MONSTA X, Dynamic Duo and more. Much to the delight of K-Pop fans, of course.
Date: June 8-10, 2018
Japan: Fuji Rock Festival
Held in Naeba Ski Resort, the three-day Fuji Rock Festival is an annual rock festival that features more than 200 Japanese and international musicians, making it the largest outdoor music event in Japan. Drawing thousands of locals and tourists to the mountains every year, the main appeal of the Fuji Rock Festival is partying against the backdrop of lush greenery. The full line-up for the 2018 edition was just announced, featuring Kendrick Lamar, N.E.R.D., Skrillex, Vampire Weekend, Greensky Bluegrass, Jack Johnson, MGMT, Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals and Tune-Yards.
Date: July 27-29, 2018
Hong Kong: Clockenflap
Last year, Hong Kong’s biggest annual music festival celebrated its 10th anniversary, and it is not showing signs of slowing down any time soon. Clockenflap was first founded to nurture the local arts, music and film scene, and to put Hong Kong on Asia’s contemporary media-arts circuit. The three-day event is a collection of music (particularly the Chinese indie and alternative scenes), art, culinary experiences and innovative elements such as silent disco. Clockenflap’s alumni include Massive Attack, Feist, The Prodigy, Damien Rice, New Order, Kid Ink, Sigur Ros and Foals.
Date: November 9-11, 2018.
A commercial EDM festival in India, who knew? Sunburn festival is an eclectic mix of music, entertainment, food and shopping. Said to be Asia’s largest music festival, the event boasts multiple stages with artists playing simultaneously and attracts more than 350,000 people every year. In 2009, it was ranked by CNN as one of the top 10 festivals in the world. Previously held at Vagator in Goa, Sunburn festival has now been shifted to the hills of Pune. The festival has previously booked world-class performers such as Martin Garrix, DJ Snake, Hardwell, David Guetta and Armin van Buuren.
Date: December 2018 (exact date TBA)
Vietnam: Quest Festival
Seven years on, Vietnam’s stunning Quest Festival is coming back once again for a weekend of fun and magic. Located in Son Tinh Camp in Hanoi with the backdrop of Ba Vi Mountain, the festival is inspired by a theme of legendary mythical creatures of Vietnam. “Questlings” are invited to zen out at the haven surrounded by water and cushioned by forest for the three-day festival, while immersing themselves in music as well as a variety of side activities such as water sports, swimming, hiking, yoga, crafts, meditation and more.
Date: November 2018 (exact date TBA)
One of Asia’s biggest outdoor beach parties, ZoukOut Singapore is held on Siloso Beach on Sentosa island. Every year, ZoukOut organizer Zouk Singapore turns Siloso Beach electric with an explosive line-up of DJ heavyweights and stunning pyrotechnic displays. ZoukOut has been so phenomenally successful the Singapore Tourism Awards twice crowned it the “Best Leisure Event Experience” in Singapore. Remember to put on your comfiest beachwear because the two-day dusk-to-dawn festival will have you moving and grooving to the back-to-back DJ sets until the sun rises.
Date: December 2018 (exact date TBA)
Indonesia: Djakarta Warehouse Project (DWP)
Jakarta’s Djakarta Warehouse Project (DWP) has come a long way since its inception in 2008. With Indonesia at the epicenter of the electronic music boom in Asia, DWP has established itself as one of the world’s leading dance music events. Welcoming a record-breaking 90,000 guests in 2016 alone, it became the largest two-day event in Asia last year. DWP 2017 had the crème de la crème of commercial dance music, Galantis, marshmello, DVBBS, Hardwell, Steve Aoki, Tiesto and NWYR on the decks. The line-up for this year’s event is as-yet-unknown, but DWP has a reputation of topping the last so expect it to be massive.
Date: December 2018 (exact date TBA)
Thailand: Wonderfruit Festival
Dubbed the “Burning Man of Asia”, Pattaya’s Wonderfruit Festival is an annual three-day arts, music and lifestyle festival that takes place at The Fields at Siam Country Club. But what sets it apart from the other festivals in the region is its efforts in eco-awareness and saving the Earth, with emphasis in participation and inclusion plus sustainability and social responsibility. The festival features cross-cultural performances, art installations, workshops and talks. Keep a close eye on your surroundings while you’re there because everything is a work of art to demonstrate sustainable and eco-friendly practices, including the stages themselves.
Date: Dec 13-16, 2018