The sound of engines and city bustle start to dissipate as one moves about three hours away from the bustle of Hanoi; but silence isn’t the aim of this retreat. After a four year hiatus from hosting their festival baby, Equation, the team behind Hanoi’s underground mecca Savage have worked diligently hard to secure the Mo Luong Cave for what was expected to be an unforgettable weekend; they brought together revellers from all corners of the country to cohort with a refined line up of regional selectors and local stalwarts.
The expectations were high, and from everything that’s been reported back to us, they were all met with high appraise — sensory bases were met with natural acoustics that enhanced DJ sets and visuals that launched ravers into new dimensions. Hearing back from the organisers, DJs, attendees and our extra ears on the ground, we round up some of the highlights from Equation’s rave in a cave especial.
Sunny weather all weekend made for extra special moments, and allowed for a perfect contrast and balance between The Garden stage and The Cave stage. The first Friday evening already got everyone jolted for the weekend, with extra thanks going to the Studio Adventure’s back to back set between Anh Vy and ToK setting the bar high with pure electronic bliss.
The Garden Stage continued to glisten under the sun throughout Saturday afternoon and into the early hours of dusk; a four-hour back to back between Manila’s Saint Guel and Emel Rowe saw them rally up the mood for the opening of the cave with a perfect concoction of eclectic and feel-good grooves. “It was super eclectic and brought such a nice energy before opening the Cave”, says festival organiser and co-founder Ouissam Mokretar.
With revellers already stabilised in a mode of steady groove, the Cave was being blessed and cleansed with Oksana’s yoga workout, only to then be transformed into a drag-frenzy with a glamorous takeover by Snug, Peach and Genderfunk — goosebumps were raised and waves of amour were ushered into the cave. A special nod goes to the Manila boys for setting a tone and energy at The Garden that allowed for a smooth shift from to The Cave right after the sun went down. The night continued to progress with fluid transitions between Thailand’s DOTT and Savage resident Di Linh, before unexpected and ethereal sounds took over the cavernous playground as Sunju Hargun of Siamese Twins took over for a three-hour journey into otherworldly zones.
Sunday morning turned into an expected religious gathering as Equation resident Tourguide played, arguably, one of the best sets of the weekend — it was a perfect culmination of a shift in sound and light to welcome the sun’s rays into the cave after two hedonistic days of communal ecstasy.
We’ve gathered some monumental images and moments from one of Asia’s most talked about and revered underground music events. We’ll still be here if you get lost.
Follow Equation on Instragram here.