What is ‘festival season’ in Asia anyway? Because it feels like the entire year in Asia has been jam packed with them. Europe is lovely but expensive and North America even more so but Southeast Asia is blessed with warm weather year round, the line-ups are amazing, tickets are affordable, accommodations are cheap and travel is peanuts. Music tourism has blown up and we’re oscillating between being really excited and really petrified for our livers.
We’ve been blown away ourselves by the volume of festivals that have sprung up out of nowhere in such a short time with 17 happening between now and the end of the year alone and that’s not even considering the last few months, or the road to festival season if you may, with Electric Island Festival in Guam, Sunny Side Up Tropical Festival in Bali, We The Fest in Jakarta, S20 in Bangkok, Together Festival in Bangkok and Organik in Taiwan all taking place. Ultra threw a record breaking 8 events in Asia this year so all in all life is good in the Far East. See you out there, friends.
September 10th & 11th
Ultranauts were elated to find out this year's Singapore show has been upgraded to a full-blown two-day Ultra event. The venue has also been moved to the newly appointed ULTRA Park, which sits just across from the iconic Marina Bay Sands Hotel. Drawing even more parallels to Miami’s Bayfront Park, the event will also feature the same three stages its American counterpart: the Main Stage, Live Stage and RESISTANCE Stage.
Line-up: Above & Beyond, Afrojack, Alesso, Axwell^Ingrosso, Carnage, deadmau5, Far East Movement, Gryffin, Jauz, Kygo, Marshmallow, Nicole Moudaber, NERO (Live), Reboot, Shaded (live), DJ Snake, Technasia, W&W, ZHU
INDONESIA: ULTRA BEACH BALI
September 15th & 16th
Ultra Beach Bali will take over the iconic Potato Head Beach Club in the heavenly coastal town of Seminyak and set up camp on their pristine parcel of beachfront land. When you lookout over the main stage you’re treated to vistas of the Indian Ocean, which makes from some pretty spectacular sunset shots. The two-day event will also host a RESISTANCE Stage and a Live Stage and the line-up speaks volumes for the magnitude of this event, especially for those growing tired of EDM only events. Beer, beaches, Bali and Ultra, what more do you want?
Line-up: Afrojack, Anna, deadmau5, Dubfire, Galantis, Gryffin, Jauz, Marshmello, Martin Garrix, Matador, Nic Fanciulli, Nicole Moudaber, Reboot, Shaded (live), Technasia and Thomas Jack.
HONG KONG: ROAD TO ULTRA
This will be Ultra’s first foray into Hong Kong and it will also be the first event to happen at the brand new Nursery Park at West Kowloon Cultural District, set to be completed just in time for the event and will boast views of Hong Kong’s towering skyline.
Line-up: Carnage, Galantis, Jauz,Knife Party, Martin Garrix, Marshmello, NERO (Live), Thomas Jack
PHILIPPINES: ROAD TO ULTRA
Road to Ultra returns to the Mall of Asia for round two this year, bringing with it a very typical star-studded EDM line-up. Wonderful news for Manila because it's fast becoming a more frequent stop on the tour map as of late, with clubs, events and festivals increasing in quantity and size. Considering the capital city’s massive population, it’s only a matter of time before it turns in Thailand, especially considering its plethora of pristine islands.
Line-up: Alesso, Hardwell, Tiesto, Fedde Legrand, Motti, Jessica Milner, Raiden and Tom Taus
INDONESIA: INVASION ELECTRIC FESTIVAL
Invasion returns to Jakarta this year for its third edition with a surprising but welcomed line-up considering last year features chiefly EDM acts. Names like Ben Klock and Bicep got our attention and it will be the first and only Dubfire:Live Hybrid show in Asia. The line-up comes with the addition of a second room this year and a new concept for art direction and installations: Imaginarium Mystique Electro Forrest. Invasion claims to be Indonesia’s largest indoor festival, in which it hopes to attract a well-heeled crowd by offering a covered event with table service, no queues and air-con. The event attracted 10,000 people last year and we wouldn’t be surprised to see that double this year with such a stacked line-up.
Line-up: Alex Adair, Ben Klock, Bicep, Dubfire (live), Ferry Corsten, Gouryella, Juncoco, Malaa, Markus Schulz, Sick Individuals, Shaun Frank
HONG KONG: ZOUKOUT LIVE EDITION
Friday October 7th
After Genting acquired the ZoukOut brand earlier this year, it announced plans to expand beyond Singapore and have so far thrown a festival in Boracay. They have now announced their first go in Hong Kong with a one-day event. It may take a while before this event grows into something that is reminiscent of Zoukout in Singapore but the branding still represents the same style and quality so we’re excited to see what they can do. The indoor event happens at the Central Harbourfront and kicks off the HKT Formula E ePrix race weekend.
Line-up: Nicky Romero, Nelly & Ne-Yo
After two successful runs in Thailand and then circumnavigating the world in 2016, the 50-tonne mechanical spider heads back to Asia, landing twice in the region before heading to Australia. Coming straight from Seoul, the spider and its 5—foot flames will set up camp in Taipei for the very first time at the scenic Riverside Park with the city’s futuristic skyline glittering in the background. The multi-sensory and fully immersive festival is an exciting addition to Taiwan’s growing festival scene and the largely EDM line-up will surely attract the island’s abundance of young electronic music enthusiasts.
Line-up: Nicky Romero, Kaskade, Andrew Rayel, Vicetone + regionals TBA
VIETNAM: QUEST FESTIVAL
November 4th – 6th
Recently we published a story announcing the details surrounding this year’s edition of the Vietnamese festival and we were blown away ourselves at the photography that accompanied the information. Photos depicted one of the most scenic festivals we’ve ever seen. The outdoor festival takes places in northern Vietnam on the banks of the Dong Mo Lake and is all encompassing on all fronts. The music direction runs the gamut from hip-hop to soul, metal to indie rock, and techno to psytrance. Quest also offers theatre performances, interactive installations, culinary feasts and the whole thing is themed after the mythic story of Sơn Tinh and Thuy Tinh, where the lords of the mountain and water vie for the hand of the beautiful My Nương in an eternal battle symbolizing the monsoon season. Woah.
Line-up: Say Yes Dog, Windstar Soul, Saigon Dub Station, Hazard Clique, Dj Soup, Squideye, Matt Montez, La Belle Et La Bete, Madamoiselle, Windrunner, Mxm, Adrienne Mack-Davis & Felicia Cruz, Me & Her, Jon Kennedy, Dj Instinct, Iphaze, Somek, 1dan, Liquid Ross, And Hauswork.
THAILAND: MYSTIC VALLEY FESTIVAL
November 11th – 13th
Mystic Valley Festival only recently announced its inaugural event and while few details have been made public, we gather this is going to be a big thing. Let us tell you why. For starters, the events will feature four stages with what they trumpet will feature some of the world’s biggest talents over three days, all together over 30 acts. This means it’s not just going to be a local affair, although it seems every single promoter and DJ in the local is scene is also involved with partnering stages already being confirmed. Music is to be spread across multiple genres, from EDM to trap, trance, house, techno and indie. Also enticing is the brand new site, just a few hours north of Bangkok in Khao Yai at the Mountain Creek Resort. We’ll update this further as news comes in.
HONG KONG: CLOCKENFLAP
November 25th – 27th
Hong Kong’s beloved music and arts festival returns this year for what we feel is going to be the biggest and most impressive yet. Clockenflap is also the only place in Asia you will get to see LCD Soundsystem this year (fuck yeah) along with a rare performance by Icelandic band Sigur Ros, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Crystal Castles and Rødhåd, See? We don’t even need more but there are still more line-up announcements to go. Year after year, Clockenflap descends upon Hong Kong’s sparkling skyline and lights up the heart of the city. The multi-cultural family friendly affair also attracts everyone and their mom but keeps going well into the nights for the insomniacs within us. With Hong Kong being such an accessible hub in Asia, if you’ve never made it to Clockenflap in its nine years of operation, this is the year to change that.
Line-up: LCD Soundsystem, Sigur Rós, Foals, 陳綺貞 Cheer Chen, George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, José González, Fat Freddy's Drop, Crystal Castles, 世界末日 SEKAI NO OWARI, Rødhåd, 朱凌凌Juicyning, BADBADNOTGOOD, tfvsjs, Sun Glitters, Reonda, 慘慘豬 CharmCharmChu (HK)
SINGAPORE: IT’S THE SHIP
November 4th – 7th
Two words: David Hasselhoff. Yes, it’s true. The Hoff will be hosting It’s The Ship, which sails around Asia for the third time this year. The 4-day 3-night sun-soaked cruise, organized by The Livescape Group, is now the only floating festival in Asia and the second largest in the world. It departs from Singapore and sails for Penang before returning to port and will host approximately 4,000 revelers onboard the luxurious Royal Caribbean cruise liner with theme nights, beach parties and more debauchery with The Hoff. The event sells out every year and is nearing that as of writing. Expect the young, the hip, the wild and the wealthy.
Line-up: Knife Party, Dada Life, Andrew Rayel, Peking Duk, Far East Movement, Sander van Doorn, Get Lucky, Mashd N Kutcher, Lucille Croft, Kate Foxx, MaRLo, Ben Gold, Kayla, Young Queenz and Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano host their world-famous Sexy By Nature EDM party with Watermat and Frank Rizardo.
December 10th & 11th
One of Asia’s pioneering and most beloved music festivals is still going strong after more than a decade and a half. Zoukout has even amassed so much love and support from the international community that DJs are always talking about coming back to play at one of their favorite festivals in the world. Taking place on the sandy shores of Siloso Beach in Sentosa Island, the festival has become a mainstay even amid a region of occasional controversy surrounding festivals. The line-up has yet to be released but is always solid, last year hosting Dixon, Dubfire, DJ Snake, Paul Kalkbrenner, Paul Oakenfold, Jamie Jones, Claude VonStoke and more,
DJAKARTA WAREHOUSE PROJECT
December 10th & 11th
Two words before you open up Google and peruse flights: Carl Cox. It’s the first time the legend has made it over here in about a decade and that’s reason enough to go. But the festival has earned bragging right on its own accord, last year it had around 85,000 people through the gate, an all-star line-up, three stages and a shitload of pyrotechnics. This year will also see the introduction of Life in Color, what is referred to as the world’s biggest paint party, and the theme will be ‘kingdom’. From humble beginnings as a warehouse party, what DWP have amassed ahead of its 10th anniversary is impressive and speaks volumes for the scene in the capital city of Jakarta, one that we’re very curious about.
Line-up: Blasterjaxx, Brennan Heart, Carl Cox, KSHMR, GTA, Hardwell, Marlo, Martin Garrix, DJ Snake, Snakeships, Yellow Claw and Zedd.
THAILAND: 808 FESTIVAL
December 10th & 11th
2016 has been an amazing year for electronic music fans in Thailand with the number events, clubs and festivals absolutely snowballing. While this is wonderful news for all, there is still something to desire by fans of underground electronic music. And this is why you should be excited about 808 Festival. While the event has yet to release any details surrounding the line-up, there are a number of reasons we feel you should already be freaking out. First of all, the event already had two stages but now it has expanded to two days from one, which means double the line-up. Second, the event happens on the same weekend as Djakarta Warehouse Project and Zoukout, which means there there are a lot of BIG NAMES already in the area. And knowing what we know from previous years, we expect the three events to be swapping some acts. Also, Jamie Jones, Claude VonStroke and Dubfire all played last year in the Sunn Arena so you know that the promoters know what they are doing. We’ll keep you updated as news comes in.
MYANMAR: 808 FESTIVAL
December 10th & 11th
This is the first year that 808 will operate in Yangon and we have very little information about this but we can expect at least some of Bangkok’s line-up to trickle over. Opposite DJs on opposite days, we can only hope. We’ll keep you updated as information comes in.
December 15th – 18th
Thailand’s pioneering eco-friendly music, arts and lifestyle festival returns for its third year this December and as usual, is one that we look forward to the most. Simply walking up to the site, even before you step onto the festival grounds, is like walking into another world and the feeling is exhilarating – think Burning Man meets Glastonbury but in Thailand. Wonderfruit always features a diverse of stages and artists, with endless opportunities to explore the many whimsical avenues of the festival’s otherworldly ethos. With goal of eventually becoming self-sustainable, Wonderfruit thinks locally and eco-friendly endeavors are paramount. The festival also boasts boutique camping and an epicurean line-up like we’ve never seen before.
Line-up: Rudimental, Young Fathers, Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood’s project JUNUN, Wolf + Lamb, Kate Simko & The London Electronic Orchestra, Mad Professor, Matador, Natasia & more to be announced
THAILAND: PARADISE ISLAND FESTIVAL
January 7th & 8th
Paradise Island Festival is another newcomer to the scene and will takeover the tropical island of Koh Samui in the south of Thailand early January. Aside from a stellar preliminary line-up and a stunning location, the event is presented by Soundcrash, a UK-based company with 10 years of history planning and promoting concerts, festivals and events throughout the UK and Europe, so we feel confident that it will be executed well. That said, the event will also be showcasing arts and Thai culture alongside the music, featuring Thai acts with a focus on feel-good music like soul, funk, hip-hop, jazz, reggae, ska, world music and the best funky, uplifting DJs. To help reduce the footprint it will leave on the island, it will be making great strides in promoting and supporting eco-friendly, responsible tourism, nature conservation programs and reforestation schemes.
Line-up: De La Soul, Goldie, LTJ Bukem, Maribou State, Anchorsong, Mad Professor