Vietnam’s Quest festival is bringing their particular blend of magic to Ba Vi for their 2016 edition, dropping a first round lineup of 20 acts covering a diverse range of musical styles from hip hop to house, folk to funk and psychedelic to psy trance.
Indie electro pranksters SAY YES DOG (LX) lead the charge, bringing their upbeat synth drenched pop to Vietnam for the first time. Funk, soul and jazz quintet WINDSTAR SOUL (US) will be channeling Detroit’s vibe with a modern twist. SAIGON DUB STATION (FR/VN) are heading north, delivering a layered feast of reggae, bass, dub and hip hop. Cross cultural hip hop and grime crew HAZARD CLIQUE (UK/VN) return whilst DJ SOUP (AUS) will be cooking up a medley of hip hop, funk, blues and soul. SQUIDEYE (USA) are sure to impress with their twisted blend of psychedelic prog rock. Rounding off the first announcement of bands are singer songwriters MATT MONTEZ and LA BELLE ET LA BETE (FR), shoegaze artist MADAMOISELLE (VN), emerging metal stars WINDRUNNER (VN), local hardcore heroes MXM and ADRIENNE MACK-DAVIS & FELICIA CRUZ (US / VN / IN), whose powerful performances and workshops have seen them perform across 10 countries to assist victims of sex trafficking.
With a focus on live music across the day and evening, followed by some of the finest electronic music by night, Quest have assembled an enviable list of talent including deep house purveyors ME & HER (SW) and hip hop, funk and breaks guru JON KENNEDY. Bangkok based drum and bass maestro DJ INSTINCT will be bringing some rumble to the jungle with support from fellow bass heavy-hitters IPHAZE (FR),SOMEK (UK) and 1DAN (UK). Fresh from Glastonbury and Boomtown, LIQUID ROSS (UK) brings his signature psychedelic trance grooves, while DJ duo HAUSWORK (SA) round off the first round announcement.
But it’s not just the music that makes Quest so special… We run down seven of the best reasons to head to this enchanting festival:
Quest is the pioneer of the multi-day festival format in Vietnam
It all began with two dozen friends heading down to the picturesque Son Tinh camp for a weekend. Lamenting the lack of organized European style music festivals in the region, they decided to create their own. Fast-forward to five years later and Quest has blossomed into a spectacular multi-day feast for the senses, brimming with interactive installations, engaging workshops, leading musical acts from across the globe and showcasing the enormous breadth of talent from across Vietnam. But the best thing is, despite Quest having its share of fans within Vietnam…
It’s still relatively undiscovered
Festivals are exploding around Southeast Asia and it seems there’s a new one being launched every week, from Thailand’s Paradise Island Festival to SM Entertainment’s entry into the festival circuit with Spectrum. Quest has been at it for 4 years already and has steadily been building a reputation and is expecting in excess of 3,000 attendees this year. But word is starting to spread about this little-known gem thanks to glowing reviews from Buzzfeed, who called it “Asia’s best music, arts and culture event,” and Mixmag Asia, who proclaiming it to be “leading the charge in a new movement of grassroots music festivals in the region.”
The location has to be seen to be believed
Quest’s three-day celebration of music, arts and culture is set on the banks of a spectacular lake, surrounded by forests and flanked by mountain ranges. Seriously, it’s like mother nature just had an orgasm right there. Splash in the shallows, wander the woods or destroy the dance floor. Whatever you’re in the mood for, you’ll find your happy place.
It’s not your average festival
Quest breaks away from the traditional route many other festivals take. You know the one. Book DJ to play, they come in, hit the play button, hands are put in the air and they walk into the sunset with six-figure paycheck. Quest breaks the mold in this way, with a focus on the best underground artists and emerging new sounds across the festival’s four stages. Assembling the lineup is a labor of love, the culmination of a year’s work and poring over in excess of 1,000 artist submissions, all completed by music fans, for music fans.
Come for the festival, stay for a holiday!
Vietnam’s color, chaos and natural beauty bring a new adventure every day. Take a few days to explore Sapa and get unique insights into the life of the hill tribes, experience a majestic sunset over Halong Bay, explore the labyrinthine network of alleys of Hanoi or take in the history-soaked monuments of Hue. The gruelling summer heat has chilled out by early November, making it the perfect time to explore this enthralling Southeast Asian destination.
It’s cheap… Like stupidly cheap
There’s no avoiding the fact that festivals are expensive affairs. Once you add up all the extra costs associated with transport, tickets, drinks and food, your wallet can get depleted pretty quickly. Not so with Quest. Even with first-round tickets selling out, second round tickets are priced at just under US$50 (1,120,000 VND)! We’re not sure there’s a three day festival of this caliber on the planet that can match that sort of value. It’s not just the tickets either. With food and drinks being at Vietnam prices (think LESS than $1.50 for a beer and food from around $3), having this much fun has never cost so little.
They take all the hard work out of attending a festival
Transport? Check. Quest has a fleet of busses organized to get you there (and back!) safe and sound.
Food and drink? Check. Bring your own food or gorge on the array of food and drink on offer from some of Hanoi’s favorite spots. All at a price that won’t break the bank.
Tents? Check. Hell, they even assemble them for you so you can get straight to enjoying the festival!
When: November 4th – 6th, 2016
Where: Son Tinh Camp, Ba Vi (40km west of Hanoi)
Tickets: Second round tickets are 1,120,000 VND (approx US$50) until October 3rd
Tickets: Get them at https://ticketbox.vn/quest-festival
All images: Dao Tiep via Quest