The weather may be starting to cool but Southeast Asia’s festival scene is just starting to heat up. With jaw dropping landscapes and spectacular locales unique to the region, it is easy to see how each year more festivals are establishing themselves. We count down 10 of the best festivals that you can catch before 2015 wraps up.
MINES International Exhibition & Convention Centre
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tickets: RM198 (US$47)
Featuring multiple award-winning international, regional and local acts, in the form of an awe-inspiring 8-hour festival of the senses, Soulfest Asia is Asia’s most anticipated celebration of Urban R&B, Soul and Hip Hop music. Billing itself as Asia’s first hip hop, R&B and neo soul festival, Soulfest is landing on Malaysia’s shores for the first time this October and has shown they are planning on sticking around, delivering up a world class lineup for Malaysian fans. Mary J Blige, Jhene Aiko, Talib Kweli, De La Soul, DJ Irwan and M Phatt, Raisa, Shiga Shay, Thaitanium and the just reveal Omarion will all performing at the one day event.
6 | 7 | 8 November
Son Tinh Camp
Tickets: 900,000VND (US$43)
Now in its fifth iteration, Quest Festival is by far the best value for money on this list coming in at just over $40 for a three day weekend of entertainment. The music, arts and lifestyle festival is held on the banks of an idyllic lake in Ba Vi, around 50 kilometres outside of Hanoi allowing participants to relax, play, swim, dance and create at their leisure. The event is set to host over 80 bands, DJs and performance artists across four stages. Featuring acts from across Vietnam, Southeast Asia and beyond the festival is a highlight of the Hanoi cultural calendar and is this year headlined by disco master Mighty Mouse.
It’s The Ship
20 | 21 | 22 | 23 November
Singapore – Langkawi – Singapore
Tickets: Cabins start at from US$588 based on 4 person occupancy
Whilst Miami’s now iconic Holy Ship party may have kick started the trend back in 2012, Livescape’s maiden voyage of It’s The Ship last year brought all the nautical hedonism of the high seas to Asian audiences. It’s The Ship is back in 2105 merging the relaxed atmosphere of a vacation and the epic experience of a music festival along with another 3,800 like-minded people. Kaskade, Showtek, Adventure Club, Carnage, Far East Movement and Headhunterz are leading the charge in the DJ stakes with a wealth of local talent packed on board for the four-day floating party. Epic!
27 | 28 | 29 November
West Kowloon Cultural District
Tickets: Start at $1280HKD (US$165 ) for a 3 day pass
Didn’t your mother tell you not to judge a book by its cover? Sure Clockenflap has a weird name, but they know how to put on one hell of a festival. The established site at the West Kowloon Cultural District will once again provide breathtaking views of Hong Kong’s skyline for the eighth edition of Hong Kong’s Clockenflap festival. The family friendly event integrates film, music, art and animation with an aim to nurturing the Hong Kong cultural scene and is the flagship musical event for Hong Kong. Since 2008, the festival has attracted the best in local and international talent and is attended by in excess of 20,000 people yearly. The three day festival has just announced its lineup with Damien Rice, The Libertines, Flying Lotus, Clean Bandit, Blackalicious and a host of other top notch performers in tow. Tickets are available for individual days performances or for the whole three day spectacular.
28 | 29 November
Fort Canning Park
Tickets: $189SGD (US$134) for 2 day pass
Singapore indie music lovers that can’t make the journey across for Clockenflap are in for a pretty sweet treat with Neon Lights festival set to illuminate the city across the same weekend. While the festival shares a number of the most recognizable acts with Clockenfap like Damien Rice and shoegaze legends Ride, they are also bringing in acts like Chic feat. Nile Rogers, Flight Facilities and Mr Scruff to the party. The event, held across to days features a rich and vibrant music and arts programme encompassing international and local music, dance, theatre, comedy, art & design installations, spoken word and children’s workshops.
11 |12 December
Siloso Beach, Sentosa
Tickets SGD$258 (US$184)
Singapore’s definitive annual dance festival brings the nation’s premier nightspot, Zouk, to the great outdoors. Now celebrating its 15th year, the spectacular lineup continues to evolve and the 2015 lineup is no different. The festival has secured a who’s who of the electronic music world, bringing EDM heavyweights Tiesto, Kaskade, Armin Van Buuren, Deep Dish, Nervo and Axwell & Ingrosso along with some of the best sounds from the underground like Dixon, Jamie Jones, and Dirty Bird founder Claude Von Stroke.
ZoukOut has built a name synonymous with quality, consistently delivering phenomenal lineups spanning electro, trance, techno and house, all rounded off by world class lighting and production values. ZoukOut’s last event brought a record turnout of more than 50,000 festival-goers across the weekend and the event clearly stands out as the pinnacle of electronic music festivals in the region.
Djakarta Warehouse Project Festival
11 | 12 December
Tickets: IND900,000 (US$50)
It’s easy to see how this is the biggest dance music festival in Indonesia. Ismaya Live, the team behind Ultra Bali, have pulled off a lineup of electronic artists that would be comfortable headlining any major electronic music festival on earth.
In fact, an extended version of this lineup IS happening somewhere else. Across the same weekend. At Zouk Out. Sure there’s some acts missing like Dixon, Paul Oakenfold and DJ Tennis but for anyone in Indonesia, this heavyweight lineup including Porter Robinson, Armin Van Buuren, Axwell & Ingrosso, Kaskade, Tiesto, Jamie Jones, Headhunters is a welcome shot in the arm to the local events scene. Plus it’s only US$50 a ticket as opposed to Zouk Out’s pricetag at almost four times the price. Bargain!
17 | 18 | 19 | 20 December
The Fields at Siam Country
Chon Buri, Thailand
Tickets: 5,500THB (US$153 )
Wonderfruit is a bringing its unique boutique lifestyle festival back to Thailand for a second edition in 2015, but they’ve got a couple of surprises up their sleeve. Not only have they added an extra day but they’ve also reduced the price of tickets compared to last year, making an amazing festival simply unmissable. Returning to its site in the bucolic locale of Chon Buri (around an hour and a half from Bangkok), the 4-day festival touts itself as a celebration of immersive music and art that champions ideals of sustainability and creativity.
Produced by Scratch First, Wonderfruit will host outdoor installations, theatre performances, film screenings, talks, debates and of course, a smashing local and international lineup. The first round of acts recently dropped and will feature Desktop Error, The Faint, Howie B, Jon Hopkins X Chris Levine presenting The Ivy Project, Submotion Orchestra and a slew of local acts like Polycat and Mahajamreon. Stay tuned for the second round lineup announcement at ethe end of September or start of October.
Big Mountain Music Festival
19 | 20 December
Kaeng Krachan Country Club
Tickets: 2000 THB (US$55 )
Easily the biggest music festival in Thailand’s cultural calendar, Big Mountain festival is celebrating its 7th edition by moving out of its traditional location to a brand new location in Phetchaburi. The event welcomes 70,000 people each year to enjoy some 200 acts, mainly Thai with some international standouts, across nine stages. The the new location is the premises of the former Kaeng Krachan Country Club in Phetchaburi province, reachable from Bangkok in around 2 hours (160 kilometres). While the lineup has still not been confirmed, more information will be announced later in September.
2 | 3 | 4 | 5 January
Singapore | Phuket | Langkawi | Singapore
Price: Cabins start at from US$799 based on 4 person occupancy
We know January is technically 2016 but it would be a crime to not include Shipsomnia on this list. Sailing out from Singapore, this 5 day, 4 night adventure across the high seas will see revellers taken by luxury cruise liner from Singapore to Phuket for a private beach party, then onto Lankawi before returning to port. A team of artists will transform the vessel into an aquatic wonderland and a world class electronic music lineup is onboard headlined by Pete Tong, Armand Van Helden and Zed’s Dead with an epic support cast including Stanton Warriors, James Zabielia and DJ Jazzy Jeff. With a wealth of activities like dodgeball tournaments, DJ classes with your idols, theatre shows and treasure hunts, there’ll be no end to the madness on this ship.
Is there anything we missed out on? Let us know in the comments!