With the influx of big EDM festivals in Southeast Asia, more often than not with somewhat blah (and repeated) line-ups, Wonderfruit Festival stands out with its cross-cultural, sustainability driven experience, and their mission to merge social responsibility with the dance music movement.
The 4-day celebration of immersive arts, including music, farm-to-table feasts, health and wellness, talks, workshops, and natural adventures was set in the stunning plantation fields at Siam Country, Pattaya.
For starters, the diverse music line-up featured both local and international acts. From hip hop to house, Thai folk to techno, it was a journey of musical discovery for festival-goers. Some highlights include audio-visual showcase the iy_project from Jon Hopkins and Chris Levine at The Living Stage, Roscius’s memorable set at the Forbidden Stage, and the live techno set by Electro Guzzi at Soi Stage.
Most of the activities and music programming came to an end at midnight, it was the hour that the party started at a section of the festival grounds call The Quarry (one of my personal favourites). The line-up saw Dan Buri, Arjun Vagale, HVOB, Heartthrob, and Daypak Solo, just to name a few. Located and built within the natural landscape of the forest, the stage was designed by Wonderfruit and craftsman Jason Nogoy. Its bamboo structures’ interplay with the environment creates an invigorating sense of freedom and possibility.
Come sunrise, festival goers would make their way to Solar Stage situated in the middle of the festival grounds. With eclectic sounds by DJs such as Oceanvs Orientalis, Com Truise, it was a good way to wake us before heading back to the camping ground to catch up on sleep.
Apart from having a well-respected international DJ programme, Wonderfruit did an impressive job in showcasing regional House and Techno DJs from Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines; with small stages such as Rocketfruit and the Playground supporting DJs, spreading good vibes all day and night.
Music aside, the art installations were equally captivating. Enpheria, an art installation created by light installation collective Zeight, transformed the lotus pond into a magical relaxation den, where glowing geometric domes of ever-changing lights pulse and interplay with local botanics. Molam Bus, a traveling cultural station curated by the Jim Thompson Art Center that had everyone climbing on for that perfect angle for photograph of the sunset, become everyone’s meeting point.
Not forgetting, architect Adam Pollina’s The Ziggurat with Singha. Pollina crafted Ziggurat out of discarded beer bottles, crates and boxes in the Wonderfruit field. This space, where you relax on a daybed in the shady sails above with a refreshing beer in hand, was pretty much everyone’s favorite spot for a pre-game.
Those who love good design and fashion were not forgotten; A Taste Of Wonder was Wonderfruit’s day-to-night bazaar for Thai artisans and designers to showcase and sell their eclectic pieces. In addition to the wide variety of food vendors, Wonderfruit has invited highly acclaimed chefs such as Chef Gaggan Anand (who also own’s 2015 Asia’s Best Restaurant Gaggan) to whip up unique banquets for the 200-seat Theatre of Feasts.
Was it a completely seamless and flawless experience? Not at all. But considering Wonderfruit is only in its sophomore year, the festival blew me me away with its spellbinding lineup of arts, workshops, and music.
I’m already looking forward to be back there this year.