All about Asia’s newest music festival from the inside…
I was finishing up a tour of the US after Burning Man, doing a bit of cooking and sightseeing, and my US visa was soon to expire. I was waiting on my Indian visa to arrive from the UK (I hadn’t had time before I left so I had to send my passport back to England to get someone to do it all for me). Then my visa arrived rejected! I’d printed the form one millimeter too small and they had rejected it! Silly really and they are the ones who lost out in the end! I decided to head to Thailand and go to the Indian Embassy there and sort it all out then, as my expiring US visa meant I had to leave the US.
However, as soon as I had landed, some friends from Secret Productions who were working on setting up Asia’s newest and Thailand’s first music festival, asked if I would help out too. Obviously I agreed and India lost me for good! It was meant to be though…
The build was a hoot and it was all a big family of love. You can read about the build on the creactivity – experience section here. But, when the festival started, that was the real prize! What a great festival!
It’s set in Chonburi, about 1 to 2 hours drive from Bangkok (depending on traffic) in a really luscious, verdant area, that seems more like England in places. It really is set in a beautiful space and a lot of work has gone into making it look good, work well, into art and function. For the nervous amongst us, there have been no issues with creepy crawlies, bugs of anything like that either so what are you waiting for?! You also wouldn’t necessarily know you were in Thailand too (though there is lots of cross-culturalism going down too) so don’t have any preconcieved ideas and just go! Camping is in beautiful, comfortable and fully equipped bell tents (with optional air conditioning!), or your own tent (which I wouldn’t recommend!).
There’s things to do, workshops, crafting, fun things and more. There’s a focus on lifestyle and green living and lots of great examples of projects and talks from leaders in this field. Food deserves it’s own mention. There is fine, michelin star dining or the usual (excellent) festival fair. It’s worth going just for the food (check out our festival food article here). There’s lots of bars and drinks too and lots of lovely areas to enjoy these things or just chill in. You can camp there, go boutique camping or stay at a hotel offsite. The vibe is also really good too. It’s got a good mix of Thai and expats and generally people who are lovely, want to have a good time and love what a festival like Wonderfruit has to offer (music, food, good times!); so basically, it’s a heart filled love and fun space to be in! We made lots of friends! I also met my now fiance Inna there too!
Oh but the music! What a great line up, every year! The music programmer is one of the guys behind Robot Heart and other New York and Hong Kong music scenes, my friend Jason Swamy. You know the music is going to be good! From Jamie Jones, Seth Troxler, Damian Lazarus and more stars in The Quarry to Fat Freddy’s Drop, Jose Gonzales, and more, it’s got something for everyone! Last year there was Rhye, Submotion orchestra and more! The first year, I had an almost religious experience with Woodkid, you should really check those guys out! And last year Lucent Dosser Experience were amazing too. This year, 2016, they’ve got Rudimental and lots more, check it out here!
I can’t recommend it enough! It’s in December, around the 17th for four days. If you’re in Thailand, or you like to see the festivals of the world, then go to Wonderfruit. The main owner, my friend Pete Phornprapha is a big fan of Burning Man and Secret Garden Party so you know you are going to a good festival with that sort of provenance! Enjoy!
Check out our photos below!
Wonderfruit photos: Click on the arrows to scroll, or on the image for a larger version (in a pop-up)
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