When you think of Southeast Asia, you think rich culture, travelling and delicious food amongst other things. Music festivals are not what comes to mind, well that needs to change because over past decade, the music festival scene here has been growing incredibly fast. Already dominating the world when it comes to travelling and teach English abroad programs, it’s only a matter of time until Southeast Asia’s music festivals become household names.
With most of our teach English abroad programs based in Southeast Asia, we thought it would be appropriate to compile a list in no particular order, of the best music festivals in the region.
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Teach English in Vietnam is quickly becoming the words on everybody’s lips! Vietnam is already one the most beautiful countries in the world to visit, add a high salary ($1200-$2000) and very low living cost and you get a traveler’s paradise. You can use teaching English in Vietnam as your base to tick off alot of locations on your southeast Asia bucket list. Checkout out the video below to see what teaching English in Vietnam is like with TravelBud:
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First up is one of our favorites – Wonderfruit, hosted in Pattaya, Thailand. This must attend festival is one of the most unique festivals in all of Southeast Asia. It has a focus on so many different themes: music, art, farming, family, health and adventure as well as inspirational talks. Unlike your normal music festivals that focus on making sure you have the best music experience, here they focus on ensuring you leave having learnt a great deal, contributed to the movement and are ultimately a better person.
Having said that, as the likes of Woodstock ’69 showed us, nobody knows how to party harder than people looking to make a change or statement in the world. This is why this festival can pull an eclectic collection of international and local music acts that span the spectrum of musical moods and genres.
“Their mission is to foster creative solutions for sustainable living and bring together a global community that celebrates them” – Wonderfruit.com
When: 13-16 December
Where: Siem Country Club, Pattaya, Thailand
How much: $138 Weekend Pass
Often described as a tribe rather than a festival. This two-day gathering of about 30 000 ravers is ideal for an all energy experience! The fact that it’s located in Sentosa, a man-made island just off the coast of Singapore and the most expensive in southeast Asia, makes for an experience you won’t forget.
This super party has been around since 2013 and with Sentosa’s Siloso beach as a venue there are sure to be many more years of it to come. Big international acts such as Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike have graced the Zoukout stage.
When: Usually held around first weekend of December.
Where: Siloso Beach, Sentosa, Singapore
How much: $160 general admission
Known to those who attend annually as a celebration of life, this festival gathers more than 50,000 people into a space where diversity is embraced and conservatism is challenged. The festival is hosted at the Jakarta International Expo Center, a huge corporate venue turned stomping ground for the duration of the festival.
Sure, most westerners need to see mud, camping and filthy long drops to feel like they are at a festival. This place is different, Indonesia is still a very conservative country, so to see girls in hijabs stomping is a massive credit to the merging of tradition and modern culture in this festival.
When: 20 July – 22 July
Where: Jakarta International Expo
How much: 1,600,000 IDR ($110) for a 3 day Pass
Ultra Music festival
Ah, what can you say about Ultra that Ultra goers haven’t already said? It is quite literally the ultimate EDM festival. This festival was established in Miami and has undoubtedly become the biggest EDM touring festival in the world. You can find it in Brazil, South Africa, Mexico, Spain and many more. It has also moved to Southeast Asia where Bali, Bangkok and Singapore have their own renditions. Artists such as Carl Cox and David Guetta are regulars.
Where: Bali, Bangkok, Singapore, Manila,
How much: $120-$170
Phu Quoc with its stunning beaches and magical sunsets is already an amazing experience for most visitors. Add 11 days of funky beats and incredible art and you get a ravers paradise. This festival takes New Years celebrations to the next level. Their 130 international acts will have you two-stepping all the way into the New Year!
When: 28 December to 8 January
Where: Phu Quoc island, Vietnam
How much: $170 3-Days Multi Pass
DJakarta Warehouse Project
Another festival held in Jakarta on our list. This festival has been around since 2014 and has been at the forefront of the EDM scene in Southeast Asia. It was first developed as an underground blockhouse party by some of the city’s biggest nightclubs. It soon grew into an internationally recognized mega festival featuring the likes of Flume, What So Not and Armin van Buuren.
So if you’re looking for an authentic underground warehouse feel to go with your filthy beats and insane UV light display, than this festival is for you! You’ll leave this party having had a real electro experience.
When: 7-10 December
Where: GWK Cultural Park, Bali, Indonesia
How much: 1,600,000 IDR ($110)
This has been hailed as the biggest music festival in the Philippines. Neverland is also a touring international festival franchise. The crowd here is always ready to head bang until the early hours of the morning. It’s been described as Tomorrowland in a day.
What makes this festival unique is the stage design and set. Built a month in advance of the festival it sure knows how to grasp the audience’s imagination, not to mention the larger than life smoke guns, fireworks and water cannons.
Where: Circuit Makati, Manila, Philippines
How much: $125 Weekend Pass
Rainforest World Music festival
The name of the festival already sets the scene for what you should expect. It’s a collective celebration of diversity in music, art, spirituality and nature. With the backdrop of the Borneo jungle, this event has a tribal feel to it which is a massive hit for the crowd from all corners of the globe.
What sets this festival apart is during daytime, there’s an array of music workshops done by indigenous musicians from the interiors of the mythical island of Borneo. Loads of crafts are displayed throughout the festival, food stalls as well as cultural displays.
When: Mid August
Where: Kuching, Borneo, Malaysia
How much: $94 Weekend Pass
If you’re looking for a non-stop party for four days and 3 nights, best you board The Ship – Asia’s largest festival at sea! Started way back in 2013 as a booze cruise for a few mates has become the ultimate party cruise of Southeast Asia.
It’s set on a luxurious cruise ship that takes you from Singapore to Bangkok and back again. Featuring international acts to keep you entertained throughout and loads of festivities along the way, this is the best way to kick start your vacation.
When: 4-7 November
Big Mountain Music festival
This has quickly become one of the standout musical festivals in Southeast Asia. It takes place over two days and features 9 stages and 200 acts. Most of the artists are Thai but there are a few international acts also. It focuses on showcasing the very best of Thai music, mainly focusing on Thailand’s Luk-Thung country music and Moh-Lam folk songs but the festival does also include international acts.
When: 8-9 December
Where: Phetchaburi, Thailand
How much: $80
Realize your travel dreams by teaching English here
One of the best ways to explore Southeast Asia and attend all these magnificent festivals is by teaching English in Thailand. With two months of school holidays and all public holidays off, it’s the perfect opportunity to see Southeast Asia. You will earn a good salary ($800-$1200) and low cost of living means it’s the ideal place to save. Check out our video below showcasing our cultural orientation in Thailand:
Interested in Teaching English in Thailand? We’ll send you more info!