I have never been to any other concert than those featuring Korean artists. And I haven’t listened to Western music in such a long while, too. But 2017 and 2018 were really nice to me that I was introduced to some indie musicians from the US and UK that I liked.
Wanderland is an annual arts and music festival in Manila and they usually invite international indie musicians to their stages. This year, I was contemplating so greatly to come and watch because the Korean indie band ADOY is part of the line up, one of our favorites and by some amazing miracle, me and my friend Sarah got into the two-day festival for free! And if you were ever wondering, we got in because we were added into ADOY’s guestlist right after our interview that Saturday afternoon (which we will be releasing soon!).
Day 1 happened on March 9th and we had to run over to the gates before it closes at 6pm because we only received our tickets at least 30 minutes before the time. We got in, we were excited, we were shocked, we were happy. The crowd you see here is extra different where most of the goers were obviously rich kids or those that are loose in resources. And honestly, me and Sarah looked out of place, considering all their get-ups while we were obviously disheveled.
The tickets we had was for Star Wanderer which practically translates to “VIP”. We had our own lounge, bar, comfort rooms and free drinks. But what was so intense was the fact that 99 percent of everyone who was at the Star Lounge were famous people from band members and their families, the performing acts, actors, actresses, musicians, basketball players and more. The remaining one percent was probably just me and Sarah.
When we got there, Unique was playing and the last song he did was “Mundo”, a song originally released by IV of Spades when he was still part of the band. He did a different version of it and I really liked it more than the original. We moved to the second stage and an indie duo from America was playing called JOAN. I have never heard of them before but I totally loved their music. It reminded me of some first generation Glen Check music and I am currently really crazy about their short discography.
All through Gabrielle Aplin and SG Lewis’ stages, we were walking around the place and the lounge and came back just in time to see HONNE, Sarah’s choice for the day. They are definitely amazing and I am so happy to finally see them live as well.
Day 2 was more hyped because we had second thoughts of going. But we ended up creating more memories when we ultimately decided to come.
I got in just in time to see a Filipino band play called Dayaw performing. I totally loved their music which is a mix of trafitional Filipino sounds, jazz and reggae, and I hoped I got there earlier to see the whole set. While Clara Benin was doing her set right after Dayaw’s, I stayed at the Globe stage to wait for ADOY’s stage.
It was nice to see them waving at me when they saw me in front of the stage waiting for them to start. And when they finally did, it was complete satisfaction, my first K-Indie band performance experience. Despite a little technical difficulty, they still continued to wow the crowd. ADOY’s music isn’t exactly one that could make you dance till you drop, but amazingly, they still made everyone join in, jump, dance and sing along and it was beautiful.
The next set I watched was Mac Ayres, a singer I was introduced to because of Crush. We walked to the VIP lounge again and happened to get a glimpse of ADOY walking to the tents for their meet and greet sessions with fans.
After, we ran quick to catch Sandwich on stage and oh my god – it was amazing! They are a part of every young Filipino’s life but it was my first time to see them perform live. And there really is no replacement for amazing Filipino music, no matter the generation.
We waited for PREP while Clairo was on stage performing. They were the second reason I stayed for Day 2 of this festival. I wouldn’t want to miss the opportunity to see them live. We were right in front and I was often so awed that I just stood there with my mouth wide open. But half of the time, I was trying my hardest to stay in my position because everyone seemed to just push their way through to the front.
Right through Alina Baraz’s set, we decided to walk around the whole place and see what else we didn’t see and try. And much to our dismay, there really was a lot we missed.
Wanderland Festival can be really daunting to people who can’t cough up P10,000 at once. And that’s why most of the crowd are people who are either rich or part of the workforce. But being part of this 2-day festival really made me feel that my money is worth it, and even more than that. Starting with the extensive security process of frisking, bag search and K-9 sniffing; to the presence of both the Philippine National Police, PDEA operatives and emergency services such a fire truck and paramedics. And for those skeptical in joining festivals because of drug usage allegations, Wanderland made it sure that drugs won’t be slipped inside and added almost hourly reminders that they condemn the use of it. Aside from the diverse and full lineup for every day, there are also a wide range of activities, stores, minor shows and booths people can visit in case they don’t like anyone who’s on stage at the moment.
Our tips, is to dress for the concert, we swear. It’s like a fashion show there. And since Wanderland is usually scheduled around March and it’s the start of the hot season again, dress up light. Don’t bring any liquids or food. There are drinks and food inside to buy. Don’t bring a lot of things. I think it applies for people who pack up stuff they think they need, but essentially just bring your wallet, phone, power bank, towel/handkerchief, an extra shirt if you wish, fan, and/or camera.
Now, depending on the next line-up, I guess it’s safe to say that you’ll see us at the next Wanderland Festival! And thank you so much to Sarah for spending this awesome weekend with me. Definitely keeping this in the books for a long while.