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Festival Guide 2017: Here are 26 music festivals in Asia that you shouldn't miss

Festival Guide 2017: Here are 26 music festivals in Asia that you shouldn't miss

Aside from it being a great year for music in Singapore, the region is absolutely blowing up with great festivals that require local, regional, and international artists to jet all over the region. The spread of music is like a virulent parasite – just the positive kind that gives life, instead of the kind that takes it away.

We also got some concerned feedback when we published our guide to headliner concerts in Singapore. To the Ariana Grande fans wondering where in the world she was on that list – look no further.

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Disclaimer: many festivals have travel packages attached to them, which we sometimes do not link to. These travel packages are neat options for those who don’t mind travelling for the sole purpose of the festival itself. Check out our article on one such package offered by Ultra – every festival has something like that to offer, so do your research!

So behold – the festivals that’ll make people travel all over east Asia:


ITADAKI FESTIVAL (Yoshida, Japan)

The Itadaki Festival is a locally centered jazz/indie-rock festival that brings the best of precise Japanese jazz on one stage. While the headliner on the first day is the Blue Note Records jazz maestro Robert Glasper with the Robert Glasper Experiment, the rest of the line-up features a set of local artists that are set to take the seaside stage by storm, such as EGO-WRAPPIN’ and never young beach.

Where: Yoshida Park, Yoshida, Japan
When: 3rd to 4th June 2017
Tickets: Get your tickets here.
Prices: 1 day ticket at 7,000 yen, 2 day ticket at 13,000 yen


LIO BEACH FESTIVAL (Philippines)

We've covered Indonesia, Malaysia, and gone as far as Korea and Japan. Time for something closer to home - the Philippines. The Lio Beach Festival is set to take Palawan Beach (unfortunately not Sentosa's, but the actual one) and delight all the beach bums out to soak up some sun and some sick music. The line-up features up and coming greats that aren't really performing in any other festival in the region: French producer Vincent Fenton, more popularly known as FKJ, Swooping Duck (featuring members of jazz powerhouse Hiatus Kaiyote), and LA chill-house producer Mark Redito (who used to be known as Spazzkid). Check out the 10 must-see artists at Lio here.

Where: Lio Beach Estate, El Nido, Palawan
When: 9th to 11th June 2017
Tickets: Get your tickets here
Prices: 3-Day Pass: 4,500 PHP, 2-Day Pass: 3,400 PHP, 1-Day Pass: 1,800 PHP


ULTRA MUSIC FESTIVAL (Singapore and Seoul, South Korea)

This festival doesn’t need an extensive introduction. The mecca for electronic music, the Ultra festival is where the biggest names of EDM, trap, dubstep, and all that good stuff gather to play a weekend long festival to crowds upon crowds of largely half naked fans. Happening both in Singapore and South Korea over the 10th and 11th of June, the festival promises to be a smorgasbord of the latest electronic music has to offer, featuring headliners KSHMR, Tchami, and Pendulum.

SINGAPORE

Where: Ultra Park, Marina Bay Sands
When: 10th and 11th June 2017
Tickets: Get your tickets here.
Prices: GA (1 day) S$115, GA (2 days) S$178

KOREA

Where: Seoul Olympic Stadium
When: 10th and 11th June
Tickets: Get your tickets here.
Prices: GA (1 day) 130,000 won, GA (2 days) 180,000 won. If you’re buying from outside Korea, tickets for GA (2 days) go at USD$240.


NEVERLAND MANILA (Manila, Philippines)

Bringing you a night of EDM, Neverland Manila presents Young Gunz on 11 June at Circuit Makati. This EDM festival will be featuring sought-after DJs around the world, such as Blasterjaxx, Firebeats, KURA, Tom Swoon and many more. As the Regular Gold Phase 1 tickets have been sold out, grab your tickets fast!

Where: Mall of Asia Concert Grounds, Manila, Philippines
When: 11th June 2017
Tickets: Get your tickets here
Prices: Starting from PHP 2100.


PLAYTIME (Gachuurt, Mongolia)

Playtime features the best that the Mongolian music scene has to offer. On the top of the line-up are bands like Mongolian grunge pioneers NISVANIS. The festival also draws international bands like Japanese indie-rock quartet ‘The fin’. Held in the quaint village of Gachuurt, Playtime festival is an occasion for music lovers – one and all – to gather for a weekend of musical revelry.

Where: Gachuurt village, Mongolia
When: 7th to 9th July 2017
Tickets: Get your tickets here.
Prices: 40,000 tögrögs


BAYBEATS (Singapore)



Baybeats has established its reputation as the hottest local music festival featuring the top youth bands from a variety of genres. Also known as one of the hottest talent hunts, this year’s installment features burgeoning quartet FXTRT, and indie chill band Subsonic Eye. They get to play on the same stage as established local and regional bands. Audiences get to catch all this raw local talent - that's right - for free.

Where: Esplanade
When: 14th to 16th July 2017
Tickets: Admission is free.


RAINFOREST MUSIC FESTIVAL (Sarawak, Malaysia)

This year coincidentally marks the 20th anniversary for the Rainforest Festival, which is held in the heart of the Borneo Jungle. It has an entire festival village dedicated to it, complete with long houses, restaurants, and cultural hubs to sustain the varied interests of festival goers who come from far and wide. The line-up features not only regional and international artists but indigenous music icons as well.

Where: Sarawak Cultural Village, Sarawak, Malaysia
When: 14th to 16th July 2017
Tickets: Get your tickets here.
Prices: There are a variety of pricing packages available. Check it out at the link above.


HOSTESS CLUB ALL-NIGHTER (Japan)

This ‘festival’ is on a smaller scale – the Hostess Club All-Nighter features a much smaller line-up of no lesser quality than the line-ups of larger festivals: Scottish Indie band Mogwai and English rock quintet The Horrors. Held over the course of one night, the event provides ticket packages pretty competitively – while general tickets go at 9,500 yen, hardcore fans who purchase any ticket for Summersonic can get their tickets at 5,000 yen. So there’s the answer for the above questions – 2 music festivals with one of them at a discount? Sign us up.

Where: Midnight Sonic / Makuhari Messe
When: 19th August 2017
Tickets: Tickets are available here
Prices: 5,000 yen (Summersonic ticket holders), 8,500 yen (Hostess club entertainment mail subscribers), 9,500 yen (general release)


ANSAN VALLEY ROCK (Korea)

This is another festival that gives the Fuji Rock festival a run for its money in its generical eclecticism. Headlining day one is singer songwriter Lukas Graham, while headlining Day 2 is R&B and soul enigma Gallant and up and coming indie bossmen LANY. Day 3 also features J-rock band Radwimps, who are also playing Fuji Rock. Virtual band Gorillaz and club banger maestros Major Lazer will also make appearances.

Where: Jisan Resort, Ansan, South Korea
When: 28th to 30th July 2017
Tickets: Tickets are available here
Prices: Prices range from 130,000 won to 220,000 won


FUJI ROCK FESTIVAL (Japan)

Now we’re talking. Finally, a festival that stays true to its ethos and roots: reflecting the widest range of music possible. We struggle to find a word in the English language that sufficiently describes how varied this festival is. Examples among headliners should suffice: day one’s headliners include rock pioneers Queens of the Stone Age, while day three’s headliner includes club banger master Major Lazer. Day two’s headliners include rock legends LCD Soundsystem, while Day 3 features Icelandic singer songwriter Ásgeir. I think we’ve made our point – bringing together a whole range of international and local legends, this festival is built to cater to the international following it has.

Where:  Naeba Ski Resort, Yuzawa-cho, Niigata Pref.
When: 28th to 30th July 2017
Tickets: Get your tickets here
Prices: Range from 19,000 for a one day pass to 43,000 for a 3 day pass. Find your perfect fit in the link above.


SUNNY SIDE UP (Bali, Indonesia)

Held at the world-famous Potato Head Beach Club, soak in the chill beach vibes to the tunes of some of the same artists playing in Jakarta and Malaysia in the same period – Snakehips (who’s also playing at Good Vibes), Phoenix (playing at Good Vibes and WeTheFest), and Charlie XCX (WTF) will be putting up some smashing sets for festival goers to enjoy. But there are some artistes who will only play at Sunny Side Up, such as hiphop sensation Big Sean and English DJ Jonas Blue (well known for his remix of Tracy Chapman’s Fast Car).

Where: Potato Head Beach Club, Bali, Indonesia
When: 11th and 12th August 2017
Tickets: Get your tickets here.
Prices: GA 2-day early pass: 1,500k IDR, GA 2-day pass: 1,800k IDR


WE THE FEST (Jakarta, Indonesia)

Affectionately abbreviated as WTF, We the Fest happens around the same time as the Good Vibes festival. Thankfully, it also plays host to much of the same artists – so if you’re in Indonesia and disappointed that such a great line up is performing in Malaysia and not at home, fret not. The greats of the Good Vibes festival – The Kooks, LANY, Zhu, G-Eazy, Dua Lipa – will also be performing at WTF.

Where: Jiexpo Kemayoran, Jakarta
When: 11th to 13th August 2017
Tickets: Get your tickets here.
Prices: Early entry: 960k IDR, GA: 960k IDR, Instalment: 1,500k IDR, VIB (Very Important Banana): 2,400k IDR


PENTAPORT ROCK FESTIVAL (Incheon, South Korea)

This festival caters to the masses, but at the same time manages to make sure that there’s something for everyone. In their phase 1 line up announcement, the festival organizers announced pop heartthrobs 5 Seconds of Summer, indie-rock quartet Bastille, and electronic duo Justice. If you want to be able to dance it out at Justice’s electrifying electronic set and be able to immediately head to a pop spectacle delivered by 5SOS, this is the festival for you.

Where: Pentaport Park, Incheon, South Korea
When: 11th to 13th August 2017
Tickets: Get your tickets here.
Prices: 176,000 won including tax.


GOOD VIBES (Genting Highlands, Malaysia)

This festival lives up to its name with its location being Genting Highlands – Good Vibes held up in the clouds. Featuring an impressive line-up of electronic, pop, and EDM artists, the Good Vibes festival is sure to play host for an eclectic mix of concert goers.  G-Eazy, Gryffin, Snakehips, and Zhu for the electronic peeps, Kodaline, The Kooks, and LANY for the indie hipsters, and Dua Lipa, and Phoenix for the pop fan. There is indeed something for everyone – the festival also features an extensive list of local performers, including Alextbh.

Where: The Ranch, Gohtong Jaya, Genting Highlands
When: 12th and 13th August 2017
Tickets: Get your tickets here.
Prices: Currently, the only passes available are 2-day passes at 375MYR and 400MYR.


SUMMERSONIC (Japan)

Summersonic is another addition to the list of summer festivals that huge names will be playing at. A staple since 2000, Summersonic this year plays host to a variety of genres spread across multiple stages. Playing the Marine stage (which is what we figure is the main stage) are some of the biggest names in music today: EDM stalwart Calvin Harris, pop sensation 5 Seconds of Summer, and of course the Keepers of Rock, the Foo Fighters. The eclectic mix of genres is sure to entertain the music fan of many an ilk.

When: 19th to 20th August
Where: Zozo Marine Stadium (Tokyo) and Sonic Park (Osaka)
Tickets: Get your tickets here.
Prices: Like F1, there’s a huge range of prices ranging from 11,500 to 39,000 yen. Check it out in the link above.


FORMULA 1 CONCERT (Singapore)

This is what many of us have been waiting for – organizers have spared no effort in ensuring a line up with the widest reach possible for the race’s 10th anniversary. It features a surprising combination of pop legends and OG legends. This juxtaposition is reflected clearly among the headliners themselves: pop diva Ariana Grande and EDM-pop duo The Chainsmokers against ‘Kiss from a Rose’ hitmaker Seal as well as synth-pop legends Duran Duran. There’s indeed something for everyone at this year’s F1.

When: 15th to 17th September 2017
Where: F1 circuit, assorted stages
Tickets: Get your tickets here.
Prices: Ranging from S$38 to S$4226.50, there’s a wide range of options. Check it out in the ticket link above.


LABYRINTH (Yuzawa, Japan)

Still sketchy on the details, this festival has seen a considerable downsize this year, as organizers want to organize a more intimate experience for all. The festival is going to be held in the Naeba Greenland, which already sounds lush, natural, and a perfect place to hold a festival that relaxes all.

Where: Naeba Greeland, Yuzawa, Japan
When: 16th to 18th September 2017
Tickets: TBA
Prices: TBA


ZIRO FESTIVAL (Arunchalpradesh, India)

The highlight of this festival is that it’s held in the heart of the countryside in Arunchalpradesh, India. Ziro Valley is known for its infinite natural beauty, and for a weekend in September for the best music that India has to offer. With its line up yet to be announced, it promises a unique festival experience as makeshift stages pop up in the middle of the valley come the festival. Not one to be missed if you like the experiences off the beaten track!

Where: Ziro Valley, Arunchalpradesh, India
When: 28th September – 1st October 2017
Tickets: Get your tickets here.
Prices: 4000 rupees for early bird tickets


CONCRETE & GRASS FESTIVAL (Shanghai, China)

A poll was released last December for followers to suggest and vote for a short-list of artists that the organizer Split Works could possibly bring in. And Frank Ocean is one of them. Though the line-up has yet to be released, Concrete & Grass never fails to bring happiness to crowds by bringing a range of artists from all over the world. Stay tuned for more updates by following their Facebook.

Where: Shanghai Rugby Football Club (TBC, based on last year)
When: September 2017 (Dates TBA)
Tickets: TBA
Prices: TBA


BURNING JAPAN (Tochigi, Japan)

The Festival – that’s named rather weirdly – has nothing (thankfully) to do with burning men. It is a yearly affair that goes on in Japan – this year, it is to be held in Tochigi. The festival, organizers say, is a ‘four day long celebration of art, community, self-expression and self-reliance, inspired by Burning Man in the state of Nevada’. While line-ups haven’t been announced yet, its premise alone should attract visitors from all over the world.

Where: Tochigi, Japan
When: Early October 2017 (Dates TBA)
Tickets: Buy your tickets here.
Prices: Ranges from 6,800 yen to 8,800 yen


QUEST FESTIVAL (Vietnam)

Running a spectrum of genres from hip hop to jazz to techno to synth pop to world music, various international artists congregates at Vietnam as part of Quest Festival. The three-day event will satisfy you with any music you crave for and they have just announced their first line-up, featuring our homegrown techno standout Cats on Crack, Switzerland's ambient and ethnic house Temo Sayin, and Indonesia's dream pop duo Stars & Rabbit

Where: Son Tinh Camp, Hanoi, Vietnam
When: 10-12 November 2017
Tickets: Buy your tickets here
Prices: Ranges from 600VND to 1350VND


ELECTRIC ZOO (Shanghai, China)

After its well-received debut in Shanghai last year, Electric Zoo is back for its second year this November. Being the fourth location after Tokyo, Mexico City and New York City, Electric Zoo is an EDM festival armed with the world’s best DJs. This year, the festival features club banger hit makers Dada Life, trance and house legend Sander Van Doorn, and trap hitmaker Mako. Why fly to New York City if you can get to enjoy the same festival closer to home?

Where: Expo Park, Shanghai, China
When: 12th November 2017
Tickets: TBA
Prices: TBA


WONDERFRUIT FESTIVAL (Thailand)

The Wonderfruit’s Festival is Thailand’s successful attempt to bring the best of a variety of genres to the mainstage. It does feature many more underground DJs and artists, and does not feature a headliner that is readily known as a star in the mainstream. The closest we get are the upcoming soul and R&B greats Lianne La Havas (who’s also performing at F1) and Rudimental. Interestingly enough, this is the only festival on our list with a social purpose, aiming to raise awareness for environmental awareness.

Where: The Fields at Siam Country Club, Pattaya, Thailand
When: 14th to 17th December 2017
Tickets: Get your tickets here
Prices: 4,200THB (currently still on early bird)


CLOCKENFLAP FESTIVAL (Hong Kong)

The Clockenflap Festival is one among few city festivals on this list. Organized in the city of Hong Kong, the festival’s line up is a smorgasboard of the who’s who of the indie and soul scene. In 2016, festival goers were treated not only to the obvious candidates like The Chemical Brothers and Sigur Rós, but also the more obscure but talented stalwarts of soul such as Blood Orange and George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic. This year promises no less - a ravishing experience for the music lover, where they'll be spoilt for choice.

Where: Central Harbourfront, Hong Kong
When: 17th to 19th November 2017
Tickets: Get your tickets here.
Prices: There are a variety of prices. Check it out at the link above.


BIG MOUNTAIN MUSIC FESTIVAL (Thailand)

This festival’s name came about from their original Big Mountain (known as Khao Yaiy in Thai) location, where the venue is surrounded by mountains. The two-day festival consists of nine stages with over 200 acts, covering a wide variety of genres – rock, pop, indie, and electronica. What’s distinct about this festival is its loyal focus on Thai scene, while keeping the option of bringing international acts in mind. Get the latest update by following their Facebook.

Where: Kaeng Krachan Country Club Village, Thailand
When: December 2017 (Date TBA)
Tickets: TBA
Prices: TBA


D'JAKARTA WAREHOUSE PROJECT (Jakarta, Indonesia)

The DWP is a festival that was born after organizers’ persistence in keeping the event after a huge fight broke out in Jakarta’s Blowfish Bar in 2008. The violent act left the venue unsuitable to stage an upcoming huge party that was supposed to take place two weeks later. With a mixture of both local Indonesian DJs and international acts, the festival carries you on a rollercoaster ride for the night, through trance to techno to house, electro and trap. Keep your eyes glued for to their Facebook for updates.

Where: JiExpo Convention Centre, Jakarta, Indonesia
When: December 2017 (Dates TBA)
Tickets: TBA
Prices: TBA


ZOUKOUT 2017

This festival doesn’t need introduction for the local club regulars among us. For the uninitiated, Zoukout was the biggest electronic music festival in Singapore till Ultra took over in 2016. Featuring the hottest names in EDM of the day, the festival – held on Sentosa’s Siloso’s beach – remains Singapore’s only well known beach festival. In 2016, the festival brought EDM greats Hardwell, Dillon Francis, and Zedd. Who knows what they have in store for 2017?

Where: Sentosa Siloso Beach
When: December 2017 (Dates TBA)
Tickets: TBA
Prices: TBA

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