Here you will find articles on regional nightlife news for Asia. If you would like to submit any news to this section please get in touch.
The Global Battle of the Bands 2009 World Final at the London Scala on April 27th 2010 featured national final winning bands from every corner of the globe. The World Final was delayed due to snowstorms and the volcanic ash almost delayed this rescheduled date.
The bands competing came from Italy, Australia, Belgium, Japan, Norway, England, Kazakhstan, Israel, Montenegro, Ukraine, Romania, China, Netherlands, Scotland, Serbia, Nepal, Malaysia, Canada, Iceland and Germany to compete for the GBOB Best New Bands in the World title.
Federbrau and O&P Worldwide present S3QUENCE. Asia’s First 3-City Music Festival. Bring out the noise as Bangkok, Pattaya, and Phuket will see the birth of S3QUENCE, Asia’s first 3-city electronic music festival. The festival will boast a massive line up guaranteed to spark a dance fever in Thailand.
Worldwide Festival Unifies Singapore Club & Music Scene for 4 Days of Pure Musical Bliss. Fresh from being voted as Singapore’s Best Outdoor Event in 2008”, Worldwide Festival is back with an explosive weekend of visual art & eclectic music featuring the cream of international live acts & DJs. This exclusive Asian edition will be staged around various venues, clubs & settings to celebrate the return of one massive week end to remember with DJ Kentaro, Gilles Peterson, Jose James, Jack Beats, J.A.M (Soil & “Pimp” Sessions trio), Taylor McFerrin, Mr.V, Oveous Maximus, Christian Prommer, Todd Terje, Dorian Concept, Alex From Tokyo aka Tokyo Black Star, Toshio Matsuura, Al Haca, Harmonic 313 aka Mark Pritchard, The Nextmen, Stereotyp, Lexie lee, Ku Bo, LeftO, Simbad, Garfld, Lil Monsta, Aldrin, NovoBloco + Bloco Singapura, Cosa Nostra, Miss Sangeetha, Vinnie, Dubwise and many more… Prepare yourself for a mammoth musical feast!
Exclusive for Live Fresh DBS Visa Platinum Cardmembers
. 15% off single day ticket price (advance & at door)
. 10% off double day ticket price (advance)
. Free flow of drinks on 3rd day of event (9 May 09) from 4-6pm within the Live Fresh VIP tent and 1-for-1 after 6 pm.
For all other DBS/POSB Cards, enjoy
. 5% off on all ticket prices
. 10% off on all drinks throughout the event
Ticket purchase available now from Gatecrash & Gatecrash Phone Booking:+65 6100 2005
(information provided by the organiser)
Edition Bangkok Festival 2009 - April 2009
O&P Worldwide with a vision to uplift the international music festival scene in Asia launches the first
electronic music festival that combines international DJ superstars to perform live sets for music enthusiasts on a top-notch rooftop venue at the heart of Bangkok. The two-day festival EditionBangkok 2009 will feature Tiësto, Ferry Corsten, Markus Schultz all from the world’s top 10 DJ list and notable names such as Sandy Rivera, Bodyrox with other up-and-coming Asian talents.
“We believe that Bangkok is one of the main cities around the world with a high potential of becoming the next International Clubbing Hub,” expressed Patrice Potuznik, Managing Director of O&P Worldwide, Asian Operation, about the first Edition Festival which will be focusing on trance music. “We aim build a festival brand that will have a global appeal.” Massive production adapted from the European festivals is one of the main items that will distinguish this music festival from others.
The mastermind behind the forever trance track, “Traffic,” an unforgettable album “Elements of Life,” and the only man voted as the world’s number 1 DJ eight times in a row, Tiësto will lead the festival
on April 24th, 2009 a long side with other Asian artists.
Where as Markus Schultz the current number 8, will lift up the souls of trance with none other than Ferry Corsten another remarkable DJ ranked number 6 on the world’s top 10 DJ list and the celebrated urban electronic spin masters Sandy Riviera and Bodyrox on April 30th, 2009
Ticket for EditionBangkok 2009: Regular THB1,490 (1 night), THB1,990 (2 nights) VIP THB2,990 (1 night), THB 4,990 (2 nights).
For tickets please visit www.opworldwide.com/editionbangkok
(information provided by the organiser)
Five-time Grammy Award winning recording artist John Legend will bring “The Evolver World Tour” to Venetian Ballroom on Friday April 10, 2009.
Date: Friday 10th April 2009
Venue: Venetian Ballroom
Duration To Be Confirmed
A tattoo artist on Koh Phangan has confessed to killing female German tourist Astrid Al-Assaad Schachner, whose body was found floating in shallow water last weekend, the day after the latest Full Moon Party.
Thai suspect Tiwat Kasemchoke, 29, bizarrely claimed the 45 year old victim had been ‘stalking’ him and admitted planning to kill her, local newspaper The Nation reported.
"She had humiliated me. She often told other foreigners that I fell for her and tried to rape her several times, which is not true. It's she who wanted to be in a relationship", the tattooist allegedly told cops.
"I had told her several times that I've had no romantic interest in her but she did not listen," he said in a statement published after he was charged with ‘premeditated murder’. "Her persistency made me annoyed and angry",” he added.
Numerous postings on Koh Phangan related message boards described Astrid as a popular well known traveller on the island with Nation journalist Daniel Anderegg declaring ‘Astrid was a friend and what happened to her is so horrible’.
He also detailed a similarly horrific attack close to the heart of the Full Moon Party, on Hadrin Beach.
“On the same night there was another bloody incident in front of Kaktus Bar, in which a Thai attacked a foreigner with a samurai knife and almost chopped off his head,” he wrote in the Nation, “I don't know if the victim survived,” he added.
Skrufff man-on-Koh Phangan Graham Gold said the latest killing remains ‘obviously big news on the island’ and admitted he’s hearing increasing stories of traveller girls being drugged with GHB and raped.
“Things have been getting darker in Haad Rin for sure; I am seeing a side I didn't know existed,” said Graham, “I SERIOUSLY advise ANY girl traveling either on her own or even with a group, not to accept a drink, or even a drink from a bucket from any stranger.”
“I had not heard the story about the samurai sword incident but let’s just say it would not surprise me,” he added, “Even though Kaktus Bar is right in the middle of the beach and is known for its very cheesy music so is normally not a place for trouble.”
The legendary London DJ advised revelers to skip the Full Moon parties in favour of Shiva, Black Moon and Half Moon eventw (‘people go for the music and not to get fucked on Sangsum (local whiskey) and (magic) mushrooms like they do in Haad Rin’) and admitted he’s personally in danger twice in the last month.
“I nearly had two fights at an after hours club on New Year’s Eve but I was also pretty wrecked so don't really remember what the causes of the arguments were,” he chuckled.
“There are these ragga Thais here who act like Jamaican Yardies basically and they’re not pleasant and also extremely racist against westerners,” he warned. “It’s important to avoid them and any confrontation with them at all because you won’t win the fight. And if you do, the only option open to you is leaving the island immediately.”
“But it is NOT all bad,” Graham stressed, “I moved here 9 months ago and love it. Koh Phangan is a beautiful island that consists of a hell of a lot more than Full Moon parties in Haad Rin,” he pointed out.
Article by Jonty Skrufff
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Hanoi Rocks- Good Evening Vietnam
“Hanoi’s club scene right now is dire; there's no other word for it. There's simply no infrastructure in place to support a decent nightlife here at present. The cops closed down the only decent club- New Century- about a year ago following a drug raid and fragmented the scene well and truly.”
Though New Zealander Giles Cooper heads up CAMA one of the few party promotion crews currently operating in Vietnam’s capital Hanoi- he’s refreshingly candid in his assessment of the city’s current nightlife scene.
“A couple of reasonable small venues have opened up but they tend to get filled with fancy boys and girls purely there to be seen; it seems no-one really gives a toss about the music,” he continues, “That's not to say there isn't good stuff going on from time to time (CAMA events of course) but it's slim pickings. Probably the biggest problem is the supposed official shut-down time of 12am. It's pretty hard to get cranking properly before that time, isn’t it.”
CAMA (standing for ‘Club for Art and Music Appreciation’) was set up by Giles and founding partner Nick with Hanoi Minsk Club adventurer Dan Dockery joining more recently to help fulfill their mission statement ‘to make something happen’. Dan, a pony tailed, charismatic, larger than life biker who’s lived in Vietnam long enough to be married, divorced and to learn Vietnamese, is as unimpressed as Giles with Hanoi’s current scene.
“Most Vietnamese clubbers look for a chance to 'be seen', they’re generally more concerned about being seen in the right place, drinking the most expensive liquors with extravagant trays of fruits over the table,” he says.
“Whilst people enjoy to 'let their hair down' most of them have little idea at all about music. Throw a techno beat behind Aled Jones, Chelsea FC or unheard of Danish bands like Michael Learns To Rock and they're pleased as punch.”
“To be honest, the state of Hanoi night-life right now is in temporary forced retirement with a view to going back to work in the future. However a long lay off is expected,” he chuckles.
Both promoters admit that the club scene in Vietnam’s other big conurbation Ho Chi Minh City is significantly more developed, though both equally prefer staying in Hanoi, with Giles singling out its ‘grimy, unpredictable character’ in particular.
“Though I wonder if we're a bit too negative about the scene here,’ he laughs, “We want people to come here after all.”
Visiting Cama’s Myspace page, immediate idiosyncrasies stand out including their mood setting of ‘pugnacious’ and club motto of ‘trouble- music-more trouble’ though Hanoi, despite pre-conceptions turns out to be a remarkably trouble free zone.
As the capital of Vietnam for almost 1,000 years (the millennium is next year) it’s best known to Westerners as the heart of USA defeaters North Vietnam and a distinctive military presence remains tangible today. One of the city’s key tourist attractions is the prison where John McCain was locked up during the war and immaculately dressed soldiers- old and new- are highly visible on the streets.
Hanoi also boasts countless fabulous pagodas and lakes and picture postcard French boulevards populated by strutting designer Dolce & Gabbana clad youth and old ladies carrying food dangling from poles across their shoulders. And it’s on the streets where Hanoi’s greatest danger lies, namely its traffic; threatening life and limb to both pedestrians and the hordes of apparently suicidal motorcylists navigating a traffic system that’s as near to total anarchy as anywhere on the planet. And one that bizarrely seems to work.
Dan, who occasionally organises motorbike tours for tourists, admits he’s had a few knocks, though explains that the first- and last rule of thumb is to go with the flow- to never stop, This applies to pedestrians too, resulting in individuals routinely- and terrifyingly- stepping out in front of screeching buses, criss-crossed by bikes, buses and cars (literally) moving in all directions. Drink driving is also a major issue (countless locals sip countless beers on countless pavement bars from dawn onwards- even Singapore Airlines offers free beer automatically on boarding planes) though traffic is so heavy that speeds are thankfully slow.
Touristic talk aside , I’m in Vietnam to DJ at the Heineken Green Planet Party @ Viet Soviet Friendship Palace, apparently the first large scale dance party Hanoi’s ever seen. Heineken are confident up to 2,000 local Vietnamese kids will pack into the hall, which they’ve decked out with a spacious circus style tented arena, fringed with bars, LCD monitors and Heineken hostesses, gorgeous girls in Santa outfits (it’s just before Xmas) whose main job appears to be looking gorgeous.
Showtime is 7.30pm prompt and local scene star DJ Tommy has an initially tough time. Cama guys Dan and Giles have warned beforehand that most Vietnamese youth have no experience of dance clubs at all, and it’s clear from the school disco style U space at the front of the dancefloor that no-one feels confident to get the party started. As Tommy bangs out local pop rave classics (Call On Me type pumping fodder), local hip hop hero K Beatbox eventually saves the day, bouncing onto the stage and calling people to the front. A massive surge results and within moments the whole floor is filled, to the relief of both Tommy and me, watching from stage right. Local hip hop acts and break-dancers pick up the vibe, as the hall fills up tight and even starts over-flowing.
Strongly advised by Giles and Dan to pack a safety backup of crowd pleasers, I kick off my set at 10pm sharp with Andrea Dorea’s thumping classic Bucci Bag, followed by Princess Superstar, Crookers mix of Wiley and Tiegschwarz’s seminal rework of Spektrum’s ‘Something New’. The result (I’m delighted to say) is absolute pandemonium, as hundreds rush the stage, shouting, dancing and screaming. 90 minutes later, it’s 11.30 and the hall is shutting down, with many of the 2,000 revellers already streaming home from what’s already a late night. Hanging round for pictures are 20 or so keener clubbers, all of whom- to a man- are male.
“Despite the fact that several girls now drink, it's fair to say that most of them don't or might only in the slightest of moderation. The guys drink and drink in excess,” Dan muses. “Clubs in Hanoi are not necessarily so much a place to meet people; people go out in groups and tend to stick with their friends,” he says.
Despite this, both Dan and Giles (and seemingly all of their male expat friends) are in relationships with Vietnamese females, not least because, as Giles points out ‘far be it for me to make crass generalisations but I don't think it's unreasonable to say that Vietnamese girls are some of the sexiest in Asia.”
“But having said that, it can be difficult to make romantic headway due to language and cultural differences but then that's true of all men and women isn't it? “ Giles continues.
“It's not uncommon to hear Western women complain that it's hard to get the attentions of men in this place due to the competition. On the other hand, I know more than a few guys who have made it their MO (modus operanda) to mine the under-sexed Western girl vein with rich rewards.”
He’s also quick to point out that local Vietnamese guys pose little threat towards culturally insensitive expats on the pull.
“Aggro is not really an issue here provided you remain respectful,” says Giles.
“You're far more likely to end up entangled with psycho, stalker girls who still believe in Prince Charming, true love and virginity than you are to encounter violence chatting up someone else's girlfriend,” he laughs.
Girlfriend talk aside, both guys remain devoted to both Hanoi, and bringing over bands and DJs with Giles clear about what motivates his passions.
“What keeps me in Hanoi? Where to start?” he says, “The food, the weather, the motorbikes, the girls, the lunacy, the lack of a requirement to participate as a functioning member of civil society. “
And as far as putting on parties is concerned, it's precisely because we do live here that it's so important to us. We're not just passing through; we are making lives for ourselves here and we need to take a certain responsibility for our own needs and wants. It's self-sufficiency borne of necessity. And of course it's a lot of fun. We meet great people we wouldn't otherwise meet, and we get to play in an area that would be much more difficult to break into in an established market,” he points out.
Giles, who’s a business lawyer by day is also cautiously optimistic about Hanoi’s longer term future, both in clubbing terms and generally.
“Change tends to happen very incrementally here and predicting the direction things will take is not easy. Often times it's a case of two steps forward, one step back,” he says.
“That said, everything here, including entertainment in general and youth culture in particular, is on an upwards curve and I would not expect that to change. The vast majority of Vietnam's 85 million people are under 30 years of age and they are opening up and expressing themselves in ways that are new to Vietnam.”
So why visit Hanoi before Bangkok or Singapore?
“Let's be honest: Singapore's a lovely clean sophisticated but boring place; it’s the Switzerland of Asia; hardly a cutting edge kind of destination,” Giles suggests.
“If you go to an event there, you can be sure everything's government sanctioned, and above board whereas Hanoi in contrast is a chaotic, contradictory place with a lot of energy and uncertainty. People living here tend to be very enthusiastic about what's going on because they know very well that options are limited and you never know when an event could be shut down. Bangkok's somewhere in the middle and a great place to visit, it’s closer to HCMC than Hanoi in temperament, options and venues. If it was me, I'd stop in Bangkok on my way to Hanoi,” he advises.
http://tinyurl.com/85e3es (Heineken Green Party in Hanoi, Youtube footage: 19 December’08)
http://www.myspace.com/camavietnam (CAMA party information here)
http://tinyurl.com/a6mtfm (typically scary Hanoi traffic, youtube)
http://tinyurl.com/9jfejs (Unbelievably typically scary Hanoi traffic)
Article by Jonty Skrufff (Skrufff.com)
Subscribe to Skrufff music newsletter at www.skrufff.com
The Ting Tings will perform their first show of 2009 in Singapore on January 13th before headlining Big Day Out 2009 in Australia.
On February 3rd 2009, UK dance act The Prodigy will hit the stage for their first ever full fledge concert in Singapore.