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Thailand music festivals: Two weekends of international and local greats

January 27, 2012

Silverlake Music Festival, headlined by Incubus, kicks off a string of events to satiate your live music needs.

The devastating floods of 2011 put Thailand’s music scene on hold, with many events being postponed or cancelled, including Jason Mraz and hip-hop artist Pitbull.

Even many of the annual beer gardens, which feature live music and spring up every cool season, were absent due to flood-related beer shortages. And as any visitor to this city knows, Bangkok and beer shortages are not normally words to be found in the same sentence.

Despite the turmoil, Thailand’s largest and most authentic outdoor festival Big Mountain went ahead at Bonanza Ranch, Khao Yai in December. Over 50,000 people attended with many camping out to see leading local artists.

The atmosphere of the event is similar to British festivals like Glastonbury and The Big Chill and the organizers are looking to involve more international acts each year.

Looking ahead, here are some of the top music events coming up in Bangkok and beyond.

Silverlake Music Festival

The year is already looking brighter with the Silverlake Music Festival kicking things off January 28 at Pattaya’s Silverlake Vineyard.

This one-day event is being held across two stages (Earth and Solar) in the rather lush surroundings of the vineyard.

Headliners Incubus will undoubtedly draw the largest crowd. There is a distinctly American flavor to the rest of the bands chosen with alternative rock from Seether, the twee electronica of Owl City and punks Anti Flag set to perform.

Bon Jovi favorites Young Guns, blues singer and keyboardist Gray Gregson and youthful Brit indie band Franko lead the way over on the Solar Stage alongside a solid local lineup.

Fat Festival

Back up in Bangkok, the Fat Festival will take place from February 11-12 at Lakeside, Muang Thong Thani. These are the new dates for the show, as the original site ended up a meter underwater last November, forcing festival organizers to reschedule.

This annual gathering of local indie artists is now in its 11th year and has become a permanent fixture in the festival calendar.

Artists include Slot Machine, T Bone and Brand New Sunset. Outside of the bigger names, some of the up-and-coming acts to look out for are Mahajamreon, The Yers, Abuse the Youth, Thai Dern Len, Tabasco and Zero Hero.

Tiger Translate

Every March for the last two years, music festival Tiger Translate is usually held in the car park of The Esplanade shopping mall on Ratchada Road.

There are no details available as of yet but with appearances in the past by Placebo, New Young Pony Club and We Are Scientists this is one to look out for.

Bangkok concerts

Outside of the festival scene, we must sit and wait for local promoters to pluck one of the many international acts that usually pass us by on Asian tours.

Whilst Korean fever has hold of the country, lovers of other genres are neglected. One exception is metal fans, with The Black Lips, A Skylight Drive, Underoath, The Dillinger Escape Plan and A Day to Remember, all set to visit in the coming months.

Away from the head-bangers, sought-after DJ and producer Calvin Harris will be at Bed Supperclub (February 16), New York Indie noise pop outfit The Pains of Being Pure of Heart perform at Sonic on Soi Ekamai in Bangkok (February 27) and Hugo (April 4, Aksra Theatre King Power, Bangkok) will be bringing his Southern-fried rock on the first visit to his home country since the release of his album on Jay Z’s Roc-A-Fella label last year.

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