Words by: Miko Insame
Photos by: Danielle Capuyon and Verna Sevilla
Peace. Love. Music.
Those were the three main themes of Rakrakan Festival 2019 as it brought together new talent, big draws, flip-top rappers, graffiti artists and skaters for two days of music, beer, and headbanging fun.
The WIM Squad was fortunate enough to be invited to take part in the festivities. We got to see hot new acts, got pumped up by the headliners, and freaked out as artists brought some special guests (wink, wink) that made us determined to come back and see what Rakrakan has in store for 2020. Here are 10 awesome things that happened at Rakrakan Festival 2019!
You get a free beer when you come in and we think that’s beautiful.
For every purchase of a ticket, a free beer stub would come along with it. This stub would allow you to claim a tall glass of Red Horse at varying booths all across the venue. Beer was also sold on the cheap at Php50 a cup, exactly what people wanted as the afternoon turned into night and the party got crazier.
9. The Merch Bazaar
Aside from giving hot, young talents the chance to take the stage and gain major exposure (we’ll get to that!), Rakrakan also featured local brands that showcased Filipinos’ talents not just in music but in art and creativity as well. One local brand even offered on-the-spot piercings! (Not that we tried it, but it was cool nonetheless.)
8. The Graffiti Battle
Rakrakan also invited different crews to show off their skills with spray paint and give the festival some color. Among the crews were Showdown Freaks Krew, East Coast Dead Kids, Top Notch Threats, and the eventual graffiti battle winner, Pinoy Bomber Crew. The teams spent the opening hours of the festival on their graffiti following the event’s theme of “Peace, Love & Music”, which also served as makeshift photo walls for patrons afterwards.
7. The Duelo Rap Stage
Newbloods Yuniko and Luxuria battle it out in the quarterfinals
Flip-top battles have evolved from the streets to Youtube phenomenon to having its own dedicated stage at Rakrakan Festival 2019. The Duelo stage featured up-and-comers like Luxuria and Yuniko, and old favorites such as J Skeelz and J King. Emceed by none other than Mike Swift, the crowd got into it as the competitors tried to out-rhyme each other to the sick beats provided by Puting Kalabaw and DJ Buddha.
6. Hype First Acts
It was tempting to bypass the afternoon acts and and just arrive for the headliners, but we’re glad we didn’t because all three stages of Rakrakan Festival featured some great opening acts. Center Stage featured Agsunta who walked the crowd through the different stages of sawi people go through, followed by teenage phenom Fern. as he debuted his newest single “Sober Up” to the delight of everyone.
5. Better Days
Moving on to the Indie Stage, we got to catch one of the hottest bands in the scene right now–Better Days. Big things are in store for Better Days after inking a deal with Universal Records, and as they delivered a potential show-stealer at Rakrakan. Led by the charming antics of their frontman, Daniel, Better Days won the crowd over as they ended their set with their debut hit, “Sige Lang.”
4. Juan Karlos
Juan Karlos had the crowd eating out the palm of his hand the minute he took the stage. No words were even spoken yet and the audience was already hot for JK and his crew. His eccentric mannerisms and command of the stage left the crowd wanting more. When they did bust out their sleeper hit, you could hear the crowd lose it as the guitars played the opening riff. One of the highlights of their set was a wicked guitar solo by JK that led directly into his high note at the chorus of “Buwan.”
3. This Guy!
In an age where everyone’s clamoring to get the perfect snapshot or video for their story or other forms of social media, it’s refreshing to see someone like Url, whose only goal the entire night was to have the performers hand him a guitar pick. Url showed up front row, hoping some of his favorite artists notice his sign and indulge his little favor. Url, if you’re reading this, we salute you and we hope you got that guitar pick!
2. All the Special Guests and Surprise Covers
Mhaze of Moonstar88 looking pretty with pink
One reason we love live shows is the element of surprise. You never know when a performer may debut a new song, cover an old classic, or bring up a special guest. During Rakrakan Festival 2019, all three of those happened! Moonstar88 started it off with a rendition of the iconic Eraserheads classic, “Ang Huling El Bimbo”, 6cyclemind brought out surprise guest Eunice Jorge of Gracenote to accompany frontman Tutti Caringal and Daniel Paringit of Better Days, and the trio, along with the rest of 6cyclemind, got the crowd to sing along to Francis Magalona’s “Kaleidoscope World,” and a reprise of their 2005 hit, “Sandalan.”
And speaking of surprises…
1. Dante Gulapa!
Photo by: RJ Villanueva via Facebook
Arguably the biggest surprise of the night was the inclusion of everyone’s favorite internet macho dancer, Dante Gulapa. Dante came up onstage as a special guest for Tanya Markova as they ended their set and treated everyone to a performance of his iconic Eagle Dance. Afterward, Dante even accompanied the face-painted artists for a meet and greet with fans. Clad with bling, rings, and chains, Dante went out there and possibly received the loudest pop of the night.
What an absolute legend.
Were you at Rakrakan Festival 2019? What was your favorite part of the festival? Let us know in the comments!