Wanderland Music Festival: Manila’s Music Mecca
Men on stilts. Mimes. Clowns on unicycles. Tents of attractive carnival colors were pitched all across the venue, and the place was swarming with people all dressed in their best indie summer get-up. These were the things I saw as I first stepped into the Globe Circuit Events Ground last Saturday for the Wanderland Music Festival. I was instantly overcome with excitement as I thought: Yes, this is indeed a festival.
“Revel in a land of music fancy.” This was the tagline for the Wanderland Music Festival—a promise of an annual music celebration for indie music fans across the Philippines and Asia, where the best local and international acts in the indie music scene come to play. This is the second year running for the Wanderland Music Festival. It made its big debut last year much to great success, and music lovers like me are all praying for more years—and bands—to come.
Kicking off the show at the Wanderland Music Festival were some of Manila’s own. Chocolate Grass came first, whose set was a breath of fresh air in the middle of a hot summer’s day, thanks to August Wahh’s velvety vocals. They were quickly followed by Brisom and then Techy Romantics, whose set got the crowd jumping up a bit. Chill electro music, anyone? Yes – and with a side of ice-cold lemonade, please.
The band that took the stage next hails from the land down under. Quite young in the scene, but slowly rising to fame, Woody Pitney and his band performed their folk country music with much heart—a feat that got the lazing wanderers up from their mats on the grass to sway to the music while the band’s fans sang along.
Another local band, The Ransom Collective, came up next equipped with their youthful charms and foot-stomping folk music to keep the folk vibe going.
Following suit was Cebu-based Franco who brought rock music fans to the front of the stage with his electrifying performance.
More indie folk goodness came along after Franco. The lovely Lucy Rose, who flew in all the way from England, swept everyone off their feet with her beguiling songs of life and love to which the crowd sang along with. “I don’t know how we got booked here,” Lucy tells the crowd of her surprise of being called to Manila for the Wanderland Music Festival. “But I can see now it’s because of you.” The blonde songstress pointed to the crowd with a warm smile.
Two more Aussie bands, The Paper Kites and Last Dinosaurs, came up next. The Paper Kites were as endearing as their songs, and everyone sang along with much ardor to Featherstone, one of the band’s most popular songs.
Last Dinosaurs, on the other hand, brought the festival to life with their upbeat tunes. By this time, the night had settled, and the stage was already illuminated with wonderful lights. I was lazing on the grass then, resting and enjoying the music from afar. I could see all of the people dancing; it was quite a sight. Sean Caskey, the band’s front man, thanked the people for being a great crowd to play to.