Socrates once said, “Wonder is the beginning of wisdom.” Delving into wonder, whimsy and otherworldly experiences, Thailand’s Wonderfruit Festival is a feast not only for the senses, but a journey of mindful living immersed in art and music. It features a blend of distinctive entertainment, talks, workshops, good eats and adventures in nature. A blend of surrealism and sustainability, Wonderfruit is far from your average music festival. This is a transformative four day eco-friendly gathering that celebrates ingenuity, individuality and creativity. The time to wonder, is now.
Produced by Thai based Scratch First, a social enterprise and a global pioneer in experimental movements, this haven for your free spirit is back to captivate in its second year. The inaugural Wonderfruit Festival 2014, saw them teaming up with UK’s award-winning Secret Productions, who previously worked on the Wilderness Festival amongst others.
The First of its Kind in Asia
Built around the ethos of sustainability, social consciousness, self-sufficiency and healthy living, Wonderfruit welcomes you to live a life of unfiltered wonder. One of Wonderfruit’s goals is to leave no harmful imprint and improve the environment. This is achieved by using locally sourced, natural and reclaimed materials for structures and stages, composting and recycling. These green efforts were topped with the fact that ticket proceeds will go back into building the festival and projects on environmental and social change in Asia.
Armed with a plan to be self-sufficient within five years, Wonderfruit 2014 saw art installations, a diverse range of music (from indie, house, dub, to the blues, reggae, jazz, soul), outdoor activities (mountain biking, horse riding, craft classes), wellness activities (yoga) as well as feasts prepared by Chef David Thompson and Paulo Vitaletti.
During the day, the vibe was laid-back and family friendly, with the provided kid-centric area for ample fun. There were camping spots and sturdy air conditioned canvas tents for added comfort. At night, the festival grounds transformed with its heady mix of lights, hypnotic beats, lots of liquid courage and an air of wonderful possibility.
In a place where art, food and theatre were given equal importance as music, Wonderfruit’s pioneer effort solidified their mark as a lifestyle experience with a great line up of performers and activities. In line with its self-sufficiency efforts, they housed an organic farm which gave produce for some of the food stalls and a water filtration system for guests to refill biodegradable bottles throughout the weekend.
The music highlights included Yellow Fang, Hercules and Love Affair, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Jamie Jones, Kimball Collins, Crew Love, Little Dragon, Woodkid, Damian Lazarus, Subb-An, Paradise Bangkok, The Gaslamp Killer, José González and De La Soul. The overall result was a sense of unity and happy vibes that will be reignited with this year’s lineup.
Year Two: Twice The Fun
This 17 – 20 December, travel to The Fields at Siam Country, Pattaya, Thailand and hold on to your flower crowns, feather headdresses or hats because you’re in for twice the festivities. The creative minds of Wonderfruit have plenty in store including a globally charged line up of music artists and performers. This includes fire-breathing cirque performers from Lucent Dossier Experience.
Gracing the stage(s) this year is Hip Hop legend, Yasiin Bey (Mos Def), Heartthrob, Elektro Guzzi, Daedelus, Goldroom, Viceroy, Catching Flies, Papercutz, Anchorsong, Arjun Vagale, Ocean Lam and Gaby Endo. Thai artists include Pongsit Kampee, Greasy Cafe, Boy Thai, Kidnappersand Dan Buri. These impressive acts join The Faint, Submotion Orchestra, Dapayk Solo, Howie B and the world premiere of Jon Hopkins x Chris Levine’s iy_project.
What more, you ask? Witness conceptualized Wonderfruit stages that are to be transformed by artists Joel Deal Stockdill (Living Stage), LA-based Vita Motus (Solar Stage), Thai contemporary fashion house, Issue and the architectural collective, Bang Bang (Soi Stage). Experience art on another level with monumental art installations that interact with you and the local ecology.
Got kids? Bring them over to the children’s area called Camp Wonder. Free play, workshops, kid’s disco, kite-making, storytelling, magic and puppet shows all spell hours of joy. In addition to that, there’s a professional nanny service that’s ready to step in when you want to scope out the sights, sans baby.
Get in tune with the outdoors and team spirit by participating in activities like tug of war, human foosball, aqua-volleyball and circuit training. Sore muscles need a pick me up? Head on to the Healing Village for body mapping, reiki and other indulgent treatments.
Food is served in the Theatre of Feasts where award-winning Chef Gaggan and noteworthy mixologist, Shingo Gokan are ready with a signature cocktail made exclusively for festivalgoers. Guests can expect food and drinks from Rocket, Surface, Peppina, Bad Motel, Fillets, Hong Bao, Maison Jean Philippe and over 20 traditional Thai street foot outlets.
Consider this a treat for your body and mind. The new addition of Scratch Talks, a series of interactive discussions will see Dream Rockwell (founder of Lucent Dossier Experience), Howie B (renowned music producer) and Duangrit Bunnag (noted architect) taking the mic. In The Sharing Neighbourhood, those who are passionate to share their unique gifts have a platform to conduct workshops on yoga, mask-making, handicraft, dance and meditation.
It’s clear, the Wonderfruit Festival 2015 is poised to transform; all that’s missing, is you. Visit www.wonderfruitfestival.com to get the low down on passes, accommodation, packing tips and volunteer opportunities. After all, “a journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step” and sometimes that step is a click of a button.