The quiet forest awakens with the burning passionate sound of music and beautiful artistic performances that resonate deeply with everybody.
Thu Phuong, a marketer in Hanoi, has heard about big and exciting music festivals being held in nature in the West, but she never thought she would have this experience in her own hometown.
Quest Festival is a world-class, premier music festival in Asia, put on by event organiser from around the world. When Quest first released information about its return, Phuong’s friends quickly shared it with her, and invited her to this exciting getaway.
It took just a few clicks and they received their tickets to the festival, alongside bus tickets and their tent allocation. Located only 40 kilometres from Hanoi’s city centre, the event is hosted at Son Tinh Camp. This unique eco-friendly camp is located next to a romantic lake, surrounded by forest and overlooks the majestic Ba Vi mountain. It is an ideal place for camping, an indispensable part of the Quest Festival experience.
Right after their arrival, the group eagerly went out to discover everything this festival has to offer. They started with rope games right by their tents, and everyone had a great time trying to walk on a tightrope.
Though having fun with the games, the sound of music drew the crowd towards the Emperor Stage. The stage had eye-catching décor of a face wearing a crown representing Van Lang culture, reminding people of the Hung King. The theme of this year’s festival was the myth of Son Tinh – Thuy Tinh.
The Emperor Stage provided alive and diverse musical experience, from funk, jazz, hip-hop, beatboxing, rock, country to traditional Irish and Celtic music. Meanwhile, Thuy Tinh Stage and Quest Embassy Stage were the places for EDM fans to go revel. The white ice representing the angry heart of Thuy Tinh dramatically changed colour over the course of the performances. The dome and arches of the stages transformed thanks to the lighting effects in sync with the beat of the most talented DJs from Hong Kong and Thailand, fanning the flames of passion for music lovers.
After seeing numerous musical performances by both Vietnamese and foreign artists, Phuong was completely overwhelmed by the performances at the Quest festival. “Performances combine music and lighting, igniting the entire forest. There’s never been such a grand musical event in Vietnam, with the participation of 150 artists from Vietnam and abroad: Say Yes Dog from Luxembourg, Windstar Soul, Squideye from the USA, Phaze from France, Matt Montez Duo, Jon Kennedy from the UK, Aqatuki from Japan, Hazard Clique, Kimmese, Phuc Tap and Saigon Soul Revival from Vietnam. Every stage looked and sounded amazing,” Phuong said.
Ha My from Ho Chi Minh City thought that the performances at Quest Festival were diverse, providing options for the audience and satisfying music fans with different tastes. “Music is played non-stop for three days straight. You can ‘rock’ at night-time, in the morning, and even in your dreams, if you’re up for it,” My said enthusiastically: “I hope that Quest will soon come to Saigon so that Saigonese can enjoy this amazing cultural event.”
In addition, to live music, the Khong Sao Commune theatre (the name represents all those people who had ‘no problem’ during the battle of Son Tinh – Thuy Tinh) showcased diverse performance arts including theatre, improv, contemporary dance, fire dance, slam poetry, magic, and circus acts.
In addition to watching, the audience could also discover their artistic talent by participating in workshops for improvisational theatre, juggling, yoga, face painting, colour painting with special materials and installation art with artists.
There was also an outdoor cinema for movie fans to enjoy short 3 to 10-minute films by Hanoi Doclab, one of Vietnam’s leading independent film producers, showcasing the latest from the indie film movement in Vietnam and the South East Asia. The myth of Son Tinh – Thuy Tinh was also retold in an independent film here. “Not only was I able to discover the novelty of Western culture, but we also revisited the fascinating culture of Vietnam, in a whole new light. Our foreign friends, in their creative ways, have made me realise the beauty in our traditions and legacy, and we need to appreciate and preserve them,” Phuong said.
When you need to take a break from the music and the bustling activities, you can discover European, Indian and Vietnamese cuisine without using cash. Your cashless wristband allows you to deposit money and pay electronically in seconds.
Or you can enjoy nature by swimming in the lake, sitting on a swing hanging from a tree or joining your group of friends out in the green to enjoy a cold beer, or simply watch the clouds. “I love the atmosphere at Quest. It’s so crowded and loud but so fun and freeing. I have made so many new friends from different countries,” said My: “one thing I learned from them is to work hard and play hard, in the most spirited way, and to be yourself without any hesitation. You’ll see that life’s so beautiful.”
Jin Nguyen | Wanderlust Tips