Last June 17, We (editorial staff + interns) went out to the sprawling spaces in Makati for Fête de la Musique 2017, where artists of all genres convened in different stages for one long night of great music. From the stages we visited, acts we’ve really wanted to see, and artists we’ve just started to know, we write down and take photos of our favorite moments this year.
Photos by Marc Airelle Castillo, Poj Gaerlan, Jireh Hong, Meg Valencia, Pauline Lapus, Emma Buhain, Lala del Rosario, and Johmar Damiles
So I was at the Bedroom Beats stage at Belle and Dragon almost the whole night for Fete, and I can’t choose which performances are my favorites so I’ll just make a list of specific moments:
- NOFACE RECORDS – Calix flipping off everyone: the venue, the conyos in the crowd, Binay, etc. etc. I would’ve moshed if we were somewhere less…rigid.
- Pure Mind Quiet Heart – You know the feeling that you’re rooting for this person, and you know this person has potential, and you see it happening? That was me when PMQH was on stage rapping about pancit and sisig and everyone was vibing. When is his collab with WASHERE coming out? Speaking of which:
- I am very sad that I didn’t catch this, but I saw footage of WASHERE using a Dance Dance Revolution pad during his performance. Who else does that? Literally name one more person.
— pillow talk (@pillowtalkbeats) June 17, 2017
People call the Bedroom Beats stage a big meetup for Internet musicians and I’m so glad I get to hear these acts live, albeit with some small speakers. I’m too broke to stage hop. Might as well stay with my personal favorite – Lex, editorial assistant
I arrived at A Space during the second act. Aia de Leon was performing on stage while i was listening from outside of the _Gallery. The venue was so packed and I can could hardly see anything since, well, my height does not permit me to do so (haha). But as the program forwards from act to act, I get closer and closer, until eventually I got to watch from the seating area! I think it’s because most of the people there plan on stage hopping and leave after an act. The emcees insisted and encouraged everyone to stage hop for a total Fete experience. Also, since Fete Acoustic is more of an intimate stage, the crowd was asked to take photos or videos only during the first song. That wasn’t a problem for me since my phone had 5% battery life left. Here are some of the highlights of my fete acoustic experience:
1. Aia de Leon’s last song was “Sundo”! Can’t help feeling all the feels especially when the crowd sang along with her.
2. It was my first time to hear “Maginhawa” live and my heart is happy and content. Ang Bandang Shirley is definitely one of my favorite local bands!
3. Reese Lansangan covered Jensen and the Flip’s “Slow” which is one of my favorite songs from the band. Also, I always feel kilig when Jensen Gomez and Reese sing “Maybe” live.
4. Kudos to Ben & Ben for always bringing their A game during performances. They were the ones with the most people on stage (9 including percussions, violin, guitars, keyboard and bass).
5. Ever since I heard Leanne and Naara on Spotify, I always listen to “Again” when I commute. Finally! I got to hear it live!
I’m happy to hear the acts in acoustic. It gave a raw and personal tone to their songs and I think it got me closer to them and their music. Can’t wait for next year’s fete! – Marc, writing intern
Marc and I planned on meeting up at A SPACE around 3PM, but she got there earlier. They had to limit the audience to 300 at a time since there wasn’t much space for everyone. The rest had to wait in line near the gates. I managed to get in right after Ben & Ben’s performance, the place was still loaded with people eager to watch the next performer, but I was still able catch Leanne & Naara performing “Run Run”. Thankfully, the venue had a lounge just across which had a lot of space compared to the stage area. They had these wireless headphones at the booth by the lounge’s entrance so that you can listen to the performer even if you’re nowhere near the stage, all you have to do is register your name at the booth. They also have another channel which had an acoustic playlist on loop. Overall, I enjoyed my first time going to Fete dela Musique. I don’t really get to attend events like these in the city (the last gig that I got to attend was last January’s Tagaytay Art Beat and that’s not even in Manila), so it was nice to finally be able to expose myself to more artists. It surely was lacking, though, since I really wanted to go to the other stages. I definitely would next year. – Martie, writing intern
I went around different stages though I was able to catch just a few sets from the other stages. This year, I went to 4 stages, and I can say that every stage has something to offer to the table. Going to Fete, I realized that I seriously cant imagine life without music. Life without music would be a mistake. Music has been a huge part of me but also a huge part of humanity in general. It’s always amazing going to Fete. You’ll just love the atmosphere. Seeing how music makes people happy especially when they scream their favorite lyrics or when they dance to their favorite songs; everything’s just perfect. Being surrounded by people who feel the same love and admiration makes me feel like I am a part of something. I just feel alive and as if I matter when I go to these kind of events/festivals. And it’s nice that we celebrate Fete here in the Philippines because our scene needs so much recognition. It’s like a reminder for the Filipinos to let them know that OPM is not dead and it is very much alive. – Meg, art intern
Attending Fete dela Musique has turned into a tradition for me and my music-loving friends. It’s even better with close friends as musicians because I get to watch them play live. I usually just stay in the indie stage (I’m a grandma, I know), but this year I got to catch the eclectic + art stage at I’M Hotel. I actually enjoyed the latter more because it was more intimate as contrasted to the bustling indie stage at Century City Mall. My favorite set for the eclectic stage is Northern Man’s–I saw them first at Scout’s Campus Tour in CSB, but listening to them a second time was a lot better. The vibe of their music was perfect while just sitting by the pool of the Mermaid Bar.
As for the indie stage…man, I really hate big, stuffy crowds, but I’m so proud of our local bands getting so much recognition now. The audience seemed to be really enjoying themselves as groups like tide/edit, Ang Bandang Shirley, Banna Harbera, Tom’s Story, and more played. Filipino music is more alive than ever now. -Denise, Associate Editor
This was my first time going to Fete dela Musique, so I wasn’t sure what to expect! The art + eclectic stage was so beautiful. I also went to the indie stage at Century City and loved the instrumental band that played. I had never really heard live instrumental music before and loved the energy created by the music. I went to the reggae stage afterwards. I thought the energy was amazing and loved the neon lights at B-Side. The last stage I went to was the comedy one at Dulo! The coffee at Dulo is so good and I loved getting to meet some people from Film Folk (and getting free film stickers) while I was there. – Emma Noelle, art intern
This was my first time going to Fete de la Musique and I really didn’t know what was gonna happen or what to expect, and I wanted to try and check out as many stages as I could. I checked out the Bedroom Beats stage first at The Belle & Dragon to catch lui. and pillow talk. This wasn’t really my type of music so I found it hard to appreciate, but seeing the crowd grow non-stop for an hour showed me how diverse local music is and that it just keeps growing. I dragged my friend to the hip-hop stage next, expecting to hear some local rappers. We were surprised to be welcomed by a dance showcase by different participating crews, like Brown Buttah, and a few Bboy and Krumping crews. We were also super surprised by the performances we caught, like Microphone Mechanics, an acapella group, and Mula Etivac, a large rap group from Cavite, which reminded me of Young Money or OFGWKTA types of groups. I didn’t get to stay too long, so I missed some pretty good acts, but nonetheless, it was an amazing experience to see the whole local hip-hop community alive and kicking, and I would definitely check this out again sometime. – Poj Gaerlan, art intern
Pauline and I met up in Century City Mall for the indie stage at around 3 PM, not knowing what to expect. It was my first time to attend Fete, so I didn’t really know how these events went. The crowd was sparse during the earlier times, which left room for us to enjoy a space in the front and actual air conditioning. It got jam-packed in the late afternoon (it was really stuffy) when more fans of the indie scene started to file in. The energy also heightened as each band came up, with the audience singing and even dancing along as they enjoyed watching the bands live. I have to say my favorite performances were those by Moonwlk, Oh Flamingo, and Reese Lansangan, but the other groups definitely inspired me to check their soundcloud and Spotify accounts out the next day.
The overall experience was great, and what I really loved about Fete was the fact that it celebrates the diversity of music and people. More than local music forging communities composed of various people from different backgrounds, there was also a sense of redefining OPM and showcasing its caliber. (P.S. I’m definitely going stage-hopping next time.) – Jai, art intern
It was my first time to experience Fete de la Musique and I really have no idea what’s going to happen. So, Ji (my co-intern) and I checked out the Indie Stage at Century City Mall. I didn’t expect that I’m going to enjoy it. I really love that bands and performers there and especially the vibe of the people. It was a new unforgettable experience for me. – Pauline, art intern
Fete de la Musique was such a great experience. The whole concept itself was tremendous. I mean, who would have thought of putting up a music festival at multiple venues? It was definitely a first for me. It was around 7:30 pm and the first act was playing. Instead of stage hopping (which was my original plan), I found myself glued to the Bedroom Beats stage at Belle and Dragon. The acts were amazing, you could really see the passion they had for their art. The night swayed from cool experimental music to hardcore rap. The place got packed real quick. I love how the crowd was really appreciative of the music. The vibe was so real. I can’t wait for next year’s Fete. And stage hop for real. – Alexa, art intern
I checked out Fete De La Musique’s Bedroom Beats at Belle and Dragon, and it was really great.While all the artists had fun and novel sounds, Pure Mind Quiet Heart’s performance stood out for me. I never thought that rapping about sisig and other Filipino food would get a crowd so hyped. Were the lyrics too hilarious? Was the ability to sound serious unreal, and therefore impressive? Probably both. And everyone laughing along just created so much good vibes. – Roi, writing intern
I half expected Café Libertad to be sparsely occupied; maybe just some spoken word nerds sipping on some coffee and a few friends cheering them on. But wow was I wrong. It took me a solid 10 minutes to get inside the tiny cafe, patiently waiting outside for people to leave so that I could squeeze my way in. The place was packed with literally no room to move. Here are some highlights of my night:
- John Castro’s “Biktima ng Omegle”: The second he got up to the stage he started rapping at machine gun speed, everyone dropping their phones and facing away from their friends, now suddenly interested and energized. He then proceeded reciting a witty yet heartbreaking piece on being a victim on Omegle, too caught up in the moment to see the truth. Nobody likes getting catfished.
- Henry Igna’s “Umang”: Words Anonymous’ own shyly got up on stage and started of his piece by talking about a hermit crab. Started slow at first as he spoke about their shells and tiny little bodies, then something picked up in his voice then the atmosphere followed after. He kept saying how they reeked of bad decisions and living of shit, and slowly transitioned to the drug war, relating the “insignificant” hermit crabs to the 8,000+ deaths. Definitely stuck to me that night.
- Sao Villacampo’s “To The Girl I Cheated On”: You only usually hear poems about broken hearts abandoned by cheating assholes and that’s that. This guy got up on stage, being a spoken word “virgin”, and announced his title and the whole room fell into a hush. He delivered a heart stopping piece about falling in love, mistakes, bad decisions, falling out of love, and regrets. I despise cheaters, but I’m realizing that there are 2 sides to every story.
Ultimately the night was great; despite the packed heated room and my failure to grab a cup of coffee, I was happy I went. It’s not enough watching videos on your laptop at home, you don’t get the same kind of goosebumps from a video compared to actually seeing these brave men and women rip themselves open as their bitterness, longing, heartbreak, and ecstasy come spilling out. You don’t see it creep its way around the room, capturing the audience in a bubble of emotion controlled only by the speaker and can only be popped once he/she spits out his/her last word and takes a bow. It’s mesmerizing, really. – Mica, writing intern