Too broke for Coachella? Try these music festivals in Southeast Asia

Anyone who loves music would have dreamt of attending Coachella or Glastonbury at least once in their life. Well, if budget and time are a concern, here's a list of music festivals in Southeast Asia you've gotta check out first.

Hipster jibes aside, there's nothing quite like the experience of being at a major music festival. The air is thick with conviviality and good cheer as everyone is there to indulge in one common love: great music.

Whether your tastes lean toward the electronic beats of Tomorrowland or the indie sounds of South by Southwest, you can be sure there are 1,000 (or 10,000) other people ready to party along with you. Of course, if you can't afford the pricey air tickets (or have no time to ballot for festival passes online), here are some equally awesome festivals in the region to check out:

March 7 - 11, 2016

Eclipse Festival

Sulawesi, Indonesia

In celebration of a rare and spectacular solar eclipse, this 5-day festival will feature over 100 artists from a broad spectrum of music genres including traditional, world, ambient, dub, psychedelic, techno, house and electronica.

Says organiser Interstellar, "The total solar eclipse can only be experienced along a relatively narrow strip on the Earth's surface. Sulawesi is one of the few locations in Indonesia where the total solar eclipse will be fully visible, with approximately 2 min 55 secs of totality, making it one of the longest eclipses in the history of the earth."

For information on tickets and packages, visit

March 29 - April 3, 2016

Bali Spirit Festival

Bali, Indonesia

In its 9th year, this festival gathers yoga instructors and enthusiasts all over the world for a celebration of the East and West through world arts, dance, and music.

The festival is also packed with health and well-being workshops held in various yoga centres in Ubud. Depending on the type of activities and workshops you want access to, there are differently priced passes available. For those who just want to soak in the atmosphere and enjoy the music, a three-day pass to the One World One Stage concert series costs US$85 (S$118).

Details can be found at

April 2, 2016

Neverland Manila

Manila, Philippines

Fans of electronic dance music should most definitely not miss Neverland Manila. Boasting 4 international DJs and 12 local acts this year, the event prides itself as a "bucket list event" because the acts are the kind that appears on lists like "who I want to watch before I'm too old to party." Expect pulsing dance music being played non-stop from the moment the gates are opened.

An article about the festival writes that if you are 25 and above, you're probably one of the older people in the crowd. But hey, don't let your age stop you from partying up a storm, we say!

Check out Neverland Manila at

August 5 - 7, 2016

Rainforest World Music Festival

Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia

Set against the magnificent backdrop of the legendary Mt.Santubong, the afternoons of this 3-day event are filled with interactive and educational workshops, ethno-musical lectures, jamming sessions and mini concerts, while the nights come alive with performances by world renowned musicians and indigenous performers from the interiors of the island of Borneo.

The festival has also garnered much attention for its environmentally friendly initiatives - tree planting campaigns, recycling and the use of shuttle buses to reduce carbon emission.

For more information, go to

Dates not confirmed, likely in early December

Big Mountain Music Festival

Arguably Southeast Asia's largest music festival, this 2-day festival will receive more 65,000 visitors a day, with hundreds of live acts across various stages.

The festival has become a focal point of the Thai music industry as its organiser believes it is a reflection of the overall cultural scene in Thailand that year - the acts featured will come to have a big impact. Big Mountain is a brilliant combination of creative and marketing forces at work as it is put on by GMM Grammy, a corporation that controls 70-80 per cent of the Thai music industry. A festival of this scale not only gives its roster of stars a platform to showcase their work, it is also a great revenue-earner - ticket sales and sponsorships ring in about 112 million baht (S$4.4 million).

For the latest updates on Big Mountain Music Festival, follow its Facebook Page here.

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