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BeatsFestival Report Card: S2O Festival Bangkok, Thailand

Festival Report Card: S2O Festival Bangkok, Thailand

Every April in Bangkok, Thailand, the S2O Festival attracts festival-goers worldwide to celebrate the Thai New Year at what’s known to be the “World’s Wettest Party.” What makes this “The World’s Wettest Party?” Imagine everything from giant water cannons spraying hundreds of feet into the air and raining down into the crowd to dancers on stage spraying attendees with water guns—basically, water everywhere!

Compared to other events EDM Maniac has had the pleasure of attending, this may be one of the most unique due to the water element and cultural significance. Historically, the Thai New Year, Songkran, is celebrated with large-scale water fights throughout Thailand. The water represents renewal by washing away any negativity from the past year and starting the new year with a fresh start.

Here’s what else we have to say about our weekend at S2O Festival in Bangkok, Thailand:

S2O Festival Thailand


Vibes: B+

Although this international festival did attract attendees from all over the world, the majority seemed to be from various parts of Asia. We met many people who’d traveled from China, Malaysia, and Taiwan to attend S2O and made some local Thai friends.

Everyone was beyond excited to be there, but with the excitement on that first day, there was also uncertainty as to when everyone wanted to get wet in the water; this resulted in much of the crowd staying towards the back and near the entrance where it was dry. This did lower the energy for the first couple of hours, but slowly, groups of people (including us) started to wander into the splash zone.

Once everyone started to get in the water, people became less standoffish, and the water brought out the playfulness that we usually see at American festivals when there’s trading of kandi and trinkets. It’s known that many international festivals don’t partake in PLUR culture the same way Americans do, so we felt like the water added to that fun, carefree element that we typically think is missing at international festivals.

As it was a water-themed festival, you know that whatever you wear will get absolutely drenched, so we were also pleasantly surprised by the effort and creativity people put into their outfits.

S2O is a famous festival, and since it also takes place during a huge celebration, the crowd got busier as the weekend went on. Day two and three, we noticed more pushiness within the crowd and less patience when waiting in the food and drink lines.

Production: A

This was a one-stage show, so all production effort went into one area, and it did not disappoint. The stage was designed to represent a water factory, so when the water cannons went off with each drop, it was as if water was coming straight out of the giant water pipes of the “factory.” Combined with pyrotechnics, lasers, and the artists’ visuals, the blasts of water made for a sensory experience unlike anything we have seen at a festival.

Outside of the stage itself, sponsors and food areas were simpler. Most of them had interactive elements or swag available. Crocs had an area where you could customize your new pair of Crocs, which were available for purchase. Charge Spot was giving massages, and Pocari Sweat had everyone covered with water-proof phone protectors and goggles. Each activation also had individual viewing decks, in case you wanted an excellent dry viewpoint of the fun.

The big sponsors such as Pepsi, Chang, Durex, and Dewar’s Club had seating areas, viewing decks, photo ops, and even their own ad breaks in between sets. Our favorite and maybe the cutest thing we’ve seen at a festival had to be the Durex-sponsored Kiss Cam.

We were also impressed with the amount of fireworks! Every set had an incredible visual display that made us want to record every drop because of the “wow” factor of the fireworks display combined with all the water cannons. We also didn’t notice too many, if any, technical difficulties over the weekend and found the sound quality good throughout most parts of the festival. Even at the back of the food village, without a view of the stage, everyone was still vibing to whoever was playing.

S2O Festival

Music: A

For a three-day festival, there was a solid variety of artists, such as Deorro, Wuki, Illenium, Afrojack, Subtronics, Armin Van Buuren, and more. And once again, the perks of having only one stage are no set conflicts, so we got to see all of them!

It’s always an exciting experience to see artists play at international festivals because some of them play entirely different sets than what they do in America—comparing artists we’ve seen previously, such as Deorro and Subtronics, who both played terrific sets. However, they didn’t seem to get as weird as usual with their sound. We noticed many artists tended to play it on the safe side and stick to their well-known tracks and mainstream remixes.

Being exposed to different sounds from more local artists is also a highlight of going international. We particularly enjoyed kicking off day one with Taiwan-based DJ Kenny Musik, who got the crowd hyped up and slowly but surely had the majority at the front of the stage dancing in the water.

The combination of hardstyle and water blasting from everywhere got the crowd going during Showtek’s set on day two. Subtronics sent us to another dimension with all the lasers and Pyro. Day three was the busiest and most energetic crowd, with artists Jonas Blue, Gordo (aka DJ Carnage), Afrojack, and, for the grand finale, trance legend Armin Van Buuren.

Venue: B

We did have a unique opportunity to preview the venue the night before the festival, so walking in on day one, experiencing it in full swing with water cannons going, and witnessing attendees take it all in for the first time as they entered the gates made it feel that much more special.

The venue layout was essentially one stage with VIP viewing decks on either side and a VIP deck with tables towards the back, the driest part of the festival. Then, to one side were the sponsor activations, and behind the main festival area were all the food vendors. Everything was easily accessible, although, by day two, there were areas where water had started to collect, so it did require walking or jumping through some puddles.

We love a good cashless event, and the number of “Top Up” areas made it easy to reload our wristbands when needed. For Americans, everything was reasonably priced, from electrolyte drinks for 50 BAHT ($1.35 USD) to Pad Thai for 150 BAHT ($4.09 USD).

The food village seemed to get a solid amount of traffic, and we felt it could be expanded since many people would use it as a spot to take a break or even a shortcut to get from one side of the stage to the other. As the night went on, it became more difficult to find where food lines began just because of the number of people walking in and out of the area.

Although the bathroom situation was porta-potties, even in VIP, there was never too long of a wait, and they were kept fairly clean. A practice we have noticed at more international festivals is that there’s no toilet paper inside the actual porta-potties, but it’s kept at the entrance to the bathrooms so attendees can grab it on the way in. This also makes it easier for staff to keep it in supply for everyone.

It’s a water themed festival, so as expected majority of the venue did get pretty wet throughout the weekend with few dry spots, even standing towards the back in the “dry zone” one could expect to get a little mist from the water cannons. The only negative was the lack of chill areas and dry stage viewing available to GA attendees, with the only actual dry spots being a small seating area near the activations and the food area, which didn’t have much stage visibility.

S2O Festival

Overview: A

Overall, it was an incredible experience, and we look forward to being a part of it again. Even with one stage we were impressed with the level of production, ease of navigating the crowd and most importantly the music. The selection of artists that performed at this year’s S2O Festival was top tier.

There wasn’t the traditional rave attire or trading of trinkets that we may have been used to, but it didn’t stop attendees from dressing up in creative “water-friendly” outfits. The more international festivals we attend, the more we appreciate experiencing how each culture embodies what raving is and what we’ve realized. Whether it’s stated out loud or not, PLUR is always present in some way.

The beauty of dance music is that it has the power to bring people of all cultures together, and although we found ourselves in a foreign place, we felt nothing but welcome, which translates to PLUR energy. The celebration of Thai culture and it is a new year, so much positive energy was present over the three days at the S2O Festival. Letting go of whatever we may have been holding on to from the previous year and welcoming new, fresh beginnings left us with a sense of renewal, unlike any other festival we have attended.

The post Festival Report Card: S2O Festival Bangkok, Thailand appeared first on EDM Maniac.

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By: Dianna Baylor
Title: Festival Report Card: S2O Festival Bangkok, Thailand
Sourced From: edmmaniac.com/festival-report-card-s2o-festival-bangkok-thailand/
Published Date: Tue, 23 Apr 2024 22:39:34 +0000

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