Wonderfruit, Thailand’s groundbreaking music, art and lifestyle festival, returns to the lush, rolling Fields at Siam Country Club in Pattaya from February 16 to 19.
Like the past two editions, this year’s Wonderfruit offers more than just a memorable sonic experience. The festival is built on six pillars – art, food, family, wellness, talks and workshops, and, of course, music – all featuring stars in their respective industries with a penchant for sustainability and social enterprise. The result is a cross-platform, cross-cultural celebration reminiscent of Coachella, but on a smaller and more personal scale.
Headliners from the more than 60 confirmed music acts include English drum and bass group Rudimental, electronic duo Simian Mobile Disco, Kate Simko & The London Electronic Orchestra and Shura, a rising figure in electropop whose 2016 release “Nothing’s Real” was hailed by music critics worldwide. Top Thai acts Rasmee Isan Soul and Srirajah Rockers, as well as the Molam Bus by Jim Thompson Art Center, will add some local flair to the festival’s bill, too.
Over four days, the site will be transformed into an experiential playground, with more than 20 art installations, talks and workshops held nearly every hour, and plenty of places to cool off, unwind and soak up the surrounding nature. Don’t miss the Farm Stage. This living structure, shaped like a Buddhist temple – complete with a prang built with bamboo and bundles of rice – celebrates Thai rice-farming culture. In fact, the seeds from the rice bundles will even be planted after the festival ends.
From sunset yoga to zumba, from all-night house music sessions to Forbidden Fruit – the festival’s first gay party, featuring performances by Pangina Heals and Luna City – Wonderfruit offers no shortage of events to stimulate the senses and stir the soul. Not to mention satisfy the appetite.
In previous years, local foodie fixtures, such as The Jam Factory and Nahm, set up mobile restaurants at Wonderfruit, serving gourmet bites alongside Thai-sourced coffee and other drinks. This year, the feasts have gone up another level. Partner venues include Marcel, Thyme, Peppina, Morimoto and Rocketfruit, a collaborative effort with the Rocket team.
It’s not all quick eats, either. In practically every aspect, Wonderfruit puts the focus on a more holistic kind of experience. Farm-to-table feasts will unite diners at communal tables, often over meals made with locally-sourced and organic ingredients. The feasts will come courtesy of the likes of Gaggan Anand, who will be working with Chef Daniel Chavez of Singapore’s Ola, as well as Paolo Vitaletti and Jarret Wrisley from Bangkok’s own Appia and Soul Food Mahanakorn. Meanwhile, Chef Jeriko Van Der Wolf of Cocotte will serve dishes made with fresh, seasonal ingredients, and F.A.C.T. Collective will highlight the flavours of Thailand’s North and South in a massive spread.
While it’s easy enough to stay in one of Pattaya’s finer resorts, such as the Dusit Thani or the Mövenpick Hotel – or to park your yacht for the weekend – partygoers can also dive into the luxury glamping trend with Wonderfruit’s boutique camping arrangement.
In what has to be a first for Thai festivals, Wonderfruit will be cashless this year. All in attendance will receive an RFID wristband, courtesy of Bangkok Bank, that can be topped up at stations around the festival. Sustainable, techie and eco-friendly – this is one forward-looking festival.