Raving about Rave
Writer: Sharyn Shufiyan
Published: Fri, 06 Apr 2012
Rave isn’t really my scene but I will enjoy a good night out anytime.
Earlier last month I had to miss Laneway in Singapore because I was travelling the next day so when I heard that Future Music Festival was coming to our part of town, I was keen to check it out. I was looking forward to some chilling out and stripping down (not literally!) listening to some awesome music.
Future is a musical mash-up of electronic dance, hip-hop and rock featuring international acts such as Flo Rida, Tiny Tempah, the Chemical Brothers, Sneaky Sound System, alongside our very own local acts such as Twilight Action Girl, Kyoto Protocol, DJs Blink and Goldfish among others.
The music festival came to our shore from Australia and kicked off its first Asian tour at the Sepang International Circuit on March 17.
Although Malaysia is a bit shy on hosting music festivals and concerts, we are not completely alienated from the scene with our very own Rainforest World Music Festival, Rockaway and Rock the World, among others.
Here is my Top 10 of why music festivals are such a great event to organise and given our year-round good weather, we should be organising more. In no particular order:
1. Young people work hard, really we do. The 20 and 30-somethings slave away in the office 260 days a year, many even work over the weekends.
We aspire for the ideal life and we’re always trying to meet expectations – from our family, friends, superiors and even ourselves.
So a day’s worth of pure music ecstasy is just the right kind of catharsis for us young folks.
2. We spend most of our time in strict office attire or university dress code (if applicable) that really restrict self expression through fashion.
Music festivals allow us to break out and don our best fest dress. I enjoy people watching and observing how they dress – it’s a great venue for “Steal Her Look”!
It’s great for eye-candy too since some of the guys were walking around half naked. I can empathise, Malaysia is a hot country.
But some are adamant to make a fashion statement. I walked pass a dude wearing a bright red sequined jacket.
Kudos to him for being able to withstand the heat!
We can dress as ridiculous as we like, or as “comfortable” as we like, even if it means wearing just a bikini.
3. Usually we go to a club for a fun night out or to dance our stress away. But clubs are crowd-infested and cover charges are over the top.
Gone are the days when I was able to club hop, so we tend to just stick to one. There are not enough space to dance and often times we’re pushed to a corner, enough space to wiggle-wiggle and bump our heads.
So an outdoor party like Future is great because it’s outdoors, there’s ample space so you don’t keep bumping into other people. You can shuffle all you want without hijacking other people’s space.
And if you’re tired, you’re also free to just roll out a mat, lie down under the night’s sky and just enjoy the music.
4. We spend a lot of time indoors and in air-conditioned spaces – in the office, at home, in malls – that we couldn’t quite appreciate being outdoors for a change and break out a good sweat.
Just be sure to dress appropriately; I remember at Laneway, girls were in high heels and then it rained, boy were they uncomfortable!
5. We’ve got great local talents and to be able to share the stage with other international acts really propels us onto the international arena.
But sometimes even our local artistes sound just like the international ones, which is a shame, so I appreciated Twilight Action Girl mixing local songs like Sharifah Aini’s Kudaku Lari Gagah Berani and Sudirman’s Chow Kit Road for a more local experience and taste.
6. Music festivals expose you to other lesser known acts and expand your music vocabulary. Unlike concerts where the spotlight is on one particular act, music festivals pull in many at one time.
You can opt to stage hop and check out different acts at the same time. Since my familiarity with electronic dance music is limited to the Chemical Brothers and Daft Punk, I’m as virgin as can be so I was nicely surprised to discover “new” artistes like Sneaky Sound System and Chase & Status whom I thoroughly enjoyed.
I even found out that I’m quite into Drum & Bass!
7. If given the chance, we can really organise an amazing event. Organisers are usually behind the curtains and overshadowed by the line-up that they bring in.
Except for a line or two in the media, they do not always get a pat on the back even if they have delivered such as amazing event.
Kudos to the co-organiser, Livescape Asia, for the most brilliant night of the first half of 2012.
8. Also let’s not forget about the small businesses that pop up selling anything from mineral water, merchandise and light sticks.
Inside the venue, a mineral water costs RM4. Imagine the returns! There were also mini stalls selling food and snacks to hungry revellers.
9. There is a sense of mutual familiarity every time I go to music festivals.
Kuala Lumpur is small, so you can always count on bumping into other friends or acquaintances at these festivals.
Even if you were checking out the scene on your own, you can probably count on the fact that somewhere in the sea of people is another group of friends that you could probably tag along with.
10. These events remind us how international Malaysia is. We not only see locals but also expats and foreigners amongst the crowds.
Maybe they have travelled from abroad to catch Future, but they could also be from the expat community and international students that we’re gradually attracting to our shores. These pockets of communities who on normal occasions would not be mingling with locals are now sharing the same space, drawn together based on shared interest in music.
As Malaysians, we’ve had our fair share of disappointments of cancelled concerts but what’s inspiring is that it does not stop us from moving on and putting more effort into organising these events.
Looking at the Future turn-outs gave me hope that the support is there and if we really want to protect the entertainment industry from being robbed from us, we can.
Instead of griping about our conservatism, perhaps we should turn the attention on how beneficial these events can be.
It’s not just about having fun but it’s also about reputation and providing the avenue for the creative and entertainment industries to prosper.