13 July 2016

The Local Music Scene is Alive and Well with Fete de la Musique 2016

Those people saying that the local music scene is dead may not have known where to look. After all, it’s difficult to make such a statement had you known about Fête de la Musique’s two-day music fest brimming with local artists performing in over 24 main and pocket stages.

I arrived at Rock and Indie Stages during the calm before the storm. The venues were still empty, and the organizers were relatively relaxed. Policemen mill outside the venue, an out of place but not an unwelcome sight, given the recent happening at CloseUp Forever Summer that still haunts the local music festival industry. Despite the delay in set up because of the armed men’s insistence to thoroughly inspect the premises, there was a palpable energy in the air. The organizers promised a hell of a show, and they were intent on delivering it, thank you very much.

“Fostering a good environment for the music to be heard and appreciated by people, I think that’s what Fete does best” 
- Reese Lansangan

Feature by Lausanne Barlaan & Photos by Earl Roxas

Reese Lansangan performing at the Indie Stage

The 2016 Fete Dela Musique marks the festival’s 22nd run in the country, and the celebration is bigger than ever. Topping last year’s 20 stages, this year’s Fete offered 24 different stages to choose from, with new stages catering to offbeat genres like Bedroom Beats and Fusion. While Fete de la Musique is a worldwide celebration of music, there is no denying that this is just as much a celebration of local music. 

Ian Urrutia of Vandals On The Wall

“It’s about strengthening the community, giving opportunity for underrated indie acts who deserve a bigger stage, and of course it’s a great time for everyone to celebrate music at its earnest form,” observes Vandals On the Wall’s Ian Urrutia. “Fostering a good environment for the music to be heard and appreciated by people, I think that’s what Fete does best” adds singer-songwriter Reese Lansangan

Nicole Sarmiento of Red Ninja Productions

Aside from providing a platform for up-and-coming and established artists to be heard, Fete Dela Musique grants accessibility to music lovers that don’t often come out to gigs. “It’s so much easier to promote bands, it’s so much easier for bands to be heard just because it’s free,” Red Ninja Production’s Nicole Sarmiento on the draw of Fete de la Musique. And sometimes, a grand celebration like Fete is what it takes to inspire young artists to make music or at least to support it, as recounted by Cubism Family’s Jmi Salcedo: “Some of them [the artists] started out from being fans as well. Having that kind of big festival that inspires you to become someone someday, and to be part of that celebration, is a lot already in terms of inspiration.”

BP Valenzuela

Surely there were a lot of problems in putting up a festival this big. I was so certain that the stages had problems coordinating with artists, getting sponsors, anything. Sure, there were problems, they all answered when I asked around, but as with any passion-fueled individual, all the organizers were more hopeful than defeated. “There were bumps, di naman maiiwasan yun schedule-wise. But we’re all friends, and this is a festival. We’re celebrating music, it’s a community. Fete de la Musique is for the love of music. That’s why [even] some artists are willing to participate in all stages,” explains Jmi. 

Similarobjects of Buwan Buwan Collective

As for their wish lists for the future installments of Fete de la Musique, most of the organizers cited venues nearer each other. But musician Jorge Wieneke (better known as Similarobjects) put it best, suggesting “That the main stage could have a representative of each stage, so if you go to the main stage, you see how well rounded the Philippine scene is.”

Reese Lansangan performing

After hypothesizing what could happen in the next Fete de la Musique, I turn my attention to the other end of the music spectrum - the listeners. How has the community evolved over the 22 years of Fete de la Musique? Is the growth of local independent artists directly proportional to the number of supporters? “Nag-iba na rin yung scene ngayon eh, before three years ago, feeling ko kami lang nanonood sa isa’t isa, uy may gig ka ok nood ako. But then last year, noticeable yung changes na ang dami ng audience na recurring,” exclaims Reese Lansangan. 

Jmi Salcedo of Cubism and Mica Asistores of A Space

“What’s good about Filipinos nowadays is they’re really supporting local music, they share about it online. Before, the music you can see is what you see on the TV, and now you can go to places, we’re all open now compared to before,” shares Mica Asistores of A SPACE. “Now music is so available that everybody can go. Everybody has Facebook. Everything is marketed online, na people can go,” agrees Red Ninja Productions’ Nicole. 

Rhxanders performing

And it looks like the change has only begun, and the local music community has a lot to look forward to. As Cubism Family’s Jmi Salcedo put it, “OPM will never be dead, unless lahat ng Pilipino sa Pilipinas, ayaw ng tumugtog at makinig.” Judging by over the 6,000 people that visited the Indie Stage alone, it’s obvious that the local music scene is far away from death, and that Filipinos are more than willing to listen. And that’s enough reason for a celebration.


Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Copyright © 2012-2016 PURVEYR, All Rights Reserved.
Follow us on Instagram