Pattaya International Music Festival a hit with fans

0
588

More than 400,000 rocked out, chowed down and shopped ‘til they dropped as Pattaya’s beachfront transformed into a giant street party for the Pattaya International Music Festival.

Tourism Authority of Thailand Director Surapol Svetserani called the March 18-20 festival the most successful in its 10-year history with more Thai and Asian music showcased than ever.  The event not only pleased fans, but Pattaya officials who reported fully-booked hotels and brisk trade at shops and restaurants.

More than 400,000 rocked out, chowed down and shopped ‘til they dropped as Pattaya’s beachfront transformed into a giant street party for the Pattaya International Music Festival. More than 400,000 rocked out, chowed down and shopped ‘til they dropped as Pattaya’s beachfront transformed into a giant street party for the Pattaya International Music Festival.

There were more than a few bum notes, however, with tremendous complaints over traffic congestion, due largely to the unexplained reversal of plans announced earlier to allow two-way traffic on Second Road.  And while cars and motorbikes were supposedly banned on Beach Road shoppers and festival-goers fumed over drivers who at times plowed through pedestrians anyway with no police intervention.

Klear had the audience bopping throughout their routine.Klear had the audience bopping throughout their routine.

Security also proved a problem, despite estimates of 600-1,500 police, military and volunteer personnel patrolling the area.  Assaults, bag snatches, illegal weapons possession and other petty crimes marred the melodious atmosphere.

Even at the area’s six stages between Bali Hai Pier and Soi 4, fans complained of waiting hours in over-crowded spaces for top-billed acts, such as Korean superstars Rain and Som Dam Bi, only to see them exit the stage after as few as two songs.

Nonetheless, for a free, three-day concert, most fans felt they got their money’s worth, with Thai and Asian pop, rock and reggae music all on offer.

The festival started with a bang Friday, with fireworks and a superstar performance of “Dawn,” an original song composed by H.M. the King.  Thai brother duo Golf – Mike sang the lyrics backed by classical instrumentation by Vietrio and a traditional wooden xylophone played by Narongrit Tosanga.

Busaba Daoruang, managing director of Thai record label GMM Grammy said the Pattaya Music Festival is regarded as one of Asia’s premier concert venues with fans and performers from around the Pacific Rim.

Thai bands including The Star, Golf-Mike, Klear, Instinct, Slot Machine, and Potato traded songs with international acts, including Nina Girado from the Philippines, Will Ng of Malaysia, Derrick Hoh from Singapore, Tik Princess of Laos, Superkidz from Indonesia, and Pak of Vietnam.

Besides the music, all of Beach Road became an open-air market, with everything from 49-baht sunglasses to home stereos on sale.  Food was everywhere and even the weather cooperated, clearing and warming up after a cold, wet and windy week.

More than ten thousand music lovers turned up for the first day of the Pattaya Music Festival at the Galaxy Stage, Bali Hai Pier.More than ten thousand music lovers turned up for the first day of the Pattaya Music Festival at the Galaxy Stage, Bali Hai Pier.

Rain, the magnetic Korean superstar belts out one of his numbers to his hordes of fans at the Universal Stage.Rain, the magnetic Korean superstar belts out one of his numbers to his hordes of fans at the Universal Stage.

Vietrio perform their opening act at the Galaxy Stage.Vietrio perform their opening act at the Galaxy Stage.

Golf-Mike once more won the hearts of their teenage fan-club.Golf-Mike once more won the hearts of their teenage fan-club.

Jetset’er entertained the crowds with some cool grooves.Jetset’er entertained the crowds with some cool grooves.

A pair of promotion girls take time out to enjoy the music.A pair of promotion girls take time out to enjoy the music.

Fans of the Golf-Mike lap up the performance of the famous Thai twin duo.Fans of the Golf-Mike lap up the performance of the famous Thai twin duo.

Bang Kok Smoke Run got the crowd moving at the Reggae Star Stage.Bang Kok Smoke Run got the crowd moving at the Reggae Star Stage.

Hundreds of thousands of music fans and shoppers jammed the Beach Road over the weekend.Hundreds of thousands of music fans and shoppers jammed the Beach Road over the weekend.

Despite road signs and numerous police officers on duty, traffic still persisted in travelling down Beach Road during the festival.Despite road signs and numerous police officers on duty, traffic still persisted in travelling down Beach Road during the festival.