Known as the biggest event of its kind in Asia, the beachside Pattaya International Music Festival has proven to be a huge hit with both locals and tourists over its illustrious 15 year history. Bringing color and excitement to the town along with a star list of musical performers, the 2016 edition, held from March 18-20, carried on in very much the same tradition.
This year the event featured 3 large stages sited along Beach Road; the Main Stage being located on the utility area adjacent to the Hard Rock Hotel, the Green Stage positioned at the junction with Central Pattaya Road and the Reggae Stage sited close to Soi 4. Some 49 popular rock, pop and country bands from all over Thailand and Asia entertained city dwellers and tourists alike for three foot-stomping nights.
Toon and Body Slam rock the audience at the Main Stage on the opening night of the festival.
To encourage music fans to the event the Beach Road was closed off to traffic from 6 p.m. each evening, in effect transforming it into an extended walking street along which many booths and stalls were located offering festival goers a variety of souvenirs, food and beverages.
The TAT Pattaya database indicated that hotels near the Pattaya Beach area were doing a brisk trade and were considered very busy or nearly full during the period of the festival. Over the 3 days and nights the event is expected to have generated millions of baht for local hotels and businesses.
Pattaya mayor Ittipol Khunplume (right) presents the keys of the city to members of star Korean girl group Rania.
The streets were packed as usual, but that wasn’t an issue for most music lovers who wanted to see their favorite rock or pop bands. There was a little something for everybody, from rock bands to jazz, country music, reggae and pop.
The first night was marked as one of the highlights, with a special performance by popular Thai band Body Slam that drew a huge crowd shortly after the official opening ceremony had concluded. Pattaya Police and other organizations provided tight security at the three main stage arenas, checking bags and preventing people from taking in any objects that could be used as weapons.
A reggae artist belts out another Caribbean flavoured tune.
The infamous Labanoon band rocked at the Main Stage on the second night with their popular song, “Help Me Please” while Retrospect shook the crowd at the Green Stage with the “Mai Mee Tuer” song. Ska lovers were drawn to the Reggae Stage as well, with the special appearance of Ska Chance and the Teddy Ska Band.
Following on from this three day musical jamboree, the next major event to come to the city is the Songkran Festival in April, also known as Wan Lai here in Pattaya.
Rania from Korea performed several of their popular pop hits.
Labanoon perform their hit song ‘Help Me Please’.
A young traditional street musician entertains passersby.
Mocca Garden, one of the most popular reggae acts in Thailand, perform in Pattaya.
Young fans eagerly await the appearance of their musical heroes.
Excitement mounts as Modern Dog take to the stage.