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13 Dec 2018

Asia’s Growing Dance Festival Scene and its impact

The recent announcement that the White Party Bangkok has received sponsorship from the Tourism Authority of Thailand is a clear manifestation of the growing importance of the Dance Festival scene in Asia. 

Whilst Bangkok (including Pattaya from this year) holds the biggest and most popular Parties, smaller Dance Parties are held throughout Asia, including in Mainland China, Taiwan and Singapore.

 We like to think Fridae played a part in starting this with the Nation Parties, which began some 17 years ago in Singapore - and following a ban on the Parties in Singapore, later moved to Phuket.

Bangkok's Songkran Parties are long running and this coming April will see the 13th Party. In a digital age where it seems we all connect through apps and with the bar and club culture generally in decline internationally, these parties offer a place for people to connect and enjoy sharing music and dancing. The number of such parties is also increasing significantly: in 2018 and in Bangkok alone, there were three big dance festivals - Songkran 12 in April, the new Circuit Festival Asia in Pattaya (which included the famous Waterpark party), and the White Party in December. There was also the smaller XXO party held in October. With tens of thousands of people attending festivals and the Thailand Tourism Authority showing recognition of the value of this LGBT Tourism, this is becoming quite important.
The most recognised DJ in Asia is Thailand’s own Spectrum K. He has been spinning on the scene for more than 15 years and having started as the DJ at Babylon in 2003, he has been the resident DJ at Bangkok’s famous Gay Dance Club G Bangkok (formerly GOD) for almost 12 years. Those visiting Bangkok will know that G Bangkok offers a Circuit Party type experience every day of the week, and especially so at weekends when Spectrum K spins his uplifting vocal house music with lots of Divas thrown in! For research I was 'forced to' go to G Bangkok on a Friday night and his energetic performance was so good I felt a need to continue my research on the Saturday!
Indeed, Spectrum K is the only DJ to spin at all the Bangkok parties in 2018. He is also a regular Guest DJ at parties across Asia, including in China. China plays an increasingly important role in LGBT Tourism and Dance Parties, as more from our Community in China are travelling overseas.
We caught up with Spectrum K to get his thoughts on the growing dance festival scene and how things are changing:

Whilst Bangkok (including Pattaya from this year) holds the biggest and most popular Parties, smaller Dance Parties are held throughout Asia, including in Mainland China, Taiwan and Singapore.

We like to think Fridae played a part in starting this with the Nation Parties, which began some 17 years ago in Singapore - and following a ban on the Parties in Singapore, later moved to Phuket.

Bangkok's Songkran Parties are long running and this coming April will see the 13th Party. In a digital age where it seems we all connect through apps and with the bar and club culture generally in decline internationally, these parties offer a place for people to connect and enjoy sharing music and dancing. The number of such parties is also increasing significantly: in 2018 and in Bangkok alone, there were three big dance festivals - Songkran 12 in April, the new Circuit Festival Asia in Pattaya (which included the famous Waterpark party), and the White Party in December. There was also the smaller XXO party held in October. With tens of thousands of people attending festivals and the Thailand Tourism Authority showing recognition of the value of this LGBT Tourism, this is becoming quite important.

The most recognised DJ in Asia is Thailand’s own Spectrum K. He has been spinning on the scene for more than 15 years and having started as the DJ at Babylon in 2003, he has been the resident DJ at Bangkok’s famous Gay Dance Club G Bangkok (formerly GOD) for almost 12 years. Those visiting Bangkok will know that G Bangkok offers a Circuit Party type experience every day of the week, and especially so at weekends when Spectrum K spins his uplifting vocal house music with lots of Divas thrown in! For research I was 'forced to' go to G Bangkok on a Friday night and his energetic performance was so good I felt a need to continue my research on the Saturday!

Indeed, Spectrum K is the only DJ to spin at all the Bangkok parties in 2018. He is also a regular Guest DJ at parties across Asia, including in China. China plays an increasingly important role in LGBT Tourism and Dance Parties, as more from our Community in China are travelling overseas.

We caught up with Spectrum K to get his thoughts on the growing dance festival scene and how things are changing:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fridae Music Editor

What’s your experience of the Dance Festival Scene in Asia and how do you see things changing? Do you see differences between individual Countries?

DJ Spectrum K

Whilst it’s great to see more and bigger Parties developing, the Internet has changed things and sometimes I feel that people can be less friendly than before. I try to use music as a connector to bring people together and will always watch the crowd at a Party to make sure the music is working its magic. There are some differences across different Countries but I think music brings people together and my experience these days is that people are more stressed and that dancing and music really helps in bringing people together. At the big Dance Parties in Asia, we have people from all over the world and every weekend at G Bangkok sees Locals and Tourists from different cultures connecting through the music.

Fridae Music Editor

How would you describe your music style and who are your influences and favourite Remixers/Producers?

DJ Spectrum K

My music style is uplifting vocal house blended with diva vocals but it’s really important to watch the crowd and venue and see what’s working for the crowd. I find the Gay crowd love the house beat and their favourite divas and anthems blended together! My greatest influence was DJ Tony Moran and indeed I saw him at the Nation Party in Phuket where he played for 7 hours!

I follow and love many of the remixers and producers that are producing great music and my current favourites are Mauro Mozart (Brazil) and LeanH. If I’m asked to choose, my favourite track this year is ‘aint no mountain high enough’ remixed by Joe Gautreaux and LeanH. This is truly uplifting!

Fridae Music Editor

China is playing an increasingly important part in the dance party scene but almost all the music played is remixed Western/English music. Do you foresee that more Asian/Chinese music will start coming through?

DJ Spectrum K

China is big market but the trends come and go very fast. The new generation of young people likes to follow trends so there is a big movement on the younger Chinese gay community.  There are a few big DJs, like  Avicii and Hardwell, who have collaborated with Chinese artists but I am not too sure whether people will appreciate “Chinese Mixed music” unless is very tastefully done. I do not know whether there is any development within the Chinese music market but I would love to hear some different music styles and maybe the New Generation can come up with something different. 

Fridae Music Editor

Thailand is home to a number of big dance Festivals, with the White Party and the Songkran Parties, and from this year, we saw the introduction of the Circuit Festival. Do you think this growth in Dance Parties will continue and what issues may arise?

DJ Spectrum K

I am happy that the circuit party scene in Asia and in my country is growing and more people are coming to Thailand but I also think that we need more support from the Government, to create a good foundation to teach the new generation about AIDS/HIV+ and Drugs, and in particular the dangers of drugs like G.

Fridae Music Editor

It seems that International DJs from outside Asia are generally given top billing at the Asian Parties and we don’t see real representation of the Asian DJs in Europe and America. Do you think this will change as the Asia dance scene develops? We’d love to see you in Barcelona or Palm Springs!

DJ Spectrum K

There are just so many good DJs from America and Europe, and as for Asian DJs, they are not gaining the same recognition or getting  support from the Asian organisers. Asian DJs tend to play a small part/role for most event and parties. I would love to see more Asian DJs going out of Asia to spin in Europe or America - but at this point, we need more support from our own Asian ground first. Being an Asian DJ requires better exposure as well as support from the people, and it is currently really hard to build a solid foundation. A good DJ needs to make a lot of sacrifices and hard work. There is no short cut to become good in our Trade.  Work hard and do your best before aiming high. 

We would like to thank Spectrum K for being candid and sharing the issues around the dance market scene. The developments in the area are generally very positive but we believe that Spectrum K brings out an important point about protecting ourselves.

Spectrum K can be seen at G Bangkok every Friday, Saturday and Sunday and will be spinning at the White Party on New Year's Eve. It has to be admitted that this music Editor is a huge fan of Spectrum K - as a dance music lover, his energy and passion for music creates an amazing experience and as you would expect coming from the land of smiles, he is also truly such nice guy!!

People, enjoy the Parties and party safe!

Thailand

Reader's Comments

1. 2018-12-13 11:22  
Great to see Asia DJ feature and he is the best one!
2. 2018-12-14 23:26  
if you see realistic and deep understanding, the events is not for solely dancing.
but thankful event that why you gay should give honor, and giving to society. be aware
3. 2018-12-16 00:28  
Well written, and an great interview with an awesome guy and a very entertaining DJ! I’m looking forward to hearing him again soon.
4. 2018-12-16 20:34  
i think that if the event just for dancing and music, then you are not realistic
there must be diversity events because people came to Bangkok/Thailand was not for one day only in majority.
its look like you make generalitization that all gays just for dancing
as i met gay from europe.
Here there must be facilitator for many purpose of visit.

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