A Diary of a First Time Wanderer

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Karpos has been producing Wanderland Festival since 2013 but it was only this year I have gotten the enthusiasm to be a ‘Wanderer’. It must be my age and I have always thought I am not too hip for the festival. It really gotten my attention when they had Death Cab For Cutie and Bon Iver on their lineup — bands I am familiar with. But work got in the way yet missing it again.

But live music is still live music and I was really stoked when I got an invite for their lineup announcement party. That invite led to Indie Manila being one of the festival’s official Media partner this year.

The gloomy weather days before the festival did not dampen my curiosity. I was on the verge of buying rain boots and windbreaker but something inside me says the music gods will be forgiving and spare that Saturday.

Wanderland Jungle is better explored with a friend so I invited music photographer (and also a first time Wanderer) Red Rivera to capture the festival with me.

Due to the downpour the night before, the entire Filinvest City Events Ground was muddy. The weather was unpredictable but the downpour of support from music fans was strong.

We bumped into some of our photographer friends and of course took a snap to document the fun moment.

The downpour had some mishaps that caused the festival’s three-hour delay. You can feel the restlessness of some Wanderers which was then immediately erased when Mickey Sulit started rocking the Jungle Stage.

Mickey Sulit official opening Wanderland Festival 2017 at the Jungle Stage

Lola Amour, this year’s Wanderband competition winner, followed and performed at the Globe Stage. The band delivered a solid performance, the only downside was, because of the program delay, they got bumped into a minor stage instead of playing at the main stage which was part of their prize winning the Wanderband competition.

Lola Amour at the Globe Stage performing for the first time at Wanderland

Alternative indie band Fools & Foes was one of the two local female-fronted bands to grace Wanderland’s Main stage. And they showed everyone why deserve that spot by delivering a flawless performance.

Isa Romualdez of Fools & Foes at the Main stage
Armi Millare of UDD at the Main stage

The streak of local acts dominated the first half of the festival with Banna Harbera, Urbandub, and Reese Lansangan, and Tom’s Story gracing the Jungle stage and Globe stage respectively.

Jake Masigan of Banna Harbera at the Jungle Stage
Gabby Alipe at the Jungle stage
Reese Lansangan at the Globe stage
Tom’s Story at the Globe stage

As the night progress, I started to notice how organized the entire event was. I have read the horrors previous festivals attendees had during the first four and I think the organizers took some serious notes.

LANY at the Main stage

LANY was the first headliner to perform. The entire set was inspiring except for that frustrating on-and-off scratchy sound resonating from the house speakers. But I never forget that moment when Paul Klein, the band’s frontman, broke into tears when he realized it was so far the biggest crowd they ever performed for.

Woodlock at the Jungle stage

The walk in between stages was a bit tiring but it’s good that it is not the case the entire festival. Australia native Woodlock was the last band to perform at the Jungle stage. Their set was very refreshing to watch because if their upbeat tunes and their percussionist’s wonderful smile.

HONNE and Purity Ring packed the Globe stage and gave brilliant performances. Everyone was mesmerized with Purity Ring’s curtain of lights that are always part of their performance.

HONNE at the Globe stage
Purity Ring at the Globe stage

Then the moment I have been waiting for, the two main reason I was encouraged to attend this year’s Wanderland Festival: Yuna and The Ting Tings.

Yuna at the Main stage
The Ting Tings at the Main stage

The magical performances were dampened by the long wait for The Temper Trap, the last act of the night. It was an hour-and-a-half dead air and people got frustrated, you can actually feel that half of the crowd (from the audible ‘boos’ and ‘give us updates’) seemed to be thinking of just skipping the final act and call it a night.

The Temper Trap closing Wanderland Festival

Red and I stayed until The Temper Trap’s 2nd song and call it a night. But as we are walking away from the still packed Filinvest City Events Ground, the loud screams and the surprisingly in tune sing-along of the hundreds that stay put until the end of the festival brought a smile to my face.