Pattaya Music Festival - A Guide For The Melophile in You!
Are you a music fan travelling to Thailand this March? If the answer is yes, then you will be fascinated to hear that Pattaya is home to one of Asia's most significant international music festivals. Each year as March rolls around, music lovers from Asia and around the world gather on Pattaya's beaches to enjoy reggae, jazz and even R&B music from their favourite bands.
What is Pattaya Music Festival?
Started in 2002, the Pattaya International Music Festival (formerly the Pattaya Music Festival until 2006) is a celebration of music. It is one of the largest beach music festivals in the world.
Pattaya Music Festival 2018 Dates
It typically takes place in mid-March, although dates are announced relatively late in the year. The announcement of dates can be delayed as late as late January, and this is why fans of the festival eagerly await official confirmation for months in advance, checking their notifications regularly for confirmed dates. As of September 2018, the dates for the 2019 festival have not been announced.
What to Experience in Pattaya Music Festival?
The Pattaya International Music Festival is famous for a variety of reasons. As it is one of the largest music festivals that take place on a beach, you're promised a fantastic backdrop as you sway along to the music of your favourite bands. And you'll be happy to learn that this festival lasts for not one, not two, but three whole days. The shows usually start at 6:30 PM and go on until the early hours of the morning. You can find the festival stages along the beach road of Chonburi from Dolphin Circle to Bali Hai Pier.
The festival hosts musicians from many genres such as reggae, jazz, rock, R&B and hip-hop. These genres are celebrated on different stages along the beach, namely Universal in Central Pattaya, Moon on Pattaya Soi 4, Galaxy at Bali Hai Pier and reggae in south Pattaya. Every year, the festival uses a different colour scheme for each genre of music. In the past, the trend of colours is that the main stage is usually red and the reggae stage is usually yellow. The main stage is often located beside the legendary Hard Rock Café.
When the festival first began, it saw mostly Thai bands perform, but as the years went back, the scope of the festival grew. In the last decade, it has seen bands from around the world and neighbouring countries like Laos, Cambodia and Malaysia. Some of the most significant international and local artists who have performed at the Pattaya International Music Festival include Buddha Bless, Slot Machine, Mocca Garden and Playground.
Along with the great music here, you'll find plenty of CDs and music magazines on sales. Lots of film production houses and record companies put up stalls as well. If you're interested in perhaps purchasing musical instruments, this could be a great place to find fascinating instruments - but you should be wary of prices at the festival.
Why Visit Pattaya Music Festival?
Unlike most music festivals that charge massive amounts for tickets, the Pattaya International Music Festival has free entry. Yes, you read that right! Entry is free! Why not take the chance to catch fantastic live music for three days on a beautiful Thailand beach for no additional cost?
The country has seen a thriving music scene in recent years, especially in the genres of rock and reggae. With each year, the festival shows more and more potential to gain greater recognition. That would lead to more prominent names regarding performers, but with this would come more massive crowds and perhaps even ticketed entry. So we'd certainly recommend making the most of this festival opportunity while you still can!
Aside from the Pattaya International Music Festival, the city is home to other international festivals like the Maya Music Festival in mid-February that has had headliners like Tiesto and Zedd in the past; the Warp Music Festival in May that has included the likes of Marshmello and Valentino Khan; and the Wonderfruit Festival in Siam Fields. So if you have any reservations about the quality of management and music at this festival, fret not.
And don't forget Pattaya has plenty of other attractions to make your visit to the city worthwhile even after the festival is over. There are over fifteen fantastic golf courses that are less than an hour's drive from the city. For those who'd like to catch a glimpse of Pattaya's flora and fauna, you can always visit Sri Racha Tiger Zoo, Pattaya Crocodile Farm, or Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden. For thrill-seekers, Pattaya has plenty of parks such as Cartoon Network Amazone, Underwater World, Funny Land Amusement Park and Pattaya Park Beach Resort Water Park. Other exciting attractions include the Sanctuary of Truth, Silverlake Winery, the Thai Alangkarn Theatre Pattaya, Ripley's Believe or Not Museum or Wat Khao Phra Bat, an important Thai temple.
How to Get There?
The capital city of Bangkok is approximately 150 kilometres from Pattaya. By car, it would be a two-hour journey. It would be an hour and a half drive from Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport. Cars are available for rent from multiple companies in Bangkok. There are bus and van rental services too. However, do keep in mind that most of these services charge per person while car rentals (including limo services) charge per vehicle which is more cost comparative for larger groups of people. Some of the most popular rental agencies are Taxi Well, Oriental Escape and P. T Taxi Service.
If you'd prefer to use public transport, you can catch a bus at the Eastern Bus Terminal to Pattaya for a fee of THB 124. These buses run from 5:00 AM to 11:00 PM. Because of their frequency, you shouldn't require a prior reservation. But when the festival dates come closer and large crowds descend onto Thailand, it might be a good idea to buy a ticket and have a promised seat to the festival.
This festival sees over 200,000 attendees each year. This means that you're bound to have a fantastic time amongst fellow music lovers, swaying to the rhythm and enjoying the happy festival vibe that will be hard to find anywhere else. Of course, as with any music festival, you should keep basic safety in mind such as watching your belongings and watching your drinks. But just as long as you're careful (especially as a tourist in Thailand) we're sure that you'll have a great time at the Pattaya International Music Festival!