7107 International Music Festival | Review
at the first ever 7107 International Music Festival.
MANILA – As the crowd sang along with their fists to the sky, a group of ambitious Filipinos reveled, as they had successfully pulled off the first international music festival in the Philippines. “We are making history this weekend and putting [the] Philippines on the map,” said organizer Jon Herrera, a few days before the 7107 International Music Festival kicked off.
And so they did. 7107 gathered 55 local and international artists in Clark, Philippines on February 22 and 23. For two days, the concert grounds blasted live music that ranged from rock, hip-hop, to electronic dance music (EDM), that delighted any music lover’s ears. Headliners like the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Kendrick Lamar and Kaskade blew minds away with their stellar, debut performances in the country. Our local bands and DJs were anything but outshined, as the love for Filipino music resonated in the crowd.
At the entrance, the image of a soaring national eagle proudly greeted concertgoers. Two stages were mounted in the enormous field, with the main stage framed by the symbolic Filipino sun and a smaller stage adorned with water buffalo horns that lit up at night.
Having hired the same logistics team behind the Coachella music festival, 7107 had top-notch technology, with LED screens, craned cameras and massively powerful sound systems. While the decorations echoed “Pinoy” pride, the layout of both stages made the grounds feel rather empty, despite the consistent inflow of thousands of people.
With the smell of food, alcohol, cigarettes and the unmistakable scent of marijuana, every type of music lover was present. Trendy teenagers, rockers, parents and men clad in business attire came together, whether it was for the love of music, partying, or both. “You can tell how old the crowd was by which songs they really respond[ed] to. That, [or if] they were wearing a striped tank top and a backwards snapback,” joked cinematographer, Nicolo Santiago.
Scattered all around the field were sponsored ‘pop ups’ offering air-conditioned tents, sofas and inflatable pools. While outside food was not allowed in the festival premises, the wide selection of culinary choices, along with chairs and tables in the ‘mess hall’ provided comfortable dining.
Because gates were open from 12PM until midnight, security was omnipresent and impressively tight, prohibiting people from leaving the grounds once they had entered for the day. Ticketing was revolutionary too, as producers chose a system with technology that had not yet been applied to any local event.
Asked about how he feels about the festival’s success, “It really is about feeling the lightness of having achieved my dream, something unparalleled in the country. Learning never stops, so expect a bigger and better 7107 in 2015,” replied Herrera.
With the Red Hot Chili Peppers concluding the festival with an encore, bassist Flea implored the ecstatic crowd to support live music. “Go out and see it,” he said, before fireworks shot up in the sky.
Text & Images by: Miles Raguin
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