Thailand’s Wonderfruit Festival Knows How To Party with Purpose

*Written by Jacqueline Khoury for Electronica Life


Wonderfruit is exactly what happens when your dedicated squad produces a massive Burning Man stage, houses deep sunrise parties with Robot Heart veterans and expresses progressive foresight in its ethos like Further Future. It was not only loved by the 10,000 people who made it this past February 16-19th, but exceeded expectations with impressive world-class production and an eclectic line-up of artists who really knew how to throw down unforgettable sets. This too-good-to-be-true mash-up went beyond those trippy sunrise parties and beautiful fashion by following their ethos for sustainability and positive change.

This year featured three exceptional stages and countless other spots to enjoy live sets throughout the day. Each of the main stages had its own energy and housed different styles based on their unique themes. The Solar Stage, which appeared at Burning Man in 2012 and 2013, was shipped in from California by legendary Burning Man architect and engineer, Gregg Fleishmann. His climbable, multi-leveled and multi-dimensional arrangement using the Lost Triangle of Pythagoras was Wonderfruit’s clear choice for sunset and sunrise house parties. Acrobats and fire performers lit up the stage as body-painted wonderers danced and climbed in and around the puzzle-pieced wooden frames. The stage’s mystical and stunning sets always attracted diversity with the intention of oneness.

The Solar Stage became the epicenter for my daily relax sessions and the primary hub for us house heads to journey through deep cosmic sets. Eric Volta, a London-based psychedelic DJ whose technical range has mystified spots like Boiler Room and Robot Heart at Burning Man, masterfully set the house tone for the entire weekend. Jason Swamy, Further Future Co-Founder and Director/Co-Founder for Wonderfruit, also played a set on Saturday, proving just how involved and vibrant the creators are from start till finish. Yokoo, a deep house beast who’s recently been releasing tracks on Lee Burridge’s All Day I Dream label, graced the stage with beats that expressed truthful melodies and sincere love for the art, making his Sunday sunrise set one of the best.

“This structure was designed for exploration through climbing to allow the community to come together and contemplate sacred geometry and the sacredness of existence. – vents like Wonderfruit that bring people together to appreciate their connections and surroundings, are the perfect place for this installation.” – Gregg Fleishmann

The Farm Stage was a big testament to the ethos Wonderfruit followed. Designed by Thor. Kaison, this visually striking stage was built entirely of rice from local farmers’ yield and based on traditional ceremonial structures to celebrate Thailand’s historic rice farming culture. Located right beside the on-site farm, it naturally channeled a grassroots energy, making it the perfect layout for his culturally diverse musical line-up. Each night the crown of the stage transformed into a psychedelic light performance that illuminated the entire Wonderfruit sky. To be in Thailand and see the creators working with the land, guided by their traditional roots, sparked a natural oneness with the people, soil, and stage.

This year Wonderfruit allowed campers to bring food, so I brought some snacks and saved my meals for the phenomenal choices I remembered obsessing over last year. Choosing and experiencing all of the different food options was a festival of its own. Besides getting my 4:00 pm fix of sauce-smothered chips from the Pattaya-based burger bar Junk, I vowed to try a different meal each time I was hungry.

Straight Outta Thonglor was a personal favorite food spot. It had the largest selection, featuring all-day-breakfast, 4 types of noodles, 3 broths, fried chicken, cold-pressed fresh juices, and 6 types of pizzas. This special collaborative crew definitely kept the food as funky as the hip-hop beats they dropped. Marcel, a casual French cuisine and festival favorite, had its own special DJ line-up and served up some bangin’ mussels. If you happened to be sipping on wine during sunset at Marcel, chances are you stayed for the fabulous dance parties. Rocketfruit’s funky crew served up healthy Scandinavian flavors, but I stayed for the live daytime deep house sets and fresh coconuts.

The festival’s ethos for sustainability and making a positive impact on society was of leading importance to the creators, making Wonderfruit a true catalyst festival for positive change. They took the initiative three years ago to turn the fields into a living and breathing community that strives for personal responsibility and progress. The festival’s ethos was not only a literal guideline, but a necessity in our global community today. Wonderfruit has proven again to be a festival for those seeking more than great music and art, and from seeing the stellar dedication through action and presentation, it is only going to get better with each passing year. On that note,

Here’s a list of Wonderfruit’s praise-worthy projects and methods successfully used to make a direct influence on the people and planet.

● It became a net positive event by investing in Rimba Raya Biodiversity Reserve in Borneo, Indonesia. Rimba Raya is the largest REDD+ project and privately- funded orangutan sanctuary in the world.
● Biodegradable water bottles were used.
● As a result of the #wewillkeepwalkingcampaign, over 1,000 mangrove trees will be planted along the delta of Mynammar in effort to offset carbon emissions.
● Cash proceeds from the Rainforest Pavilion went directly to saving rainforest land for permanent conservation through Cuipo.
● Scratch Talks held during the days at Rainforest Pavillion centered around inspirational and powerful eco-centered presentations by regional heroes.
● Wonder Kar, Wonderfruit’s first art car, was made entirely of reclaimed junk.

See you in December!

For more info visit: wonderfruitfestival.com

Wonderfruit 2017 official after-movie:

**Photos without a watermark are credited to Wonderfruit.