Wanderland Music & Arts Festival has come so far since Karpos Multimedia first set the stage at Circuit Makati five years ago. For many, it’s tradition to usher in the heat of the summer by jamming to bands they never imagined would come to our shores. This year’s lineup consisted of Basically Saturday Night, Carousel Casualties s, Ben&Ben, Asch, IV of Spades, Quest, Lauv, Jess Connelly, Daniel Caesar, Bag Raiders, Jhené Aiko, FKJ and Kodaline. We’re still recovering from 2016’s Bon Iver/Death Cab for Cutie double whammy, but Karpos slayed us yet again.
Having covered Wanderland since the beginning, we’re serious when we say that we’ve seen it all: from the flower crowns and Aztec prints of 2013, to the culturally insensitive tribal headdresses that somehow managed to stay relevant until 2015. Last Saturday, we were overwhelmed by a sea of floral polos and tinted sunnies. Some standouts that we spotted this year included Waldo and guys sporting cornrows (angry face), but otherwise, there were too many people to notice anything too cringe-worthy. Could this mean that the local festival crowd has finally matured? Here are some other things we learned from this year’s festival.
This is a great time for local acts.
Meme IV of Spades and Ben&Ben all you want, but these guys are the real deal. Though both bands played sets early on in the afternoon, the crowd filled up the entire pit area. (It’s worth noting that previous Wanderland festivals had separate smaller stages for the local acts. This year, both stages were given equal importance.) Aside from being accomplices to a successful wedding proposal, IV of Spades made fans kilig with hits like Mundo and Hey Barbara. Ben&Ben, meanwhile, sang Kathang Isip along with the crowd (who apparently knew all the words???).
Cool weather makes everything better.
We gotta admit that previous Wanderland festivals would’ve been more enjoyable minus the heat and lack of water stations *insert SpongeBob water meme here*. This time the atmosphere was bearable, even getting pleasant as the sun went down. We would like to thank the weather for sponsoring our sunset moment with Daniel Caesar singing Take Me Away coolly in the background.
Jhené Aiko is an actual goddess.
Stepping out on the flower-adorned stage in a yellow robe and some seriously glittery pants, Jhené Aiko conducted what may be the largest group therapy session ever. We aren’t kidding. She even said it herself. Don’t even get us started on the harp player and the bit where she invited festival goers onstage. We are now convinced that Jhené is an ethereal being from another dimension.
FKJ is one ridiculously talented dude.
Pardon us for not mentioning this sooner: we stan French Kiwi Juice. The minute he brought out the sax to open his set, we were sold. He even composed a song on the spot by recording the sound of the audience. By the time June Marieezy came out to sing Fly, we were goners.
Is this the death of the poser?
People have always taken Wanderland as a great opportunity to get photos for the ‘gram. As such, much shade is directed at posers who attend without know- ing the acts on the lineup (c’mon, even we admit that we’ve been guilty of this at one point or another). We’re confi dent that that wasn’t much of an issue this year, judging from the sheer amount of sing-along moments that started with Ben&Ben and went all the way to Kodaline.