Launching into the New Year with our introduction of the Thai arm of DJ Mag Asian, we thought what better way than to recap the start of the Asian festival season in our native city of Pattaya. MAYA Music Festival returned to set the tone for the year to come here in party central Thailand, with an epic line-up to rival any single day event anywhere in the globe and some. Heading into the event itself, your eye was caught by the awesome spectacle of the monstrous stage dominating the landscape for miles around, which took no less than 6 months to construct in fact. With no holds barred this year, the MAYA team went all out with an impressive collection of special effects, lighting and the stage itself, launching the event to the next level to ensure the revelers had a day to remember.
Walking through the main gates before hitting the killing fields where the ravers, hipsters and all out music junkies were already bashing out to earth-shattering sounds pumping out from the stacks rigged upon the main stage, we were confronted with a dreamy paradise of a vast open field
with a lit tree in the center… very trippy indeed…
Just beyond, there was the usual stack of street food truck joints and caterers surrounded by hay bales to rest your weary junks on in your typical boutique Thai market style, we see so commonly around the cities of this magical land.
The bar was a little drop to right, just before the center stage, offering a range of refreshments from beers buckets to moon style buckets drowning in a range of spirits to get you in the mood. The cashless system supplied by PouchNation worked a trick, allowing you the freedom to bop to your
heart's content knowing your finances were securely strapped to a wrist of your choice. All the team, from security, bar staff to cashiers were more switch on than most of the party goers and service worked like clockwork - non of the typical communication issues faced in these kind of environments.
This year’s line-up with almost back to back headliners taking command of the stage, the crowd and even the staff at times, made for an epic season indeed. There was surprisingly something for every musical taste in the EDM world - from Trap to a bit of Dubstep, Trance to Deep, Progressive House and all the spaces in between - not to mention a healthy dose of Big Room. Rehab, for instance, dropped a number of bangers that were a far cry from his familiar style, to take the crowd by storm - if like us at DJ Mag Asian, you are accustomed to his performances elsewhere.
Kicking-off the all day long event, rising Belgium DJ and producer Robert Falcon, took the lead in getting the early birds in the mood for a 13-hour onslaught of ear piercing tweeters, dazzling lights and core shattering bass drops. Swiftly followed by Chinese master, J.L. Fan, on the wheels of
steel cranking up the vibes. Dutch producer Mike Williams, followed by Dubvision, cooked up the temperature a little more prior to Slushii’s American meltdown for sunset across Horseshoe Point.
After the sun dropped the stage transformed under the time-coded light display coupled with targeted lasers creating a jaw-dropping display prior to the league of major players to take to the stage. First to drop in the night was Madeon who pushed the sound system to the limits and even the outer fencing rolled with the baselines.
Deadmau5 surprised everyone by jumping on the stage without his signature headgear but not to disappoint though, he did don the recognisable mouse head for all his avid fans to an uproar that almost overshadowed the sound system. Robin Schulz
bounced in after to throw out those uplifting vibes over the eclectic bag of boppers from across the furthest reaches of the globe. Then Flume pushed the feeling on as the atmosphere evolved into one that could rival any major festival across Europe. Not one for a mild entrance, the god-like presence of Steve Angello took the night to another dimension accompanied by blinding white lights and pyrotechnics that had some of the punters ducking for cover. That was until he dropped the first beat of his heavenly set sending the crowd into a frenzy.
To wrap up the night R3hab pelted the crowd with a unique collection of tracks that had us mentalist throwing elbows, arms and necks everywhere. It was such a finally to a first-rate rave that some of the ravers were still dancing to shadow beats well after the last bassline had long left the arena.
The vibe was perfect right through the night, leaving everyone tweeting across the city and beyond for the next round. But don’t take our word for it, take a look at the video below to get a real sense of the festival’s true atmosphere. Kudos to the MAYA team and watch this space for more details on their next event - which is sure to be a real buzz...
@2018 DJ MAG ASEAN