Fete dela Musique 2013: Music mecca

Pia Ranada
The music festival regaled lovers of every music genre despite rain and traffic

GET THE MUSIC STARTED. French band Naïve New Beaters pumps up the crowd with their blend of hiphop and dance music. All photos by Pia Ranada

MANILA, Philippines – Last June 15, Makati could have rightfully called itself the city of music.

On that night, Fete dela Musique — the annual music festival organized by the French Embassy — unleashed over 100 musicians to 9 venues scattered all over the city.

As I approached the main stage in the parking lot of A.Venue Mall, I knew right away that I was nearing a music mecca. Festival-goers in Woodstock-worthy outfits streamed into the sidewalks, drawn by the pulsating purple and pink lights at the end of the road. 

The lights portended music the way lightning portends thunder. Rousing hiphop beats emanated from the stage where French band Naïve New Beaters captivated audiences with their blend of hiphop and ’80s disco music.

Watch a music video of Naïve New Beaters here:

The main stage was also the stomping ground for major local acts such as Yolanda Moon, whose Cholo Hermosa serenaded the crowd with his soothing, perfect-for-breakfast voice.

Here’s the music video for ‘Path,’ a song by Yolanda Moon:

Other bands on the main stage included Up Dharma Down (accompanied by fashion designer and musician Kate Torralba), Flying Ipis and Sinosikat.

READ: Up Dharma Down and the perks of being wallflowers

NIGHT MARKET. Audiences of the main stage shopped in between sets at the night market in A.Venue

But festival-goers did more than listen to music that night. A few steps from the concert grounds led them to a night market selling jewelry, clothes, colorful bric-a-brac and secondhand books.

Hungry music lovers bought sizzling, steaming and fried delicacies from the food stalls.

BOOK SALE. Secondhand books sold near the main stage

Eight pocket venues paid tribute to other genres of music.

Reggae and World Music made city slickers relax in Café Curieux in Badajos St. Award-winning musician Diwa de Leon captivated crowds with music from his hegalong or two-string guitar. 

Listen to Diwa de Leon’s music here:

Coffee Break Island’s blend of rock and reggae had people on their feet, bobbing their heads.

Meanwhile, patrons of electronica headed to Buddha Bar on Kalayaan Avenue to listen and dance to Soulflower, Salamangkero, Martin Lugtu, Bauhaus Cloud and more.

JAZZ THE NIGHT AWAY. Audiences could relax and order a glass of wine while listening to jazz music at St. Giles Hotel

The Jazz stage in Blue Leaf Bar in St. Giles Hotel was a more subdued but no less entertaining affair. Crooners included Strings Attached, Kate Torralba, Swingster Syndicate, Bratpack and Romy Posadas Trio.

Soul food was served at the Blues Ska and Soul stage in H&J in Bel Air. Audiences chilled to Chilitees, Cheeba, Jeepney Joyride, Dandimites and more.

Listen to music by Chilitees here:

The Indie stage was a salad of highly original music blended with elements from various genres. Acts included Radioactive Sago Project, Pulso, Maude, Sleepwalk Circus, The Sleepyheads and more.

Saguijo in San Antonio Village rocked to Chicosci, Taken by Cars, Salamin, Cosmic Love, Mr Bones and more. 

Listen to Taken By Cars’ ‘This is Our City’ here:

Brigada dominated the Latin beats in Chihuahua on Makati Avenue while DJs and hiphop artists Aklas, Zaito, Duende x People’s Future, Smugglaz and more partied at Society Lounge in Atrium Building.

Hardcore festival-goers visited every stage, walking from one venue to another or braving the heavy traffic in their cars or in cabs. But most were content to absorb all they could from one or 3 stages playing the genre of music they were really into.

MAIN STAGE. Crowds flocked to the main stage to listen to local and foreign acts

The night was too short. If some had their way, Fete dela Musique would have lasted for days.

The music mecca ended at dawn with music lovers already waiting for the moon to shine upon it (again) next year. – Rappler.com

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Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is a senior reporter for Rappler covering Philippine politics and environmental issues. For tips and story suggestions, email her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.