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Festival Guide: Where to Party in the Philippines [2020]

The Philippines is a country often characterised by tropical islands, sloping volcanoes, sparkling waters and dynamic metropoles, but more recently the country has developed a reputation for its booming nightlife culture. From the beach parties of Borocay to the superclubs of Manila, for those visiting for the first time you won't be at a loss when it comes to planning your night out. For those visiting this beautiful country in 2020, here's a guide to the best festivals happening around the country.

Music Festivals in the Philippines

1. Malasimbo (February 29-March 1, 2020)

One of the longest running festivals in the Philippines, Malasimbo is now celebrating its 10th anniversary. This two-day, open-air event brings together local and international acts, revitalising the Philippines’ local music culture whilst being mindful of the environment.

For 2020, Malasimbo will be moving to a brand-new location La Mesa Ecopark in Quezon City, where festival-goers will be able to participate in horseback riding, pool parties, yoga classes and even bungee jumping!

Over the weekend you can expect to see a range of DJs and live bands, including Mike Love (co-founder of the Beach Boys), Cory Henry and the Funk Apostles, Laneous, Anomalia, Uncomfortable Science and more.

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Light installations at Malasimbo music festival, Philippines

2. Rakrakan (February 29, 2020)

Since its inception in 2013, Rakrakan's main focus has been to shine a spotlight on OPM (Original Pilipino Music). Rakrakan is arguably the Philippines' most iconic rock festival, hosting over 120 incredible acts across six main stages, leaving the audience spoilt for choice. This year the theme for the festival is "Peace, love & Music" and, as is tradition, will highlight everything we love about OPM. When you're not getting stuck in dancing in the throngs of rock fans, you'll be able to kick back and watch the skateboarding competitions, marvel at the live art contests, peruse the merchandise exhibitions and so on.

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3. Wanderland (March 7-8, 2020)

Situated just an hour outside of Manila, Wanderland is a celebration of all things indie. Established in 2013, the event is considered to be one of the Philippines first major music festivals, playing a large part in influencing the scene ever since it began. Each year, organisers Karpos Multimedia Inc. carefully curate lineups consisting of international and homegrown acts, aiming not only to give Filipinos the chance to see global superstars on home soil, but also to shine a light on local Asian talent.

As for the music, Wanderland's 2020 lineup will be headed by Foals, and will see performances from Nick Murphy, Sabrina Claudio, Bruno Major and Ari Lennox— just to name a few.

Taking place over two days, allow Wanderland to fill your entire weekend with an endless stream of live music and art. This year the festival is warming up for its new theme: Sports and Athletics, so expect a host of installations and shows on hand to bring this vision to life.

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4. Chroma (April 18, 2020)

Chroma Music Festival paint fight, Philippines

“We are the pioneering GRANDEST COLOR MUSIC FESTIVAL that innovated the EDM Scene in the Metro!”

Metro Manila’s most extravagant colour party and EDM rave is returning for its 5th anniversary! Boasting cheap ticket prices and a slew of talent from home and abroad, Chroma Music Festival invites you to a day rammed full with paint throwing mayhem set to a soundtrack of first-rate beats.

The concept is simple: you take a lineup of world-class dance acts, turn up the volume, throw in a truckload of powder paint and let the battle commence! Confirmed for Chroma 2020 so far are Ace Romas, Those Damn Nerds, Alwyn, Cathy Frey, Ally Takashi, Tom Taus and Callum David, with more artists yet to be announced.

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5. Roots Music Festival (February 13, 2020)

ROOTS music festival lineup 2020

On the eve of Valentine's Day, grab your loved one and indulge in the best Filipino music at this open-air event.

Jumping onto the scene in 2013, ROOTS vision includes more than just the music, acting as a catalyst for change. The festival first started out as a fair, founded by University of the Philippines (UP) students back in the 1970's as a way to protest during the martial law era. The fair combined the ideas of music and protest, swelling in size year on year until it grew into the UP Fair ROOTS music festival that we see today. Throughout the day the audience will be treated to a wide selection of Pinoy music performed by homegrown acts like Rico Blanco, Andrew E., Orange and Lemons and much more.

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