KARON, PHUKET: Phuket is about to witness the birth of its very own dance music festival – ‘Roy Fest’, which debuts on Karon Beach this weekend.
In Southern Thai, ‘roy‘ means ‘fun’, and the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is hoping the more than 50 international DJs and musicians it has booked for Roy Fest will help the party live up to its name.
The TAT has invested more than 22 million baht to convert Karon Beach into the ‘ultimate beach dance party’ and they’re expecting to draw thousands of party goers to have fun on the white sand.
“Hua Hin and Rayong have their own music festivals so why not Phuket? It’s my hometown and it’s known as the Pearl of the Andaman,” said Norasate Mudkong, aka DJ Seed, the festival’s music director.
“Singapore’s Zouk Out is an incredibly successful beach dance festival and our beach is much more beautiful,” he said.
“With the current economic situation, it’s important that we promote tourism in Southern Thailand. Phuket is a great place to start, as it’s strikingly picturesque; and because it’s already well-known, it’s easier to attract tourists from all over the world,” said Dom Chotivanich, CEO & partner of creative agency NetPublications.
“Our role models are Singapore’s Zouk Out and England’s Brighton Beach, both of which receive massive support from their respective municipal governments. That stimulates spending and helps money to circulate,” added Dom, who has experienced the Zouk Out party on three occasions.
“Roy Fest actually aims to raise awareness about Phuket, largely by word of mouth from the artists, as we approach the high season.”
The two-day music festival features two groups of international artists, among them DJ Ken Ishii from Japan, DJ Adsorb from England, DJ Lord Warddd from America, and DJ Lapsap from Malaysia. It also includes local acts such as DJ Seed, DJ Dragon, T-Bone, Ta-Mone, Thaitanium, Southside, Doobadoo, Silly Fools and Smile Buffalo.
“I’ve been really impressed with the Japanese DJ’s shows here,” said Dom. “DJ Adsorb, who played at Glastonbury, is BBC Radio’s rising star. It’s not easy for a new organizer like us to book any big names or even a rising star, so we’ve been really lucky.”
“DJ Ken Ishii is a world-ranked techno DJ. He once mixed the sound of our ‘kaen‘ [Isaan reed mouth organ] with techno on an album he recorded here,” said DJ Seed. “If Roy Fest is even 60 or 70 percent successful, I think it can outdo Zouk Out.”
“We would like everyone to have a good time and enjoy dancing on the beach under the stars and cooled by the sea breezes,” said Dom.
And, in keeping with every good Thai fest, party goers will also find plenty of booths selling food, beverages and souvenirs.
Roy Fest takes place on Karon Beach this Friday and Saturday, from 6pm to 2am.
For more information, visit www.royfest.com
— Thanasorn Chookate & Kitchana Lersakvanitchakul
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