While the rest of the nation was getting back to work after Chinese New Year, JUICE, like a true clubber, had legged it up to Bangkok to attend Culture One and suck up the energy of one of the world’s most vibrant cities. Computers and deadlines? Feck dat. The second year in which Bacardi B-Live has supported this International Dance Music Festival 2009, JUICE was there at the personal invite of Bacardi – oh yeah, it sure helps to have friends in high places…
Held at the Lakeside of Bitec Bangna, close to the airport, Culture One epitomizes the Bacardi B-LIVE manifesto of showcasing leading international and emerging regional artists, with over 30 international and local jocks lined up to play across 4 gargantuan arenas. Imagine the Bukit Kiara Equestrian Club but bigger and with 2 large closed arenas, then imagine the approximately 10,000 clubbers expected to descend on the place amidst the sweltering Bangkok heat.
It was straight to the Dudesweet arena for JUICE. Already a recognisable fixture on the Malaysian club scene, thanks to their presence here via VMD’s Whatever KL and Bang Mi, we are proud to say Goldfish and Lapsap were among those headlining here. Also playing were AC Slater (no, he’s not from Saved By The Bell) and Gene Kasidit with a live PA from The Diet Pills and Gene. Rockin’ out with blow-up giraffes and Bacardi, it wasn’t as crazy as KL, but there was definitely a lot to look at.
The Titan arena outside was not-as-well received and Moguai, Marco Bailey, DJ Filipe and Radion played to a now-you-see-it and now-you-don’t crowd. Over at the sprawling Culture One stage, Sister Bliss, Slacker, Ken Ishii, Dub Pistols and Singapore’s DJB were some of the names holding it down – proof that the big room sound isn’t dead. The Amnesia Arena turned out to be the late night draw and saw congregations of clubbers flock to it as other arenas were winding down. Kudos to Seb Fontaine, Matt Darey, Mar-T, Brian Cross and Graham Gold. The energy just didn’t le up and clubbers kept it up for longer than even the flaccid blow-up Culture One balloon outside.
There’s no escaping how far KL clubbers will go for a good time and we spotted a bunch of familiar faces down the front, their faces in buckets of Bacardi drinks. Tix might have cost up to 2000Bhat (RM200), but at only 400Bhat (RM40) a bucket, there was plenty liquid love to go around! There were some things that struck us about Culture One: even at 3am the public toilets here were nowhere near as trashed as they can get in KL. Also, this wasn’t just a massive rave that began and ended with big DJs and a spectacular sound system; t-shirts were being sold, graffiti was being thrown up and there were so many other activities besides. to keep and our eyes peeled and us occupied. JUICE stayed on until late to hang with our new Thai friends and watching a man play with fire. Hot indeed.
Bacardi B-Live presents Culture One 2009 was held at Lakeside, Bitec Bangna, Bangkok on January 31. Big ups to Bacardi for the invite and all the party people who made this trip such a blast!