What Went Down: Future Music Festival Asia @ Sepang International Circuit

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Future Music Festival Asia, the biggest dance music festival Malaysia has ever seen and the official opening event for the upcoming Malaysian F1 Grand Prix week saw a massive turnout of 20,000 fans, some of whom converged at the Sepang International Circuit on Saturday as early as noon.

The day saw wave after wave of people entering the festival from the two main entrances. It was a spectacular sight to behold, with legions of music lovers braving the hot sun while donning unique and colourful costumes which reflected the festival’s quirky and fun atmosphere.

The crowd consisted of a good mixture of people hailing from all over Asia – Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, The Philippines, and India. And there were a considerable amount of tourists from Europe, the Americas and a huge representation from the Australians, where Future Music Festival originates from.

The festival kicked-off with the Tourism Minister of Malaysia, Yang Berhormat Dato’ Sri Dr Ng Yen Yen launching Future Music Festival Asia. In her address, she expressed high hopes for the festival’s success to further solidify the already stellar collection of international music festivals and events in Malaysia.

“We are already playing host to several international music festivals such as the Rainforest World Music Festival, Penang World Music Festival, and Borneo International Jazz Festival. Future Music Festival Asia would certainly be an impressive addition to our musical calendar,” said the minister.

The Director of Business Development for Livescape Asia, the organiser for Future Music Festival Asia, Iqbal Ameer, echoed the same sentiments, “The huge artist line up is the main selling point for the Future Music Festival Asia and we hope that our event will be a permanent fixture in the Asian music scene.”

“We want to bring the atmosphere and vibe of the Future Music Festival Australia to Asia and in order to achieve that, we strive to bring the quality experience that is synonymous with Future Music Festival Australia, here, but with that distinct Asian flavour and good tropical weather,” he added.

After the launch event, Dato’ Sri Dr Ng Yen Yen was then ushered for a walkabout of the sprawling festival grounds with the organisers to view the facilities provided in preparation for the oncoming crowd.

Adhering to international festival standards, the organiser diligently gathered an army of security, support and medical staff to overcome any eventuality and avert untoward incidents during the festival.

Throughout the ongoing festivities, partygoers had plenty of distractions to choose from. With music to entertain fans on four electrifying stages – Flamingo, Las Venus, Future and Gnome, there were also amusement park rides such as a Ferris Wheel and a Reverse Bungee, which gave willing thrill seekers a birds-eye view of the event. Interactive gaming domes also offered activities such as hip hop performances, car simulators and lounges for revellers to relax. There was also a graffiti wall area by Red Bull where talented artists showed off their worth on the urban canvas. The Food Village and funky MINI booths proved to also be good additions to the usual line of concession stalls. The festival areas were also complimented by the refreshing beers from Heineken.

Timmy Trumpet alongside The Stafford Brothers kicked-off the day at the Future Stage with their epic assembly of tunes and playfully antics. The exhilarating trumpet play by Timmy Trumpet coupled with the rambunctious spinning by The Stafford Brothers enticed the crowd to an upbeat mood and gave the festival the festive jolt.

The following performer is not a stranger to Malaysia, American singer, songwriter and southern hip, electro-pop maestro, Flo Rida, worked the stage with the usual crowd-pleasers. Adoring fans were ecstatic when Flo Rida interacted with them off stage. The Florida native definitely demonstrated his staying power for future gigs.

The festivities continued throughout with performances after performances, playing to an ever increasing crowd. Early in the evening, Miss Connie Mitchell from Sneaky Sound System, a Sydney based dance act, mesmerised folks at the Las Venus stage with her golden-leafed costume and zany moves that tickled them into a dancing frenzy.

Project E.A.R., the Southeast Asian super-band rallied fans to the front stage area with hard hitting sounds and stellar showmanship, carried their own against other international and regional acts when vying for the attention of fans at the festival.

The night was set on fire with the musical genius of Tinie Tempah, the UK based act that is popular for his radio-friendly rap tracks that is accompanied by choruses by pop acts and rockers. His came out with a strong performance, skipping from one end of the stage to the other without tiring. He just carried the crowd with his lyrics and groovy house beats, which at 10 hours in to the concert is a monumental effort.

Pendulum, the Australian drum and bass and rock band, played a versatile set – moving from heavy metal to dub step. The combination swayed the audience along with the ever changing rhythms and melodies and they managed to pull all the genres off with just a DJ set, a marvellous rhythmic feat.

The Chemical Brothers filled the stage area with zealous fans chanting for more. For a moment, the energy level of the audiences was filled and audiences partook in the musical madness and dance moves that could only happen in a musical fiesta this huge. The Chemical Brothers played a very tight set and satisfied any musical cravings that anyone there had.

On the other side of the event area The Wombats, an indie rock band from the UK played their enormously popular Tokyo (Vampires & Wolves) to their adoring fans at the Las Venus stage. Although all stages were filled with strong headlining acts overlapping each other, none of the stages were empty, contrary to that, it was filled.

Anytime headliners such as the Hercules & Love Affair, and Cosmic Gate got started with their sets, the crowd was still filled with exuberance despite some of them having been there for 12 hours! Their faces were still brimming at the chance of hearing these international acts play mixes and songs that they have come to love them for.

Alongside the star-studded international acts that performed at the festival, Future Music Festival Asia had also brought along an equally impressive line of local and regional acts. These include Jalebee Cartel (India), Pet Conspiracy (China), Goodnight Electric (Indonesia), and Inquisitive (Singapore). The local acts also feature heavyweights such as Kyoto Protocol, Blink & Goldfish, Joe Flizzow, Victor G, and Fono.

The line-up of 70 performances, an eclectic mash-up of international, regional, and local acts kept the party going well through the night, giving the unrelenting crowd, some of the most memorable performances ever experienced. It was certainly a magnificent festival which will be ingrained in our membranes for a long, long time.

Future Music Festival Asia is organized by Livescape Asia and Future Entertainment Australia. It is also fully endorsed by the Ministry of Tourism and supported by Mini Cooper, Red Bull and Heineken.

Future Music Festival Asia 2012 was held at Sepang International Circuit on 17 March 2012. For more event photos, click here.