As the afterglow from Afrikaburn 2017 finally recedes, the last of the dust settles and braincells finally return to normal, the question comes; “What now?”
Of course, there was catching one of the after-parties featuring some of the talents that made this year's desert soundtrack so special, the most notable of which was The Spirit Train’s Afterburn and there is the traditional Decompression hosted by Afrikaburn themselves, which is still to come.
But then what?
Image by Theo Lowenstein
Well, you could ship off to one of the many smaller regional “burns” across the world which have started popping up throughout the year. There’s also the obvious, monster, bank-balance destroying, visa-concerning Burning Man.
However, a region that has been steadily growing in focus is Southeast Asia. With a heady mix of warm weather, exotic locations and affordability (even for those earning Rands!), the area has long been a favorite destination for tourism, but a growing festival scene is beginning to attract international attention. And while Vietnam’s Quest Festival doesn’t subscribe to the same ethos as the Burns, but it would certainly appeal to those who feel like community, participation, engagement, art, joy, music and setting are vital to a real festival experience.
Its small size (just 4,000 last year), rustic charm and well-oiled operation really help to provide a balance that fits somewhere between what Capetonians would expect from one of their many summer festivals, and what they’ll accept as par for the course for a Burn.
This year’s Quest Festival runs from 10-12 November and returns to the shores of a Dong Mo Lake, 45 minutes outside of Hanoi.
With a healthy expat Saffa population living in Vietnam and S.E.A you’re bound to feel at home “aswell”. It seems like all the “chinas” are in attendance and this adds to the feeling of Quest being THE multicultural melting pot and meeting point for the region.
2017 also sees Cape Town’s dark horses H.O.T.S Productions, who brought the immense sounds of WHYT NOYZ, Joop Junior and AFFKT to SA last winter, teaming up with Hauswork, who are building on their notable performance at last year’s event by providing an add-on option to Quest’s three stages. Ainslie Ford and Nicole Weitsz will be taking the helm of the river boat party cruises, a concept which the pair first notoriously debuted at Make-Believe a few seasons ago.
They will be joined by Ryan Sullivan, who has been having an epic year already with widely-praised releases on his own Triplefire label and his latest Lowbit Records release being picked up in the charts. Even featuring in Hernan Cattaneo’s radio show, as well as launching his KONA night together with Techtris.
Also getting on board will be the legend in training, Plagiarhythm. After his immense success as part of the team that brought Lighthouse Festival to Cape Town, which was widely considered one of the best events of the entire summer, he is heading back to LHF in Croatia, along with a string of of other European performances.
The local awesome foursome will be joining an amazing array of Southeast Asian talent across a multitude of genres, including a few rock and metal bands performing on the main stage.
This festival is a feast for the senses, and considering it would probably cost almost the same to fly across the world and attend as it would to hang out in the desert, it is definitely one to check out.
As a bonus, you can explore a hugely varied and amazingly beautiful country with a rich cultural history at a price South Africans can even afford, and the resorts of Thailand are a cheap two hour flight away.
Quest is certainly worth the adventure. Or is that the other way around?
Image by Dao Tiep