This Homegrown International Music Festival Celebrates Representation and Diversity

The lineup includes Japanese Breakfast, Last Dinosaurs, Cynthia Alexander, UDD, and 11 other artists

Summer Noise is a homegrown music festival that had its inaugural edition at the Century City Mall in Makati last year. Eighteen artists were on the bill, composed mainly of local acts plus a few from neighboring countries, including Singapore, Hong Kong and Thailand. 

This year, the festival’s sophomore outing promises to be bigger and better, with the venue moved to the Circuit Makati Concert Grounds and a roster of nine international and six local acts.

The first wave of headliners announced a month ago include American dream-pop artist Japanese Breakfast; indie rock outfit Turnover, also from the US; Australian psych-pop trio Last Dinosaurs, Thai singersongwriter Phum Viphurit and Norwegian sensation Jakob Ogawa.

The festival announced the full lineup on Saturday, February 16, which includes rising names in the regional music scene: Sobs and Subsonic Eye from Singapore; Manic Sheep and SEN from Taiwan; and Up Dharma Down (UDD), Cynthia Alexander, Sheila and the Insects, tide/edit, The Ringmaster, She's Only Sixteen, and UPRISING from the Philippines.


A unique music festival

What makes Summer Noise different from other music festivals is a focus on representation and diversity. Besides the effort to showcase artists from Southeast Asia and the rest of the continent, organizers say they intend to make the festival a accessible to the hearing-impaired.

"We will have Filipino Sign Language (FSL) interpretation as part of our program,” said festival co-founder Mary Christine Galang. “We strive to ensure that our shows are inclusive and provide a safe space literally and also figuratively, to express our individuality without compromising our values."

"Our goal with Summer Noise is to showcase established and independent musicians from various countries, particularly within the region and beyond, and foster talents thatare rarely given the platform to share their music at large-scale events," she adds. "We believe this to be an incredible opportunity to not only produce a high-quality music festival but keep the spirit of grassroots community that we've built throughout almost four years in the industry, which we believe to be what sets us apart from other music events in the country, and hopefully expand that ethos throughout the Asian region and beyond. In the long run, we want to nurture a community that celebrates diversity, representation and cultural pride."

In addition to the musical acts, Summer Noise will also offer a curated bazaar space supporting local brands, products and startups. There is also a spot at the festival for curated and sponsored art installations with works ranging from large format canvas to mobile displays.

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The festival is organized by events and concert production outfit The Rest is Noise, which has a reputation for staging some of the biggest and most successful local gigs in and around Manila.


Summer Noise happens on May 18, 2019 at the Circuit Makati Concert Grounds. For tickets, click here.

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Paul John Caña
Associate Editor, Esquire Philippines
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