Wonderfruit Festival 2019,Thailand
December 12 - December 16
Within just a few years, the Wonderfruit Festival in December has risen to become one of the most anticipated festivals in Thailand blending music and gastronomy with wellness, art and eco-friendliness.
Anyone familiar with the Thai seaside city of Pattaya would never expect it to host a family-friendly, international music and arts festival with sustainability, social responsibility and an eco-centric ethos high on its agenda. Perhaps it’s this unlikely and surprising juxtaposition that has propelled this boutique lifestyle event into one of Thailand and Southeast Asia’s most unique festivals.
Described by some as Coachella meets Burning Man in the tropics, others insist Wonderfruit Festival is a one-of-a-kind transformational happening pushing for social and environmental change in Asia. Yet most people seem to think it’s a bit of both. Over five days Wonderfruit Festival 2019 hosts a carefully curated mix of offerings ranging from genre-bending musicians to art installations, exhibitions and workshops on sustainability via wellness classes on yoga and meditation, food made on site by award-winning chefs, and much more.
Wonderfruit Festival 2019 programme
The organisers present their offerings as “experiences”, not lineups, and judging from their eclectic mix of events, they may well have a point. Built on six pillars (music, art & architecture, farm to feasts, wellness, family, and talks & workshops), from full-on raves to story telling and design competitions, their programme of experiences is put together to attract a most diverse audience.
On the music front, bands and DJs cover anything from indie, electro house and pop-drum’n’bass to reggae, blues and soul.
The Phase 1 line-up of music performers announced so far include the father of British underground music Craig Richards; Massive Attack’s funding member Daddy G; Germany-based Binh with a DJ set of rare house, techno and electro records; world-touring Yasmin sharing her love of world music; the category-defying Sonja Moonear; and many others. For a full directory of the line-up so far, click here.
Staying for a while in Thailand? Check out our Essential Thailand Travel Guide.
In terms of architecture, a new addition is the locally sourced bamboo-architecture Theatre Stage while London-based designer Ab Rogers is behind several of Wonderfruit Festival’s iconic structures including the Eco-Pavilion which is the venue for the environmental-themed TED-style Scratch Talks, and the Theatre of Feasts where award-winning Bangkok and international chefs perform their culinary wonders from behind a bright kitchen island in the centre.
Other experiences include In the Eyes of the Animal where a wooden Virtual Reality headset will lead you through a familiar forest landscape through the perspective of woodland animals, the Bath House where you can relax and discover bath rituals, the Silent Room for those in need of meditation, the Wonder Garden with its range of wellness experiences, various art objects and installations, and an abundance of many other things.
If you’re in Thailand in spring then check out Songkran 2020 or Thai New Year, the country’s most popular event.
For families there’s a kids area, a nanny service and family-friendly programmes.
For a full overview of the seemingly endless things on offer at the Wonderfruit Festival 2019, browse the event website.
Wonderfruit Festival 2019 ethos
There’s no shortage of eco-friendly efforts at the Wonderfruit Festival where stages and structures are built from sustainable materials and with techniques that avoid using nuts and bolts. Even when, as self-proclaimed eco-warriors, they could do better by offering more vegetarian options, some of their food ingredients are sourced locally from their on-site farm while the food vendors have to use biodegradable plates. The drinking water is filtered water from the on-site lake. Single-use plastics are banned and their carbon footprint is offset by investing in mangroves in Myanmar. They have even begun using a crypto-currency called TREE to pay some of their collaborators, supporting the aforementioned mangrove forest in Myanmar.
How to get to Wonderfruit Festival 2019
The festival takes place at The Fields at Siam Country Club near Pattaya in Chonbury Province, Thailand. From Bangkok you can take a bus, a minivan or a taxi which will take you southwards to Pattaya in about 2.5 to 3 hours. Minivans and taxis can be booked directly at airport arrivals while there’s also a direct bus service between Suvarnabhumi International Airport and Pattaya. Alternatively, head to the Eastern Bus Station near Ekkamai BTS (Skytrain) station in the city from where there are daily buses to Pattaya.
For detailed directions, click here.
Where to stay at Wonderfruit Festival 2019
There are several accommodation possibilities on site, ranging from setting up your own tent to the more expensive glamping options in air-conditioned tents. If you are looking to book one of the numerous hotels in Pattaya, enter your dates in our hotel comparison engine to search hundreds of sites for the best deals: