• EDM: The music of the Filipino youth

    DJ duo Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike headlines the last and third year of Closeup Forever Summer music festival

    DJ duo Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike headlines the last and third year of Closeup Forever Summer music festival

    The Filipino youth is known to express their love for music by consistently supporting and attending many of the local and international music festivals that now happen regularly in the country.

    Of the genres that became famous from such music events, EDM—or electronic dance music—has caught the fancy of Pinoy youths what with the likes of top foreign DJs Martin Garrix and Alesso and Aussie indie pop duo Julia and Angus Stone introducing them to the beat, thanks to the annual “Closeup Forever Summer” extravaganza.

    This coming May, the music festival is holding its third and last outing, which is why local organizers have pulled out all stops in mounting the grandest EDM party this side of the world. No less than sought-after producers, remixers to the A-listers, and award-winning hitmakers Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike will headline the show. The famous Belgian brothers are collectively known as DVLM.

    Touring the globe one dance part after another, DVLM’s performances are the hottest ticket in EDM today.

    The famous Belgian brothers are collectively known as DVLM

    The famous Belgian brothers are collectively known as DVLM

    All these were revealed on February 17 at the press launch of Closeup Forever Summer in Bella & Dragon, Makati City, where brand manager Raiza Revilla pictured a desert oasis-themed concert ground for the high powered event.

    In a separate interview with members of print media, Revilla also proudly shared the greatest achievement of Closeup’s annual music festival.

    “Back when we started this, we were the first to hold a music festival in the country. That was in 2012 and it was then called ‘Summer Solstice.’ We didn’t know how people would respond to a music festival,” she recalled. “But what we did know is that the Filipino youth is very much into music, in the same way that Closeup also built its brand through music. The concept was a perfect marriage.

    Resulting in a huge success, Closeup’s first ever music festival effectively paved the way for other music festivals to follow until it became the growing trend that it is today.

    Incidentally, it is for this very reason that “Forever Summer” is bidding goodbye this year. Revilla and her team have decided that with this last grand hurrah, it will be time to introduce a new music festival concept to the scene.

    “We really want to make something different next year for our audiences because there are already so many music festivals mounted by different organizers in the country nowadays,” she noted.

    While still very much in the planning stage, what with all efforts concentrated on May’s Forever Summer, initial ideas include what may possibly expand into a two- or three-night music fest. However, the brand manager admitted that young Filipinos still look at music festivals as one-night concerts rather than the campouts that happen in other countries.

    Closeup brand manager Raiza Revilla  PHOTO BY ABBY PALMONES

    Closeup brand manager Raiza Revilla

    Nevertheless, they have begun to establish the culture successfully over the last three years as proven by festival attendance. “We’ve always had around 10,000 festival goers—at max, we’ve hit 15,000 and that was just for one night only. For our last festival, we aim to even surpass that number,” Revilla noted.

    “EDM is now really the music of the Filipino youth,” she declared.

    Asked by The Manila Times why she thinks Filipinos came to embrace the genre, she replied, “Because what we also see growing is the party scene here in the Philippines more than before. So we also try to evolve as a brand as the taste in music of the Filipino youth also evolves.”

    In the past, Closeup collaborated with some of the country’s leading alternative artists, the likes of Barbie Almalbis and Rico Blanco, among others, for original music videos.

    Despite their shift to music festivals, the brand still manages to provide a venue for local musicians to shine alongside international ones.

    Revilla explained, “[In every festival] there must always be Filipino acts. What we are doing this year is that we are engaging with the local artists and DJs on what they think about the whole look and feel of the festival. It’s bringing them early on and not just inviting them to DJ for a night.”

    Among the local DJs who will perform at Forever Summer are Mars Miranda and Ace Ramos. On the other hand, three invited acts will also be revealed as the festival nears its date on May 21.

    Finally, Revilla is encouraging everyone—especially those who have yet to experience Closeup’s Forever Summer—to come and see it one last time at the SM MOA concert grounds.

    Early bird VIP tickets are already on sale at SMtickets.com for half its original price until March 15. Visit @CloseupPHL on Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter for updates on the festival’s complete line up.


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