Finally headed for your first Fête de la Musique in the Philippines? Here’s a guide from Giselle Tomimbang of B Side Productions, the team that’s been working their magic for Fête de la Musique since 2011.
A yearly music festival that’s kinda more of music madness, what with its range of music, artists, venues in hip places around Manila and outside, is here this June, and it’s just snowballing into an even bigger and better music fest by the year.
With over 50 stages spread across 7 locations (Makati, Manila, Baguio, Batangas, Laguna, Palawan, and Pampanga) and three nights (June 22, 28, and 29, 2019), this year’s Fête de la Musique (World Music Day) promises to be the biggest one yet. The main event, which takes place in Makati on the 22nd of June, is always one that drives people nuts because of the sheer number of stages.
Luckily, we got to talk to Giselle Tomimbang from B-Side Productions, the team organizing this midyear musical madness, and asked for her pick among the 50+ pocket stages for #FêtePH25. Here are the pocket stages she would personally go to if she didn’t have organizer duties for the night:
Hip Hop and Street Dance Stage
by Philippine Allstars and Beyond Passion Entertainment
Power Mac Spotlight, Circuit Makati
Hip hop culture is alive and well in the Philippines, and Giselle is a fan. “I may not look like it, but I’m a fan of hip hop culture. The four pillars of hip hop are usually there: music, breaking, emceeing, and graffiti. It’s a multi-sensory experience.”
Must-watch acts: Medmessiah, Butta B, Philippine Allstars
by The Philippine International Jazz Festival Foundation
St. Giles Hotel, Makati Ave. cor. Kalayaan Ave.
The local jazz scene has always been good, but it’s never been given the amount of attention it deserves. For Giselle, “I’m looking forward to seeing Richard Merk as well as the other stalwarts of the local jazz scene.”
Acts: Bea Lorenzo, Flames, Miss Ramonne, Maffy Soler, Henry Katindig Trio feat Cheryl Santaromana, Jeannie Tiongco, Megan Herrera, Michelle, Richard Merk
World Music Stage
by TAPAT Production
Element Boutique Hotel, Poblacion
What better way is there to experience music from the rest of the world than at the World Music Stage? Giselle says “(there’s) So many drummers to watch out for, as well as the people from the Flow Arts community.”
Acts: Talahib People’s Music, Anima Tierra, Manila Sky, kadara capoeira, Kenneth Balajadia (Bunga Arts Link), DRUMMERS journey, Meldy Hernandez (African Dance), Matthew Servado (Flow Arts Philippines), Taipan Lucero (Live Art Painting), Jamela Perez Flamenco Filipinas, Hohanna (Installation Art)
by GIG Productions
Gallery in the Gutter, Legazpi Village
Not that many acts at the Zodiac Stage, but the afternoon activities are a big hit for Giselle. “It’s kind of like a Hippie stage. In the afternoon, they’ll have reiki (sessions), crystal healing, and tarot reading.”
Visit for: afternoon session with V432 Wellness
Bebop Jazz & Blues Stage
by The Philippine International Jazz Festival Foundation
La Collina, Poblacion
If you’re a fan of rapid jazz pieces and artists alike, then this stage is for you. Listen to the rhythms of the Rey Infante Trio and Doc Ted and Friends at La Collina for your dose of what most people refer to as modern jazz.
Blues Soul & Funk Stage
by Mambo Rat Productions and Funkybeat Entertainment
H&J Sports Bar & Restaurant, Poblacion
The Blues Soul and Funk Stage gives you a huge hit of soothing music in bunches with performances from Bras Pas Pas Pas Pas, Kat Agarrado, and Cooky Chua (former lead vocals of Color It Red).
Other acts: Banna Harbera, Conscious & the Goodness, Bleu Rascals, Kosmikskala, Ian Lofamia Blues Band, Malana, Holmes, Hidden Jem, Hit The Road Kat, The Espasouls, Manila Milkshake
Boom Bap Stage
Fans of East Coast hip hop (Wu Tang Clan, Mobb Depp) will be familiar with the beats at the Boom Bap Stage, especially when its played at Boogie along Kalaan Avenue in Poblacion. Also, two words from Giselle: “Skratchmark, YES!”
Other acts: Supermikki, Bassrelief, Pope Fiction, Alexandra, NixDamnP, JayRu, XIII, Butta B, Chase (Live Art)
Femme Fatale Stage
by Bigtimeado Production and ChixxxMnla
Handlebar Bar and Grill, Poblacion
The Femme Fatale Stage is all about women, headlined by one of the rising stars of the local rock scene: Even. Various musical genres come together on this stage that will show how women have a place in the country’s music scene. Giselle said it best: “I definitely want to check out this stage.”
Other acts: May, Project Yazz, Leidulataja, The Soledads, Al Louis, Crab and Corn, Buttercream, Lady I, We Are Imaginary, MNR MJRTY
These stages will be up there in terms of being lively and upping your taste in the genre they represent. However, for the certified titos/titas of Manila, Giselle recommends the Salsa Stage by Salsa Manila at Makati Shangri-La’s Sage Bar.
“I’m going to sound so tita, but I want to visit this pocket stage.” Salsa Manila hasn’t announced their Salsa Stage acts, but if the location is any indication, it’s going to be a fancy night for the Titas of manila.
One thing that was recently added to Fête de la Musique is the Pre-Fête Stage. This started out in 2018 at the Rizal Open Air Auditorium in Manila and was such a hit that they’ve decided to do three this year in Manila (Rizal Open Air Auditorium), BGC (Sunset Collective Stage at KMC Skydeck), and Giselle’s pick: the Rockeoke Stage at The Peninsula Hotel’s Salon de Ning (It’s a VERY COMFY place.)
Fête de la Musique Survival Kit
If you’re planning to go this route or are planning your own route with the help of the FêtePH app (available on the App Store and Google Play), here’s what Giselle suggests you arm yourself with:
- A pair of comfy sneakers. You’re going to do a lot of walking.
- A change of clothes. You’re going to sweat a lot because of that walking, or you might spill food/drink on yourself.
- An umbrella/raincoat/poncho. In case it pours.
- Water bottle. It’s sustainable and much less expensive than buying a drink at every pocket stage.
- Powerbank. You’re going to run out of juice at Fête for sure.
- A good attitude!
With this, you’ll have no problems navigating the many stages a la Giselle at this year’s Fête de la Musique. The best part? It’s all for FREE!
What are your plans for #FêtePH25? Let us know in the comments section!