House and technoheads will be in hedonistic heaven next month with the arrival of the inaugural Equation Festival From Apr. 14 to Apr. 17.
Taking place at Dong Mo Lake, an hour from Hanoi, the three-day event promises to create an exotic environment filled with the best international and Asian house and techno on offer.
We spoke to Ouissam Mokretar, co-founder and co-organiser, about the upcoming festival.
How did you get the idea for putting on Equation?
The idea came last year in Croatia during the Love International Festival 2016. I thought we could have the same kind of event with Equation in Hanoi, to bring people from the Asian music scene together for a weekend.
What kind of people are you expecting to attend the festival? Where are you expecting them to come from?
The people who are coming are people who have known our team for the past five years from events organised by Cliche in Hong Kong. They are also people that come to Savage in Hanoi and music lovers from all over. We’ve even got people coming from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Berlin, France, Seoul and Hong Kong. It is a rally of people from all around the world coming together to celebrate.
Obviously putting on a huge festival costs money. Do you think people understand this when they look at the ticket prices?
Usually people are [happy] to pay for a name or a well-known festival — they don’t really mind booking flight tickets to go there and attend. Since it’s the first edition of the festival, we do not have [a reputation] yet. We are focusing on the line-up and the quality of the event, so we are hoping that when people see who will play, they understand the price and trust us for the complete experience.
Global Gathering, Sensation, Electric Daisy, Tomorrowland. All these are huge festivals. Are you trying to emulate these festivals?
We are not trying to be like those festivals, but more like Organik in Taiwan, Labyrinth in Japan and Love International in Croatia. We want to create something more intimate and not go for quantity, but for quality. We are not focusing on a big marketing event, but on a more organic kind of promotion, that’s why we don’t have any sponsors.
Equation has a big focus on Asian-based DJs. Why is it so important to put such talent on such a big stage? And why is it important to mix this talent with DJs from outside of the region?
We really want to promote Asian-based DJs because there’s a lot of talent here and they might not have the opportunity to [get the same exposure] as European and American DJs. They are the future of the house and techno scene and they deserve their moment to show people what they can do.
What about logistics — sound, lighting and so on?
We are really picky when it comes to sound, and that’s why we are bringing up one sound system from Saigon. The other will be the one that’s in Savage; both are Funktion 1 sound systems. For everything else, we are working with a team based in Hanoi to create the environment, something minimalist, but effective.
How have you organised the two stages? Will they play different types of music?
The Universe stage will offer techno and deep music for a more individual moment, while the Journey stage will be musically more diverse, going from funk and classic 80s to house music. This one will have the DJ booth placed in the middle and will be a more colourful and playful vibe.
What food and drink will be on sale? How much camping capacity is there?
We will have a varied choice of tasty and healthy meals, with Vietnamese and vegetarian choices available. For the drinks, we wanted something more than just beer, so we have decided to do a cocktail bar to allow people to gather in a club-like environment to hang out and socialise. We have enough camping space for 1,000 people and there’s an option to rent a tent for two, four and 10 people, with bedding included.
What other activities do you have set up for the festival besides the music?
There are many different activities that will be set up on site. There will be yoga and meditation classes, a healer is also coming from the US to offer her services. Graz, a resident DJ at Savage will have a tea tent, and there will be movies and documentary screenings.
In your opinion, what will make Equation special?
Our goal is to create an intimate moment for people to live a positive and intense experience.
The Line Up
It’s extensive to say the least. Here are just a few of the acts who will be playing at Equation:
Acts from Overseas
Konstantin, Ateq and DJ Dustin (Giegling) from Germany, Telephones (Norway), San Soda (Belgium) ShlØmo and Phred (France), Andy Hart (Australia)
Acts from Vietnam
Hibiya Line, Dan Lo, Nic Ford, Maggie G, Graz, Quan and Ouissam