This year’s Wanderland was a different kind of jungle

Photos by Tin Sartorio

What a wild jungle it was. This year marks Wanderland’s fifth year of bringing the world’s most sought-after acts to our shores, and it was nothing short of exhilarating. The music festival held last March 4 brought many changes, but the music, the music was still damn good.

One of this year’s biggest changes was that the festival moved down south, to the Filinvest City Event Grounds in Alabang. If you’re anything like me, anywhere past Makati is unknown territory, so venturing into the unknown that is Alabang was quite daunting at first. But as friends told me, and as I experienced on the day of Wanderland, getting there was as easy as one-two-three, a.k.a. taking the P2P bus.

Jungle beat: Wanderland had several activities across the field, including linedrums and guitar performances for everyone to enjoy.
Field work: This year’s Wanderland also commissioned artists to create live art, including Jappy Agoncillo.

Getting there wasn’t the only pleasant surprise, though. When we got there after lunch, things were, for the lack of a better word, already lit. First, there was a wall people could climb as high as the sky (I’m exaggerating here). On the other side were food stalls with enough to probably feed an entire army, with a plethora of options from dim sum to tacos to vegetarian.

As the afternoon sun seared the grounds, the crowd began liquoring up for what would be a smorgasbord of music that tugged at the heartstrings and then some. Urbandub’s Gab and John brought us back to our high school days, and UDD brought some new tunes that reminded us why we loved them in the first place.

Smooth operator: Malaysian singer Yuna bared her soul in her Philippine debut at Wanderland.
Right in the feels: California-based band LANY brought the teen spirit to Wanderland Jungle.
Warm on a cold night: Honne’s set gave us all the right feels. Photos by Tin Sartorio

After the golden hour settled into dusk, Wanderland’s jungle came alive. Young STAR Fresh Produce alum Tom’s Story got heads bobbing to their unique brand of instrumental rock, and the much-awaited bands LANY and Honne sprayed the smell of teen spirit all across the field. Once LANY sang the first line of their finale, the crowd went wild (“Ain’t ever felt this way…”). The shrieks could be heard from the other side of Manila, I tell you.

Rock it: Young STAR Fresh Produce alum Tom’s Story brought their unique brand of instrumental rock.
Pretty in Pink: Reese Lansangan serenaded the Wanderland crowd over at the Globe stage.

And that wasn’t even the highlight yet. As we inched closer to midnight, the excitement for the headliners was so palpable, you could slice it with a knife. And once The Ting Tings took the stage, the gloves were off and the time machine took us back to our adolescence. If you have any memories of dancing to Shut Up And Let Me Go in front of the TV, you would understand. Then came the big guns: The Temper Trap. Even with all the cheering and screaming from the crowd, they still managed to sound almost exactly like they would if you were listening to them on a slow Sunday afternoon in your room — that’s the kind of live sound that warrants a second performance at Wanderland.

Shut up and let me go: The Tings Tings brought the crowd back to its younger years.
Love not lost: Temper Trap’s second visit to the country was as sublime as ever.

By the time the dust settled and as the crowd dispersed to hunt for recovery chow, the jungle of music known as Wanderland proved once again that despite some delays due to the weather earlier in the day, trekking down south was still worth it. And, even though music still reigns supreme in a festival, it’s the experiences and memories attached to them that truly hold a special place in our hearts.

P.S. Did we mention that Karpos Multimedia is bringing back Phoenix in August? Yeah, we’re stoked too.

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