Temper Trap!!! I shrieked with delight. That was quickly followed by my heavy boots stomping on the carpeted floors of our office. I had almost jumped off my seat from excitement after I read the twitter update on my phone. One of my favorite bands was coming to the Philippines. This was two months ago. Flash forward to today. I write this on a Thursday and I’m rewinding every bit of Saturday’s events in my head.
Saturday, of course, was the day Wanderland happened. Wanderland is probably the first real festival of its kind in the country, emulating the more famous festivals abroad like Laneway Festival in Australia and Singapore, or what I think it would like to be when it grows up, my dream music festival, Coachella. I have waited excitedly for days on end, and when May 18 came, I was beside myself with glee. Ridiculous, I know, but that’s just me.
Once we entered the festival grounds, it was—and there is no better way of putting this; I have tried finding the right words—hipster central. Now, I realize that by dubbing the place hipster central, I, too, am calling myself one; the pot calling the kettle black and all that.Yes, I get it. Maybe I am. So. Fracking. WHAT?! It seems that all of Manila’s hipster population descended into Wanderland. All possible variants—because there are different kinds!—showed up. It was a sea of fedoras and aviators and wayfarers and hippie floral garlands and headdresses.
Before we settled on the grass, we walked around to see what the festival had in store. There were art installations and activities on inflatable installations: a jousting station, a giant slide and a Velcro wall.
We tried the Velcro wall they had set up. At 20PHP per person, this was a steal. You could also stay as long as you want. This was actually pretty fun. They let you wear this suit covered in Velcro that would stick to the wall. Then on your own volition, jump on the trampoline to get enough momentum so you can slug yourself unto the wall. If it wasn’t for the sweltering heat, I don’t think we would’ve stopped immediately.
We also checked out the various food options. I actually liked the food selection, although, the lines tended to get long. There is something that my friend, who is pesco-vegetarian, pointed out: there were limited vegetarian options. She couldn’t even get cheese pizza. She was limited to the nachos, sans the pork. That is not real food! My friend, who still eats fish, said she spotted fish from one of the concessionaires, but what if there were hard-core vegans in the crowd? You’re not allowed to bring food and drinks inside the venue. Should they starve? Sorry, let me step down from my soap box.
We finally found a nice spot on the grass near the metal barricades separating the VIP and gold section. She’s Only Sixteen was playing their set. I was still looking around the place. I couldn’t help it—sensory overload.
The music was, as expected, great. Like I mentioned at the start of this post, I came for Temper Trap, but I was glad to have discovered so much more because of the festival (Tully on Tully, Colour Coding, Avalanche City). I have prepped myself and listened to these artists’ music and ended up really loving some of them. These are the bonuses of going to festivals like this. And apart from the glitch-y sound system during Neon Trees’ set and the problem with Temper Trap’s bass during theirs, all the performances were top notch. I sang along to Avalanche City and Up Dharma Down. I jumped and danced to the infectiously energetic Neon Trees.
When I heard the familiar clapping tempo and beat of The Temper Trap’s Love Lost, I did this awkward shriek-jump-in-place-clap-hands combo. Finally. Finally. FINALLY! It was amazing hearing The Temper Trap play live. I jumped/danced to Fader. I clutched my hand to my chest when they played the eerie Soldier On. When Dougy, the Temper Trap’s vocalist, stopped their performance because of a malfunctioning bass and did a redo of The Science of Fear, I went nuts with pride. That’s one of my favorite bands! And they wanted to do right by the crowd! And then, my most anticipated moment. There it was, the sweet falsetto that started Sweet Disposition. “A moment, a love, a dream aloud, a kiss, a cry, our rights, our wrongs,” I sang with Dougy. I started to get all choked up inside. Crazy, no? Yes, I’m one of those people. It was the perfect song to close the night.
When it was all over, I hesitated to move. This was a good musical festival and it happened here. In the Philippines! I wished for more. Karpos Multimedia, who brought us Wanderland, promised there will be another one next year. I wonder who they’ll bring us. Fun.? Vampire Weekend? The Kills? The xx? Will they bring back Temper Trap? I could go on and on with my wish list here, but you get the point. I can’t wait for whatever they have in store for us. I cannot wait to go to another Wanderland. So let’s go down that rabbit hole again next year, shall we?