EPIZODE, one of the world’s most fascinating music and art festivals, delivered the 4th edition this year – for 11 days the island of Phu Quoc, Sunset Sanato Beach, turned into a magnetic field for electronic music lovers and industry fellows. More than 12000 people from 96 countries gathered for that very special annual meeting, exploring sound and art and more than 130 artists were building up a vibe of international unity.
Previously announced ecological initiatives turned out into a strong statement on site. The festival made a big step forward to a consciousness concept thanks to the partnership with BeWater. The biggest plastic waste of any festival (water in plastic bottles) was discarded – we switched to water bottled in aluminum cans. Cup-sharing systems in all the bars meant cups from recyclable material were used, and all the disposable tableware was made from recycled sugarcane. The merchandise shop offered bamboo cups and straws, and affordable pocket ashtrays to be carried out with you and help to strengthen the idea of a community coming together to celebrate the environment while listening to good music! Two art-installations were inspired by the ecological motive too. ‘Leave no trace’ policy made a significant change in people’s mindset – you could simply see and feel it on the clean beach and shared festival environment without random trash. An organized cleaning session in partnership with local communities also helped to maintain the island’s economy not only by means of touristic traffic but by thoughtful decisions.
The territory of the festival expanded this year and in addition to a new concept market and upgraded foodcourt, we focused on the Temple area, on giving the audience more space to chill, to slow down, to meditate and heal themselves. It went far beyond the scope of the general festival offerings.
Technical and creative partnerships were an important part that took the experience of sound and light to a new level this year. A stellar collaboration between Sila Sveta and SETUP, Moscow-based creative studios famous for outstanding project on the edge of mixed-media production, meant an all new re-invention of the Main stage. Simple linear structures empowered by bold light and video content created a massive installation. Dynamic and vivid, visuals merged with the music as if the most lucid dreams became real. It was a vital development as music on the stage goes on for eleven days and always offered an extra-dimension to dive into.
Not only did the Main stage have a full-on schedule but all of the four arenas – another remarkable improvement of the program this year is a commitment to a non-stop party-time, special sunset performances and after-party hours delivered at their best. Independent showcases from the USA, Switzerland, Romania, Australia, Russia, Israel, France helped define Epizode’s identity, which is a unique and ambitious one, and is continuing to drive international unity spirit with cultural and musical diversity.
There are many reasons behind the scenes that made people feel so special. There was an air of twinkle-in-the-eye nature, building-up during the first days and born out in style on New Years Eve night. It is that kind of night most people actually wait for the whole year and it is a big responsibility to provide people with the right set for this very peculiar dance – but the reward is priceless.