As mentioned in the live thread, we were this close to having a live review of the 7107 International Music Festival from Clark itself. Since a series of weird events meant Dexter couldn’t go, we went for plan B: a tweet roundup, and a few more thoughts from me, too. Let it be said that we tried. We have more tweets from 7107 weekend here. Your stories from the festival are very much appreciated in the comments. Many thanks to Krizzie Syfu for allowing us to use one of her photographs from the festival.
There was this one tweet across the weekend of the 7107 International Music Festival that struck me the most. This was on the first night, during a DJ set from headliner Kaskade; it was an Instagram post from a member of the festival’s street team. I think it captures what the narrative, so to speak, of the past couple of months has been about.
Mikko Abello (@mikkoabello) February 22, 2014
The photo, by the way, is of a huge crowd gathered for Kaskade. The tweets I’ve seen during the first day of the festival revolved around one thing: was 7107 a flop? The lack of crowd shots – and the few that do exist showing a really small number of people – has led to speculation that, after all the hype, 7107 pretty much fell flat on its face.
May pumunta ba sa 7107? HAHAHA Bakit wala pang traffic dito? =))—
Jeriko Bais (@CaptainJeriko) February 22, 2014
Bat parang ang konti ng pips sa 7107? Sabagay supporting acts palang ngayon. Pero kahit na.—
Ana Fernandez (@itsANAnymous) February 22, 2014
paolo (@meowlo_) February 22, 2014
However, those tweets were early on the first day. The gates opened at noon, and the first performers were at noon, which struck me as an odd decision, since most of these bands – the lesser-known ones performing at midday – had to perform to nobody. Those who had two-day passes did not go to Clark early; they took their time, and the droves started arriving at around four in the afternoon. Again, I’m saying this from the many tweets I saw around that time going “we’re finally here!”
Jenjen (@jenhumangit) February 22, 2014
For what it’s worth, the turnout at 7107 was good. As expected, the crowds only really swelled once the headliners came along – Kaskade on Saturday, the Red Hot Chili Peppers on Sunday. The second day was particularly stacked with big acts: Kendrick Lamar and Empire of the Sun preceded the headliners. Kendrick generated a lot more hysteric buzz, both from those at the festival and those at home, moaning that they cannot go. The bulk of the EOTS reaction I got was of politeness, and maybe a bit of bewilderment. I don’t think most of them know the band.
Bonggang daming tao kagabi sa #7107 http://t.co/OOaxiuL91H—
Charles Mamaclay (@iLoveCharles30) February 23, 2014
7107 day 2! http://t.co/UR6dKZlWEx—
Keith Samson (@KeithRSamson) February 23, 2014
Smart Communications (@SMARTPromos) February 23, 2014
Spinnr Philippines (@SpinnrPH) February 23, 2014
Yep, that last tweet from event sponsor Spinnr was unnecessarily snarky.
I should have expected that, though. In the week leading up to the festival – when speculation of low attendance, plus the Rappler report questioning the financial capabilities of the organizers to mount 7107, came up – the organizers began taking a more defensive stance. There was this tweet from one of the organizers, don’t remember who, arguing that the allegations that Janet Lim Napoles’ child funded the festival – allegations that were not even made on the Rappler report – are not true because “haters gonna hate”. If the festival’s aversion to public scrutiny was glaring when the full line-up was revealed, and ticket buyers expressed disappointment at how underwhelming the roster is, it got more obvious last week. Haters gonna hate, they say. Haters can shove their opinions up their ass.
Now, let me put myself on the defensive this time. I’ve made it clear in the two months I’ve covered the lead-up to 7107. The success of the festival will mean good things to the Philippine music scene, both to local acts that need spotlighting, and the variety that a growing number of people are craving for. If I’ve become skeptical over whether they can pull it off, it’s because the organizers have made it difficult for people like me to trust them – the hype, the line-up delays, the ticketing process (which I don’t see anything wrong with, to be honest, but I see why people would squirm with the idea of not buying passes through, say, Ticketworld) and the abrasive behavior on social media.
And while watching the tweets yesterday, I was still skeptical. Did 7107 really sell that many tickets? (The final estimate from Mike Pio Roda was at 80% sold, or roughly 16,000 concertgoers, according to the Philippine Star.) I still saw some Twitter ticket giveaways on the first night of the festival. I still saw people selling their passes, at desperately low prices, on that same first night. On Friday night a friend asked me and Rainy if we wanted to buy passes she won at a radio contest – we said no, because it’s way too soon. You really start to think of whether the festival managed to sell a lot of tickets, or just give them away. But hey, kudos to the organizers. They know what matters most is looking successful, and those crowd photos at the end of the night say just that. Congratulations. You brought, I don’t know, roughly ten thousand people to Clark? Congratulations for that.
(You can argue that the crowd photo Spinnr posted isn’t that much, else those at the back would have little space for themselves. I mean, look at that gap. And that’s the Red Hot Chili Peppers, arguably the one reason why almost everybody wanted to go to 7107.)
In the end, none of it matters. What I say here will stay with this blog. I will always be a “hater”. The 7107 International Music Festival is, ultimately, their party. Some might have gone there for the music, but it’s safe to say – and again, I’m judging from Twitter – that most went there to be seen, for bragging rights. And maybe to see some celebrities, those who likely got free all-access passes.
Pupuntang 7107 si Anne Curtis!!!! OMG—
Venice Reinafer (@veveven) February 23, 2014
@senyorita_cc pupunta din si GEORGINA!! Close kasi nila yung organizer ng 7107 eh.—
weird (@alyssamambuay) February 23, 2014
OMG NO WAY DANIEL PADILLA AT 7107 OMG I'M GONNA DIE AM GONNA DIE—
Martina Fortuno (@martinaisabelle) February 23, 2014
I WILL NEVER WASTE MY MONEY 25,000 FOR A 7107 KIT HUHUHU BUT DJ :(—
Martina Fortuno (@martinaisabelle) February 23, 2014
And then there’s that funny story about Julie Anne San Jose not going to 7107 – despite being a Smart endorser, despite her on-screen partner Elmo Magalona going there. My tweet about that was the most retweets I ever had. (As I wrote this, GMA reports that… well… just look at this.)
Lo and the suspected new bf. Elmo with janine? Where's julie? #7107—
Miss Chesel (@chesel) February 22, 2014
Sa mga nagpapapunta kay Ja dun sa 7107, nasa Sta. Maria, Bulacan po sya at kasalukuyang kumakanta. Alangan naman hatiin nya katawan nya. :p—
Booyah!!! (@amlehtedeus) February 22, 2014
Crystal Tranquilino (@crystalangela) February 23, 2014
As for those in the festival grounds? They’re enjoying. Of course they would. It’s their thing. It’s probably their crowd. If I was there – and it’s not as if I planned to go – I probably would have been bored to wits, because the only thing I can do, apart from watching acts, is throw a big beach ball in the air, and maybe play beer pong. And yearn for the pool at the VIP area. Again, not my thing.
Here in #7107 smelling a "different" brand of "cigarettes" hmm... #homegrowncigars—
Eric So (@joneric_so) February 22, 2014
JWU. Di pa recoreved yata katawan ko kagabi ah. Anyway part 2 of 7107 today!! RHCP!!!—
Justin Domingo (@JustenDomengo) February 23, 2014
I’m sure I would enjoy the acts. I haven’t seen Taken By Cars live (and it’s funny how their set was shorter than it should be):
Major apologies to Taken by Cars fans who expected to hear more songs at 7107. We only prepared 8 but found out we had more time. ;((((((—
Camyl Besinga (@camylbee) February 22, 2014
And I would love to finally see the Radioactive Sago Project, of course doing an up-yours to the establishment:
Inq Entertainment (@InqEnt) February 23, 2014
But none of it matters, right? In the end, it’s their party. They have, in their eyes, defeated the haters and redeemed themselves. (Yes, the whole “redeemed” angle appeared on some tweets, like this one.) There’s euphoria at the end of it all, and the memory will soon dissipate. For us skeptics, we lost nothing and we can now move on. (In my case, it will be after I hit “publish” on this blog entry.) For everybody else, for those who quipped that they’ll commit suicide because they aren’t there, or those who actually didn’t know the event was going on, same thing.
The sad thing about the 7107 International Music Festival is this: for all of its hype about inclusivity (going so far as to invoke Yolanda victims), the event was really just like your ordinary Saturday night club night at some hit place in the Fort or in Eastwood. The festival was all about being cool. The festival did not care for everybody, especially those who just want to go and have a good time; rather, they only cared for those who had the means to make them cool. Not that they needed it.
And again, it’s not really a problem. The two other major music festivals we’ve seen last year – Wanderland, which debuted last year, and Pulp Summer Slam, which has been going on for a decade – have their own niche audiences. (Wanderland, for one, has played its hipster cred too much it has turned me off on occasions.) But if you’re a festival invoking the Philippines, calling yourself the biggest thing of the year, spewing out all this baloney about it being for everyone – then you better do it. You better welcome everyone. In the two months I’ve written about 7107, I never felt welcome.
Miguel Villafuerte (@MigzVillafuerte) February 23, 2014
Or maybe it’s because they have tagged me as a hater. But bitch, I won’t kill your vibe. [NB]