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Magazine Latitudes | Wonderfruit Festival : Fun & Meaningful

MUSIC 

Wonderfruit Festival :

Fun & Meaningful 

Christophe Chommeloux

8 December 2017

“Wonderfruit is not just a music festival. It is a social movement,” proudly state its organizers. A true open-air laboratory, this eco-chic music festival tries to develop a positive influence by offering programming that’s both sharp and anti-commercial, while focusing on sustainability. 

The fourth annual Wonderfruit Festival is about to take place on December 14-17 at the Siam Country Club near Pattaya.

Founded by Pranitan “Pete” Phornprapha with American-Thai artist Montonn “Jay” Jira and deeply inspired by the Secret Garden parties that pioneered eco-responsibility, this festival is close to the environment, but also social, familial, playful and, of course, cultural. Latitudes has met Pete in the middle of the festival preparations.

What specific issues does it raise to be eco-friendly? For instance, is the plastic ban problematic to implement in a plastic-addicted country like Thailand?

It’s undeniable that plastic pollution is caused mostly by people’s consumption habits, not just in Thailand, but all over the globe. According to Euromonitor’s forecasts, humans produce (buy) about 20,000 plastic bottles every second, and less than half of the bottles bought in 2016 globally were collected for recycling and just a meagre 7% of those collected were turned into new bottles. Instead, these plastic bottles end up in earth, or more likely in our oceans.

The main problem when it comes to tackling plastic pollution is changing our mindsets and start paying attention to little things we do every day that combined together cause big damage to our planet. As our revamped ethos says, “Wonderfruit is a platform that brings together a global community of like-minded individuals, catalyses creativity, and makes a positive tangible impact- all in a fun yet meaningful way.” With that in mind, we believe that Wonderfruit can set an example and create a shift in mindsets by working with and encouraging our attendees and the companies we collaborate with to be more environmentally conscious.

Many people reproach to Wonderfruit to be an expensive festival, not only for tickets and accommodation, but also food and drinks. Is it unfair?

Since its inception, Wonderfruit has always thrived to be more than a festival by bringing together carefully curated kaleidoscope of diverse music acts and exquisite cuisine, captivating art, thought-provoking talks and workshops, and a range of family activities–all to catalyse creativity, and make a positive tangible impact in a fun yet meaningful way.

For example, in February, we had 60+ music acts from all over the globe, 20+ art installations and theatrical performances, 55 gastronomic delights, 30+ talks & workshops, 35+ wellness & adventures offerings spanned over the course of 4 days. And in December, we are going above and beyond not just by staying true to our promise to provide an experience, but also by strengthening our sustainability efforts. In February, Wonderfruit became carbon positive through investing in mangroves. This year, it’s demonstrating the value of natural capital even more tangibly by giving Wonderers the chance to make a positive impact on the environment by buying drinks: one drink will be equal to one mangrove tree planted in Thor Heyerdahl Climate Park in Myanmar, in return for which, they’ll be rewarded in TREE tokens − a natural capital-based cryptocurrency.
Additional background facts might have remained unknown from February: that 17 rai of sticky rice has been harvested to decorate the Farm Stage and that when it was dismantled, the rice was milled according to age-old farming traditions, or that the LED lights inside the toilets were powered by batteries so efficient that they lasted for 120 hours.

Is Wonderfruit some kind of sherpa for tomorrow’s Thailand?

We do not preach, or force, but we do believe that Wonderfruit can set an example and create a shift in mindsets of people in Thailand and globally that can lead to a more sustainable future.

What exactly drives the choices of artists?

Diversity. We carefully curate acts that span the spectrum of musical moods and tones creating the sonic backdrop for the journey of discovery and celebration.

How do the Scratch Talks fit in the festival?

As mentioned, we thrive to be more than a festival, but a platform that brings together a global community of like-minded individuals, catalyses creativity, and makes a positive tangible impact. Scratch talks are one of the six equally important pillars of
Wonderfruit.

www.facebook.com/wonderfruitfest
www.wonderfruitfestival.com

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