After a quite tricky year, with Vietnam slowly moving past the pandemic, 2022 is set to end with a loud bang — with loud music and sprightly energy, to be exact. Over the weekend, from November 18 to 20, the beautiful island of Phu Quoc will be filled with electronic music and 30 hours of party pleasure for the Weekend Voyage Festival.
The music fest, first hosted in March and May, will bring together 40 talented artists from around the world and a party-loving crowd at Seashells Hotel & Spa for the biggest music party of the year. It’s a weekend-long of music and culture in one space with cutting-edge audiovisual technology and spectacular stage designs.
And of course, who can better hype up the music fun than incredibly brilliant Vietnamese DJs who’ve made noise in Vietnam and beyond. Weekend Voyage Festival is proud to have Amsterdam-based DJ Van Anh and Vietnamese-German DJ Levi Oi perform at expected jam-packed stages. Tickets are still available for purchase.
Vietcetera speaks with Van Anh and Levi Oi a week before they’re set to fire up Phu Quoc with their own mixsets that have already captured the attention of international audiences.
DJ Van Anh: Electronic music is more than just fun
Van Anh is an Amsterdam-based DJ with 15 years of experience in the music industry. She’s been surrounded by music her whole life, from learning piano to hosting dance classes, and she’s not complaining. Music is what she’s meant to do.
“I start with the idea of what type of music I want to listen to at the club. Before the pandemic, I quit my daytime job to focus more on music.”
To her, music is a universal language. Contrary to popular belief, electronic music is not only used for fun time. “When you get on the dance floor, everyone is equal. And when you dance with electronic music, it creates an uplifting feeling that makes it easier for us to connect with each other.”
Van Anh last performed in Vietnam three years ago, before COVID-19 halted all live-stage performances and cross-border travels. But she has noticed that the local audiences continue to evolve, along with how Vietnam has gone far in embracing music that’s far from what it has traditionally heard.
She admits that in previous events in Vietnam, most of her audience were foreigners or expats; very few locals showed up to events featuring electronic music — quite disappointing, but not surprising.
For the local music environment to improve, Van Anh emphasizes the importance of having a local audience and artists at such events. “They are the building blocks of our culture. The quality of Vietnamese artists is very high. I am proud to see that we are having a solid base for a sustainable culture.”
Now that she’s coming back to the country for the Weekend Voyage Festival, she promises to create a coherent atmosphere, then take everyone on a memorable journey with music. It is also a dream come true for Van Anh to perform at sunrise on the beach.
Upbeat music plus the first touch of light from the rising sun — ah, how ecstatic could that be!
Although Van Anh is based in Holland, she says she’ll always be up for any chance to play more in Vietnam, specifically in the bustling Ho Chi Minh City. Through her performances here, she hopes to connect with her homeland and understand her roots more.
But of course, it’s not going to be just about music. Van Anh is also excited to get a taste of her favorite Vietnamese dishes bánh xèo, bánh canh, mangos, and seafood.
Levi Oi: This is an opportunity to be a part of something special
Levi Oi’s journey as a DJ all started with her decision to move back to Vietnam from Berlin in 2018. After graduation, she tried several jobs and moved to different places. Alas, nothing seemed to fit right. When she decided to come to Vietnam, her parents were supportive, but her friends were quite skeptical.
“I came here and created my own opportunities. You can create your own and do not need to wait for anyone.”
And so she followed her guts.
Her DJ coach invited her for a gig. Before the show, she practiced at home for days and was extremely nervous. But when she got up on stage, she could feel the adrenaline rushing through her body.
At that moment, she realized that it was what she loved.
“I think if you just think and do not take action, you will never know. I often get pushed to try new things and grow from them.” After her first show, more bookings came in. And Levi Oi doesn’t say “no” to a good opportunity.
Levi Oi has been performing at the Weekend Voyage Festival since its first event in March this year. Vietnam hardly has an event series that promotes techno-electronic music. So to her, the festival is a reflection of the industry’s progress.
“It will be a great place for music lovers. The music and the community are really impressive. I hope we can build a bigger community and have more music festivals in Vietnam.”
After the music fest, Levi Oi plans to visit Hanoi, make more music and have fun while doing what she loves most.