Wanderland began in 2013, hoping to establish itself as the go-to summer music festival of the Philippines. Many perceived it to be a hipster playground, the indie crowd’s spirited attempt to bring the best local and international musical acts together.
Fast forward to 2016, and while Wanderland has stayed true to its vision, clearly the festival has become so much more. Taking up the theme of outer space this year, Wanderland Planet stepped up its game not only in terms of scale but the quality of its lineup. Oh, Flamingo!, this year’s Wanderband, opened the show; Cheats rocked the stage, fresh from their gig at Singapore’s Laneway Festival; hip-hop upstart Curtismith kicked off the Globe stage’s lineup. One of Wanderland’s highlights was a joint performance by CRWN and Jess Connelly, who had the whole crowd bouncing to a stellar setlist.
Bon Iver and Death Cab for Cutie were this year’s festival headliners, with DCFC returning to Philippine soil to promote their most recently released album Kintsugi. While Bon Iver’s set contained an even mix of songs from both his full-length releases, DCFC played most of their newer work while keeping setlist staples such as “Soul Meets Body,” “What Sarah Said,” and “Transatlanticism.”
This year’s Wanderland was a triumph, not just for bringing together some of local music’s best acts, but for gathering a loosely scattered yet highly devoted community of music lovers, willing to give these acts the praise and recognition they’re due.