Almost 2 years have passed, but COVID-19 is still looming over all of us. With the unpredictable restrictions put on physical events in Thailand, in lieu of its signature staging at the creative district of Chareonkrung, Bangkok Music City (BMC) 2021 is set to take place 100% online via YouTube Live through BMC’s YouTube channel and Gather.Town virtual space from November 20 to 21, 2021.
“Live music and entertainment industries have been hit hard by the pandemic, but we don’t want to lose hope and look beyond the pandemic preparing for the time when we can all enjoy ‘real life’ together once again,” says festival co-founder Piyapong ‘Py’ Muenprasertdee. “We strive to make BMC a platform for artists to stay connected with their fanbase, gain new international fans and seek new export opportunities by meeting with music business professionals from all over the world via our virtual networking event,” he adds.
This year, BMC will be featuring 41 Thai and 23 international artists, including 13 from Southeast Asia. As a co-founder and co-organizer of ASEAN Music Showcase Festival or AMS, BMC has also reinvited AMS alumni such as Cambodian hip-hop superstar VannDa and Singaporean indie pop act Sobs, who have cult followings in the US and Southeast Asia. Moreover, from the continued participation of AMS delegate Dexter Sy, Co-founder of Philippines’ Melt Records, their artists Chelsea Dawn and Francis Cang were included as part of the regional showcase at BMC this year. In addition to its ASEAN neighbors, artists all the way from South Korea, Taiwan, Mongolia, Canada, and even the United States will be joining – including Siahna who was on Team Pharrell on Season 9 of NBC’s The Voice.
“No matter the situation – or even another pandemic, I hope that BMC can be a platform to connect music professionals and artists not only on a professional level, but also build long-lasting relationships and friendships with each other,” Muenprasertdee adds, which reflects in the list of international partners who helped curated artist from around the world such as fellow music conference and showcase festivals: LUCfest and ZAshare of Taiwan, Zandari Festa of South Korea, and Live At Heart of Sweden and Canada; live music booking platform Gigmit; and of course,AMS co-organizers from all over the Southeast Asian region such as The Rest Is Noise from the Philippines, City ROARS! Festival from Malaysia, and Baramey Production from Cambodia.
Representatives of prominent festivals such as Glastonbury Festival and The Great Escape of the UK, SXSW of the US, and Fuji Rock and Summer Sonic of Japan will also be participating as official delegates.
In addition to music, BMC is billed as an entertainment and technology summit featuring talks on gaming, film, soft power and the hottest topic in the art world today – NFTs. However, because of the pandemic preventing most international travel, the organizers of BMC have focused on Thai speakers with an aim of educating the local market. Thus, all conference content will be scoped around the Thai market and in the Thai language – just like last year’s edition.