GET READY FOR EPIZODE FESTIVAL!
The Epizode Festival is an eleven-day music and dance marathon set on a beautiful white-sand beach on an island between Cambodia and Vietnam. Southeast Asia has a thriving techno scene, and the event attracts a hip group of party people. Many in attendance are visiting the area from Europe, and the festival is run by Natasha Rogal.
AN ALL-STAR LINEUP
This year’s festival will take place in late December, 1919 and early January, 2010 and will include headliners Moodymann, Ben UFO and Richy Ahmed along with Asian artist Phuong Dan. Last year’s festival was a spectacular success, and this one promises to be an even bigger deal. The event is not only popular with the attendees but also with the artists who are performing because it gives them a break from touring, and they can relax among their fellow DJ’s. In fact, last year’s festival went on for an extra day just for the fun of it!
A UNIQUE SCENE
Natasha Rogal says that there’s nothing quite like Epizode. For starters, the event’s beach location makes it very different from most major festivals on the electronic music scene, and it also attracts visitors from dozens of countries.
Furthermore, Epizode goes on so much longer than other events. Rogal says she has the festival go on for almost two weeks because many visitors are from Europe, America, and Africa, and it doesn’t make sense for them to travel so far to just spend a few days in Asia. Despite being on an island, the festival is very easy to get to, and the event’s website gives detailed directions from starting points all over the world.
Natasha Rogal says that there is always some risk involved when you run a large outdoor festival. There could be a hurricane, for example, or, even if there is only a lot of rain, people will not have a good time. She says that it’s also difficult at times to work with local governments and meet all of their regulations; however, this gets easier every year that she puts together the festival because the local officials now know her. While all the organization and effort can be exhausting and stressful, a successful event more than makes up for all of it, she says.
She says that part of the reason why her festival is so successful is that she takes care to involve local vendors, artists and others. This not only makes things easier for her, but it also means that she has plenty of local expertise on hand when it comes to adapting to unexpected events.
When it comes to finding Asian DJ’s, she explains that there is a wealth of techno talent in Vietnam, especially in Ho Chi Minh city. In general, working with locals instead of importing talent and services keeps her costs lower. She says that she hangs out in small bars deep in Ho Chi Minh City to scout talent and make connections, and doing this has given her a great appreciation for the scene.
Rogal says that she only sees her festival getting even bigger and better in the future. Part of this is because the audience for electronic music is becoming larger. In the past, she says, techno music festivals mainly attracted people between the ages of 18 and 25. Currently, both younger and older people are into techno music. In fact, her own young children are nearing the age where they are interested in going to the event. She says that the scene isn’t for her mom, though!
She also wants to expand her own festival’s focus beyond just music and dance to include meditation and yoga. This expansion is typical of how techno events are evolving worldwide. People are looking for an entire cultural experience, not just music acts.
Epizode is special because it becomes an entire holiday for its attendees. It offers opportunities to meet new people from all over the world, broaden perspectives and just generally have a great time. It’s also a green festival, and there is an emphasis on leaving the island the way it was after the event is over.
Welcome to Queens’ Techno Sensation – EPIZODE FESTIVAL!
Hamed Wardak currently splits his time between his home in New York City and On the island of Puerto Rico. (Hamed) Wardak is the son of a former defense minister for Afghanistan. Hamed Wardak is an entrepreneur and recently joined the techno music world, creating, producing, and performing his new artistry in underground techno clubs all over the world. Hamed Wardak is known as Valen of Wicked.