Update: Due to the national mourning of General Giap the weekend of the festival, CAMA 7 has been cancelled. However, a smaller show prior to the weekend includes show names like The Pinholes, Raggabund, and Zoo takes place at Hanoi Rock City (27 To Ngoc Van, Hanoi) on Oct 10, from 7pm to 11.30pm.
There aren’t many international music festivals in Southeast Asia, and few have been around as long as the CAMA Festival. Bringing the best of Asian and international talent to a green space in the centre of Vietnam’s capital, this smorgasbord of live music, food, drink and art has been celebrating creative culture for six years. With the date now moved from the summer to the milder, autumnal climes of October, year seven looks to be equally enticing.
2013’s event will see eight bands on the main stage, with acts from the USA, Australia, India, Germany and Macau playing alongside some of Vietnam’s best artists. The music policy is always eclectic and this offering will be no different — with indie, reggae and electro already confirmed. As always, the magic of the festival is discovering surprising new acts and having one hell of a good time. Indeed, the event’s crowd is almost as much fun to watch as the performances on stage: dancing, fancy dress and stage diving are all par for the course. This year, CAMA has also teamed up with the Hanoi Flea Market to bring a boutique creative arts market to the centre of the show. So, if you can still carry away some prize purchases after guzzling away on the music combined with all that food and drink, you might just be in for a double treat.
Attracting an esoteric, hedonistic mix of locals and expats looking to cut loose on the grass, all ages are catered for. The kids can hit the play park, the girls can head to the Hanoi Flea Market, and the boys (and possibly even the ladies) can crowd around one of the many bars and beer stalls, before everybody meets up again at the main stage to catch the next act.
Here is a brief look at some of the confirmed acts for this year’s show.
India isn’t renowned for its modern music, but Zoo are going someway to changing that. The polished quintet marry electro, techno and rock into a series of brooding tracks that build into full-on, cut-loose freakouts of electronic rock. Keeping everyone’s attention is charismatic female vocalist Tanya Sen.
Turtle Giant (Macau)
Three-piece indie collective Turtle Giant aren’t nearly as big as they should be. From Macau and featuring two Brazilian natives, the trio blend dreamy vocal harmonies with jangly guitar like a classic British indie band. Look out for the single We Were Kids, its infectiously euphoric chorus would have the likes of Arctic Monkeys nodding in approval.
This reggae duo have done much to change perceptions of German culture, by moving away from the country’s trademark electronic sounds into something altogether different. Raggabund have been expressing their love for Jamaican music and socially conscious lyrics since 2000 in a smooth mix of reggae and urban dancehall. Expect their performance to be full of bassy, ragga grooves to keep dutchies moving and crowds skanking.
Keep your ears to the ground for info on pre-festival events at CAMA ATK, where many of the bands will be hanging out and doing shows in the days leading up to the main event. One of the major advantages of a boutique festival like this is intimacy; it’s never been so easy to meet your favourite band, buy them a drink, give them a hug, then party with them at the after-party. Check out camafestival.com for more info.
The festival will hit the American Club, 21 Hai Ba Trung, Hoan Kiem, from 1pm to 11pm on Saturday Oct. 12