Looking back on 2014: International Music Festivals in Hanoi

Looking back on 2014: International Music Festivals in Hanoi

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2014 was a year full of excitement for music lovers in Hanoi with a lot of international music festivals which gather various music styles from around the globe.

The first festival of the year was Hanoi Sound Stuff Festival, which has happened in April every year for the last 7 years.


Hanoi Sound Stuff Festival 2014 consisted of 2 quality electronic and experimental music nights with various Vietnamese and international artists.

Day 1 (April 11th) is a sit-down electronic pop event with a mix of UK, Belgium/ Wallonie-Bruxelles, France and Vietnamese artists, organized in the courtyard of the Museum of History. Day 2 (April 12th) is a DJ dance event focusing on the electronic music scene of Germany, together with some of Vietnam best electronic/sounds artists and in collaboration with C3 Vietnam, Ginger works, Onion Cellar, Hanoi Doclab, Hanoi Future Shorts, Almaz showing sets of new short films and experimental films.

The festival last year gathered a lot of attention from the public and we will be looking forward to Sound Stuff Festival in 2015 with more big names in the electronic and experimental landscapes of Vietnam and abroad.

Watch the video “Golden Phone” by UK artist Micachu, who participated in Sound Stuff Festival 2014:

In May came the ASEAN Pride Music Festival organized by CAMA Vietnam and the US Embassy.


With the message “Celebrating Diversity”, the festival aimed to raise ASEAN PRIDE awareness while promoting the cultural vibrancy of nations in South East Asia. The acts came from Indonesia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

This one-day event was well-attended and received a lot of support from many who shared the vision of creating the brightest future for individuals including equality for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

Watch the video performed by High-Heeled Dance Troupe featuring To Lam:


October started with Monsoon Music Festival, which was held at the Thang Long Imperial Citadel.

Monsoon Music Festival

The festival happened in 3 consecutive days from 02 to 04 Oct featuring many famous names in Vietnam’s music industry from pop (Thanh Lam, Ha Tran), rock (Ngu Cung band) to hip-hop (Suboi) and electronic music. There were also international acts by artists from Denmark, England, France, Belgium, South Korea, Japan, and Australia.

The popularity of the festival was enormous and it was reported to have attracted roughly 10,000 people every night. The event is planned to be organized annually and aims to become an international brand name.

Right after Monsoon Festival, the First “Asia-Europe” New Music Festival in Vietnam was organized from 08 – 12 Oct.

The festival included 7 separate concerts with 6 of those in various locations around Hanoi and one inside the Dau Go cave in Ha Long Bay. The program featured a lot of interesting classical and traditional fusion experiments. Unfortunately, the whole festival was by invitation only and was difficult for the public to have access.

The festive month of October ended with the Glow Festival organized at West Lake Water Park. The event featured popular British singer Shayne Ward and was reported to have drawn in no less than 10,000 people.

Last but not least was the European Music Festival taking place from 22 Nov to 05 Dec in Hanoi and 24 Nov to 05 Dec in HCMC.

European Music Festival 2014 2

The festival was an annual event organized by the Delegation of the European Union to Vietnam and has always been a highlight at the end of the year. The festival in 2014 featured talented musicians and singers from Austria, Wallonia-Brussels (Belgium), France, Germany, Luxembourg, Poland, Sweden as well as a guest band from Vietnam. With a total of sixteen concerts in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, the festival offers Vietnamese audiences the prospect of experiencing different genres of music, including jazz, classic, contemporary and Vietnamese traditional music.

Listen to the much-loved Tingvall Trio from Hamburg playing one of their compositions:

Compared with 2013, 2014 was a lot more dynamic with several music festivals organized for the first time and already well-attended. Therefore, there is a good reason to look forward to a year of 2015 with even more fun and excitement.

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