Words Uyên Ly for Hanoi Grapevine
Photo by musician Bui Huy Tuan
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For the first time ever, Hozo – Hochiminh city International Music Festival will take place in 3 days, from 13th to 15th December 2019 on Nguyen Hue walking street, district 1, Hochiminh city. The festival is a commitment of the city authority to build an annual music festival for everyone. Hanoi Grapevine had a quick interview with musician Bui Huy Tuan, the general director of Hozo, about the festival’s spirit.
Why do the festival organizers want to make a free-entry festival for everyone, while many music festivals in the world all sell tickets, even at a high price?
The festival is being held for the first time ever, and so the Ho Chi Minh City’s government would like to make it as a gift to the city’s people with the aim to build a quality community cultural festival. As for the later events, we will have more options, maybe in other locations, and we will plan for ticket sales, which will be appropriate to the investment as well as the aim to scale up the festival.
What is the signature cultural atmosphere that Hozo Festival wants to create?
Live bands, music from all over the world, the energy and excitement from a new healthy lifestyle, all filled with emotion and responsibility for the surrounding environment, as well as our message: More Music Less Plastic. Come to music with a positive attitude.
What is the long-term goal of Hozo Festival?
Creating a new cultural spot of the city, a brand and a new destination of music of the world.
Will Hozo be held annually, over the next 5-10 years? How is Ho Chi Minh City government committing to this?
In the foreseeable future, the city leaders are determined to build a new cultural brand for the people, and with the city’s involvement in this first edition of the festival, I believe that is the strong evident commitment to the development of an annual festival.
In your opinion, how is a music festival different from a regular music show? (You mentioned that the audience will be immersed in the festival’s atmosphere – what will the atmosphere be like?)
I think most of us are now enjoying music shows in a way that we come for a certain celebrity that we like. A music festival is, however, very different. There, the role of one celebrity is very small if compared to the vibrant atmosphere amplified by all the artists, by all the audience in the same place for multiple hours. It is the abundance of music genres and the diverse line-up of artists that makes us more open to the surprises that we have never experienced and enjoyed before. Such festival is like a family day because everyone can come and have something for themselves regardless of their age. And then there is the spontaneity of an open stage, where the artists are excited and perform in a different very mood compared to the atmosphere in the theater, they are more liberated, generous and spontaneous because of the interaction and the amped-up atmosphere that the audience creates.
When you were researching different music festival models in other countries, what do you think are applicable for Vietnam? What are not/not yet applicable?
I think right now we need, first and foremost, a vibrant music festival, not a specific one for a specific age group, as this is a community festival and it has to be diverse enough for a wide range of audience. Only when we have truly formed a habit of enjoying the festival atmosphere can we think of more specific music festival models.
Who are Hozo’s audience, in your opinion?
Those who always want to discover new things, who want to nurture their minds with unique cultural productions, those people with modern thinking and a positive attitude.