According to the dictionary, a bucket list is “a list of things that one has not done before but wants to do before dying” so, essentially, it’s a list of stuff you want to do before you kick the bucket, hence the name. We like the idea of a bucket list but, to be honest, in its truest form, a bucket list is a little bit over-sentimental and a hint on the cheesy side. These lists are normally full of stuff like “swimming with dolphins” or “seeing the northern lights” which are things that are pretty achievable and shouldn’t take your impending death to inspire you to do them.
For us, our bucket list, like so many other facets of our lives revolve around parties and quality electronic music. So, we’ve decided to make our very own Bucket List feature, which will see us take an in-depth look at the festivals and parties we really want to get to before we kick the proverbial bucket and hang up our dancing shoes once and for all. These will be no ordinary parties or festivals, they’ll be the absolute cream of the crop, the creme de la creme, taking place in some of the world’s coolest, exotic and most breathtaking locations.
First up getting the Bucket List treatment is Epizode festival which takes place in Vietnam at the end of this year and runs into the early days of next year. How cool is that? A festival that you go to one year and leave the next. We’ve often felt like we’ve aged a year after a festival but it’s never actually been the case where it genuinely is a different calendar year. This is just one of the reasons why we’re naming Epizode as our very first Bucket List party, if you want to know the rest, keep reading!
Why is it making our Bucket List?
Well, as we’ve previously just told you, Epizode festival kicks off in 2019 and finishes up in 2020. Now, what we didn’t tell you is that it begins on 27 December and runs for a very impressive twenty-four-hours per day for eleven-days straight, all the way through to 7 January. We don’t know about you, but we’ve never been to a festival that goes on for a full eleven-days, and we have to say, we’re equally scared and excited at the prospect of a party that lasts longer than the average holiday to Ibiza.
This year’s festival is the fourth installment of Epizode and the festival has grown bigger and better every single year. Four years is a good amount of time for the organisers to identify any issues they have encountered and have them completely ironed out so we’re expecting this year’s festival to the biggest and best Epizode yet.
Another thing we really like about this festival is that it takes place over the New Year. We can’t speak for you, but we sometimes find the whole New Year’s Eve vibe a little bit same-same. Marking the end of one year and with it the beginning of a new one should be a big deal, but a lot of the time we tend to do the exact same thing we do every other weekend and, apart from the fact the music goes off just before midnight and there’s a countdown, it could literally be any other night of the year. So, we say do something memorable for New Year’s, and with this year marking the end of a decade, why not try something really special, like an eleven-day-long festival in Vietnam.
This brings us nicely along to the next reason, it’s in Vietnam. Not only is it in Vietnam, but it’s also on the island of Phu Quoc, one of Vietnam’s most beautiful islands. Essentially, this trip would be a New Year’s celebration, a festival and a holiday all wrapped into one of the nicest packages we’ve come across in our time in the party business. There’s literally nothing we don’t like about this festival and that is why it has made its way onto our Bucket List.
If you’re gonna throw an eleven-day party, you’re gonna need a hell of a strong lineup to go with it and that’s exactly what Epizode have got. We’re really excited to see some of favourite artist on the lineup with the likes of Ricardo Villalobos, Apollonia, Craig Richards, DOTT, Lehar, Loco Dice, Mashokov, Nicolas Lutz, Ouissam, Sofia Rodina, Sunju Hargun, wAFF and William Djoko all playing.
But that’s nowhere near where this lineup ends, it would be easier to tell you which DJs aren’t playing, but fuck that, we never take the easy way out, so here we go. We’ll also be checking out Behrouz, Ben UFO, Carl Craig, Christian Loffler, Eats Everything, Mathew Johnson, Birds of Mind, Arapu, Agoria, Butch, Echonomist, Gescu, Pawsa, Stefano Noferini, Tijana T, Egyptian Lover, Jamie Jones, Kiasmos (DJ set), Luciano, Moodymann, Nastia, Petre Inspirescu, Raresh, Red Axes, Rhadoo, Richy Ahmed, Satori and Sonja Moonear.
And to top this tale off we’re also hoping to catch sets from Alci, Anna Nova, Bnh, Cabanne, Chaim, Cinthie, Denis Kaznacheev, DeWalta & Shannon, Digby, DJ Masda, Djebali, Edward, EllI, Fideles, Given, Janeret, Jenia Tarsol, Konstantin, Konstantin Sibold, Leafar Legov, Map.ache, Matias Aguayo, Molly, O.Bee, Panthera Krause, Patrick Topping, Phoung Dan, Ranishe Niyaak, S.A.M, Trikk, Varhat, Vera, Vlada, youANDme and Zendid.
Epizode is definitely bringing the heat with their lineup, and it’ll be really interesting to see how the music is spaced out over the course of the full eleven-days. There is so much quality on this lineup that, whatever way they do it, there’ll always be something good happening and an artist you want to see playing but, for us, there are a couple of acts that we simply won’t be missing.
One thing that you can’t say about Ricardo Villalobos is that he’s not entertaining. He has been known for occasionally showing up after a few too many sherbets and not being in peak condition for his sets, but it all kind of adds to the atmosphere, you never quite know what you’re gonna get and that element of surprise makes the occasions where he brings his A-game all the better. When he does show up, there are few in the game better than him, he’s been one of our island favourites for some years now and we’re getting very excited about seeing him in this setting.
What can we say about this fantastic French trio other than they are some of the finest selectors we’ve ever been lucky enough to have the privilege of watching. They really are that good. Fresh from a brilliant debut season in Ibiza with their Planet Claire brand at the spanking new Octan venue, Apollonia were real showstoppers anytime we saw them get behind the decks this summer and we highly recommend that anyone who is going to Epizode takes the time to catch their set. We definitely will.
There’s a reason why Jamie Jones is one of the most popular DJs on the planet, it’s because he’s a damn good DJ. Another massive season done with Paradise in DC-10 and we think it’s fair to say that this is an artist who is truly at the top of his game. If you’ve seen Jamie play before, you’ll already be looking forward to his set at Epizode, and if you haven’t seen him play before, do yourself a favour and make this set one of your main priorities for the festival.
Acts to look out for
We all know the artists we want to see when we’re going to a festival but sometimes the best sets we catch are the ones by artists who we’ve never heard of before when our expectations are low. With Epizode being an eleven-day festival, you can be sure that there’ll be plenty of opportunities for some unexpected gems. Here’s a couple to look out for.
This French DJ and producer has long been earmarked as one of the industry’s rising stars. He is one of a handful of promising artists signed to the renowned Parisian label Yoyaku and if deep and groovy house is your thing, you’ll definitely want to catch his set at Epizode. Janaret is coming off the back of a very busy year that has seen an impressive touring schedule on both sides of the Atlantic. This is the perfect time to catch one of his sets before he really blows up.
OK, you’ve most likely already heard of Ben UFO, but have you actually seen him play yet? If the answer is no, then you really need to make time for his set at Epizode festival. There are few selectors in the whole of dance music who do it better than this English DJ. The co-founder of Hessle Music, which is responsible for some incredible releases, Ben has a real ear for quality music, making this a set you should be getting excited about.
The second French DJ to make our acts to look out for, we’ve had our eye on Molly for some time now following performances in most of the island’s biggest clubs. She’s played Space, Amnesia, DC-10, while further afield, her most notable appearances to date come at Panorama Bar, Berlin, Robert Johnson, Frankfurt, and Concrete in her hometown, Paris. If she isn’t already on your radar, it’s probably time to sit up and take notice and what better place to do it than Epizode.
What’s the vibe?
Having a festival on a tropical island will probably be something completely new for most of you, it certainly will for us, so we’re expecting this to be a little bit different to the normal festival experience. First off, it’s spread over eleven-days, so the straight through crew will struggle to keep the pace for this one. While we understand the festival does run for twenty-four hours per day, we can picture plenty of downtime to relax during the day, with the parties ramping up in the evening in time for those Ibiza-esque Phu Quoc sunsets.
With the festival being in Vietnam, you can also expect to be completely immersed in a totally different culture, which will surely add to the overall experience. The main aim of the festival is to bring all of the latest electronic music trends to Asia, while also using it as a platform to showcase some of the brightest regional talents. This has the potential to be a meal melting pot of like-minded people from all over the world, a winter party hub where east meets west and we’re expecting lots of friendships and connections to be forged at this festival.
How to get there?
OK, so Vietnam is a little bit more difficult to get to than your average festival, and if you want to go, travel could turn out to be a fairly significant cost, depending on where it is your coming from. Luckily, Phu Quoc has an airport and you will be able to fly their directly or through either Ho Chi Minh or Hanoi. Given the time of year and the already close proximity of the festival, flights to Phu Quoc are quite reasonable, especially if you don’t mind taking the scenic route. Here are some examples of what you can expect to pay if you book now.
Where to stay?
Epizode offer a number of packages that include your ticket and accommodation but with Phu Quoc being a popular tourist destination there are lots of hotels available. Demand for rooms in the hotels nearby has naturally driven the prices up a bit but there are plenty of options further up the coast, about a fifteen-minute taxi ride, that will suit every budget. Here’s just a small look at what’s on offer based on two people sharing.
A taxi ride away
There are lots of different options for tickets to Epizode festival. If you’re a real trooper and you fancy the full eleven-days, a single 11-Day Multi Pass will set you back €319, not too bad considering it’s for eleven days, it actually works out at less than €30 per day. If you’re traveling in a group, you can get a full eleven-day Group Multi Pass for three people for €819, or just €273 each, working out at under €25 per day. We’ve paid more into a club for a few hours so for twenty-four-hour access to a festival this is really good value. Now, if your group happens to have more than one girl in it, you can save some serious money with the Sister Multi Pass which gives two girls a full eleven-day pass for just €319, that’s just about €160 each and works out less than €15 per day.
If the full eleven-days isn’t your thing and you only want to attend part of the festival, you might be seen as a bit of a lightweight, but there are still options for you. You can get your hands on a 5-Day Multi-Pass for €199, working out about €40 per day. Or, if you’re only in town for one day, you can get a 1-Day Multi-Pass for €59. Whichever option you choose, tickets for Epizode are really good value, and the reduced price group options are a great incentive to convince some of your friends to come with you.
If you want the convenience of a ticket and accommodation package, prices for an option with a hotel start at €423 per person, or with an apartment start at €491 per person.
If all of this wasn’t enough to convince you to make the trip to Epizode festival, you can find more information on their website, which is also where you’ll buy your ticket a couple of minutes later. To make it easy for yourself, just click here now.