Several major music festivals are to be held in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City in the last three months of 2023, to build cultural brands and lure domestic and international tourists.

However, hosting music events on a yearly basis - contributing to the development of the cultural industry - requires significant ground-breaking efforts.

Building cultural brands

In major cities worldwide, countless cultural events and music festivals are held each year, creating rendezvous and building their brands. Hanoi is not left out of this trend.
Recently, the lineup for the HAY Glamping Music Festival 2023 was announced, which will be held in Hanoi on September 29 and 30.

In addition to Vietnamese rappers Suboi, JustaTee and MCK, the festival will feature the former lead singer of world-famous boy band Boyzone, Ronan Keating, and South Korean hip-hop legend Epik High.

In the program, the musical interaction between different cultures is thoughtfully conceived by the organizers. Accordingly, Epik High will perform at the same time as Suboi, JustaTee and MCK. Their joint performance is eagerly awaited and is expected to bring explosive moments throughout the show.

Also in Hanoi, the Monsoon Music Festival 2023  will make a comeback to the capital's audiences in October with the theme "Pho Hang Nhac" or Music Street.

With the participation of top indie (independently produced music) names, the event is undergoing a metamorphosis to get closer to young music lovers. In previous editions, only famous Vietnamese singers such as Thanh Lam, Hong Nhung, Ha Tran or Tung Duong took the headliner position, while international artists were invited more for their skills than their popularity. At present, both factors have been balanced.

Hanoi audiences have fun at the 2019 Monsoon Music Festival. Photo courtesy of the event organiser

In the south, the HOZO International Music Festival 2023 will run in Ho Chi Minh City from December 22 to 24. According to its musical director, musician Huy Tuan, the festival's mission is to bring the world to Vietnam and to show Vietnam to the world by conveying and disseminating musical and cultural values. Therefore, HOZO 2023 will continue to be a unique international rendezvous to enjoy performances with the distinctive brand of the city named after Uncle Ho.

Shaping policies for cultural industry

The three events mentioned above have in common that they are annual events with a long history and established brands. However, maintaining their periodicity and appeal is always a headache for any organizing unit.

For example, the Monsoon Music Festival is considered to be a professionally organized music event with international standards. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this event has been postponed for several years, plunging it into oblivion.

Speaking at the conference on "Developing Vietnam's Cultural and Creative Industries in the Digital Era", musician Quoc Trung said: "These days, people talk about cultural and creative industries without understanding that to develop a creative industry, it's necessary to have methodical processes of production, management, communication, and others."

According to the veteran music producer, working out a plan and an implementation schedule is the first and most important factor in building cultural industries. "Without preparation and sufficient time, you should not hope to have a top-notch creative product or present it to the public with the highest quality. There is no room for cutting corners or taking shortcuts in the cultural industry," he added.

In terms of policy, Nguyen Thi Thu Phuong, director of the Vietnam Institute of Culture and Arts Studies, said it's crucial to have local policies in place, and it's also necessary for local leaders to be knowledgeable about the cultural and creative industries.

She said she was looking forward to the National Target Program for Cultural Development, which is being drafted. This program could lead to an increase in funding for creative industries while also setting targets for regulators to study and better understand.

Once their brand values are defined, music festivals will not only be a playground for professionals or an opportunity for locals to enjoy the arts, but will also bring a lot of tourism and economic value to the places where they are held.

Meanwhile, the HAY Glamping Music Festival is considered the largest international summer music event in Vietnam and has drawn the attention of audiences nationwide to the presence of once-famous global boy bands, namely The Moffatts, A1, 911, Blue, and others.

The 2023 show will take place on September 29 and 30 at Yen So Park in Hanoi and will feature a range of activities, including sports, street art, cuisine and a trendy glamping area exclusively for young visitors.

Down south, after two seasons last year, the HOZO International Music Festival has become a much-loved and anticipated event. Last year's festival featured a line-up of 250 domestic and foreign artists, while thousands of spectators flocked to Nguyen Hue Walking Street and Thu Thiem Park, the venues for the event.

* The Monsoon Music Festival is an international music festival held annually in Hanoi since 2014. After 5 seasons, the event has welcomed more than 225,000 domestic audiences and foreign tourists to the city, thanks to over 300 Vietnamese and international artists such as Scorpions (Germany), Joss Stone and Bond (both UK), Kodaline (Ireland), Los Frequencies (Belgium), ADOY and Hyukoh (both South Korea).

Source: Hanoitimes