Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — This year’s Monsoon Music Festival (MMF) – Việt Nam’s biggest music festival – may be the last, as the organisers can’t find a suitable venue for the coming years.
According to MMF’s founder and head of the organising board, music composer/producer Quốc Trung, the local authorities have said the festival cannot take place again at the former Imperial Citadel of Thăng Long because it is a significant historical relic of the city. The authorities made this decision even though the festival has been celebrated as part of Hà Nội’s longterm cultural development plan, which was approved by the city’s People’s Committee Chairman Nguyễn Đức Chung.
“I had a presentation in front of local cultural authorities about the festival, explaining that I would like to develop it to become one of most prestigious international music festivals of the region. While some people do their best to support our festival to develop as a major cultural product, and something that can drive tourism in Hà Nội, some do not. I don’t know what to say when my project has not received the support of everyone,” he said at a press conference yesterday in Hà Nội, one day before the festival’s opening day.
The vast grass ground of the Imperial Citadel on Hoàng Diệu Street, with a capacity of up to 10,000 people, is an ideal space to host the festival.
Composer Trung said he is willing to reward anyone who can find a new venue in Hà Nội for MMF.
“It must be a vast open-air venue, with at least a 2-hectare large. It should be a bit isolated from the crowded living area to avoid annoying local residents. It should also be accessible by public transport. Green trees and grassy ground are other requirements,” Trung said.
A suitable venue is a critical component of the organising process.
“Normally, to ensure every step of the festival can be perfect, we have to start the preparation one year in advance. It’s impossible to organise the event well until the venue has been fixed because we can’t call on sponsorships, can’t invite artists, can’t outline the schedule, and can’t submit for a performing licence,” the head of MMF said.
Since its debut in 2013, the music festival has become a new cultural “phenomenon” of Hà Nội. Every season, the event presents a line-up of international singers and bands from around the world. Grammy-winning soul singer Joss Stone, the best-selling string quartet Bond, and the world-famous rock band Scorpions were among artists that had performed at MMF.
More than 80,000 audience members attended three previous iterations of MMF. The festival won the “Vietnamese Grammy” Devotion Award for Music Show/Festival of the Year in 2015.
The three-day Monsoon Music Festival 2017 by Tuborg will begin tonight at 6pm. — VNS