How To Survive The Jungle of Manila's Wanderland Festival 2017

By Victoria Tay

Wanderland Festival 2017 returning for its fifth year in Manila, Philippines, is the country’s biggest annual indie music and arts festival.

Dubbed the “Coachella of the Philippines”, this year’s festival prides itself on a stellar lineup of local, regional and international acts performing at its 4th March bonanza.

Headlining the festival this year is Aussie indie alt-rock band, The Temper Trap, who also previously headlined the festival in 2013.

Following them are The Ting Tings (UK, Pop/Rock), Explosions in the Sky (USA, post-rock), LANY (USA ,indie-pop), Purity Ring (Canada, Pop), Malaysian singer-songwriter YUNA, and many home-grown

Filipino musicians such as YouTube singer and songwriter Reese Lansangan, Wanderband’s Battle of the Band’s winner Lola Amour and finalist Banna Harbera, to name a few.

Bands will be playing on three stages for non-stop music all the way from 1pm to 1am, with various meet&greet sessions in between. Tickets to the meet&greet sessions are being distributed through a festival Instagram contest that runs through 1st March.


Filipino artists Jappy Agoncillo, KFK Collective, Quatro Hapimeel and Ysabella Lalu will also be performing ‘live’ at Wanderland. Carnival games and jam sessions will also be held simultaneously throughout the event, so festival goers, you have plenty to look forward to.

With so many activities going on, and only one shot to make the most out of this one-day event, here are a few survival tips to make it through the festival jungle:

  1. Plan your schedule ahead of time.

Re-entry is not allowed at this event, so plan your time (and timing!) wisely. Check the set list for when your favourite acts are playing and make an itinerary. If two of them are playing at the same time, play heads or tails to decide who you want to see first, and time yourself to catch half the set before skipping to the next one.

Hang around the back, or plan your escape route so you can skip off to the next one. It’s always great to see the best of both worlds, rather than feel the day-after regret of not seeing one of them.

Wanderland 2017 setlist

  1. Make Spotify and YouTube your best friends

Check out the bands playing, and if you don’t know them, take a quick look through the band’s socials. Spotify and YouTube are likely to have playlists of their songs for you to browse through.

Wanderland is chock full of up-and-coming local and regional acts, so show some love to your friendly next-door musicians! After all, that’s what a music festival is all about, right?


  1. X marks the spot: Find the secret spot to nab a moment with your favourite bands

If you haven’t managed to win one of those coveted Wanderland meet&greet passes, have no fear! Take a lay of the land when you enter and scope out where the band tents or buses are.
It’s likely that they’ll be hanging around there getting interviewed, or simply prepping for their turn on the stage. If they’ve got a spare moment or two, don’t be shy to say hi, and even nab a photo (but be polite)!

  1. Know what you can’t bring

Wanderland lists these things as prohibited: Outside food, cans, bottles, glass, chairs, anything studded, spiked or chained fashion items, fireworks, sharp objects, professional cameras, laser lights or pens, selfie sticks, scooters, bikes, pets, alcohol and illegal substances.

If you are unsure of an item, don’t bring it.

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  1. Know what you want to bring and make a list

Its helpful to always be prepared for a festival that, come rain or shine. Especially as re-entry is not allowed, having a Barney Bag of handy items will help make your festival experience as smooth as possible.

A recommended list of things to bring would be: A picnic blanket, sunblock, portable fans, portable chargers, sunglasses, hats, ponchos, ziplock bags (if it rains, your phone will thank you), band-aids and antiseptic, baby wipes and hand sanitiser.

If you want to be extra prepared, a spare set of clothes and even duct tape and extra plastic bags can be useful to make emergency rain-boots. You might look a little silly, but at least you’ll be one of the last ones laughing!

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Pack all of these things into a backpack or shoulder bag, and keep your valuables (like cash and ID) in a fanny pack. Your friends might laugh at you, but when it comes to whipping out your cash at the drinks stall, you won’t be fumbling.

Besides, these days, these unglamorous bum-bags can be worn hidden beneath your shirt. No big deal.

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  1. Dress sensibly

While a music festival is a chance to see and be seen, it is still advisable to dress appropriately. Wear slippers to beat the heat, and don’t wear anything too complicated.

Rompers may look cute, but if you have to take your whole dress off just to take a tinkle in the port-a-potty, it might not be a good idea.

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  1. Use the buddy system

Any event that draws a crowd will attract a handful of dodgy characters. Be aware of your surroundings and make sure you and your buddies have one another’s backs.

Do not accept drinks or food from people you don’t know, and remember it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

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  1. Hydrate and stay cool

Manila weather can get pretty hot and muggy. Make sure you are drinking enough water alongside that jungle juice you are having. The last thing you want is to pass out at the event and miss the whole show.

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  1. Locate the speakers

Which direction are the stage speakers facing? Plan your positioning around where they are before settling in. Don’t get too close, or too far from their direction.

Even if you have a good view of the stage, it won’t matter if you can’t hear anything, or if the crowd around you is louder than the music. Music is meant to be heard, after all.

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  1. Plan your getaway

You’ve heard the last set, bought all your merch, and finished all your drinks. It’s time to go home, but the crowd to get out of the festival is massive, and it looks like you’re stuck in an hour-long queue.

To avoid this nightmare, book your getaway vehicle in advance. Make friends with a taxi driver, and ask him to pick you up at a certain time, or book your Uber in advance to avoid a queue.

No one wants to miss the last song in a set, but no one wants to be stuck long after that either.

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Just savour the moment.

Overall, Wanderland or any music festival is an experience, so embrace it!

Having a plan and kitted-out bag can help you to enjoy the revelry better, but don’t be stuck on your phone all the time and record all the sets – be in the moment with your friends and groove to the beats.

It doesn’t matter if you can’t dance. Just have fun and let loose.

Cover Photo: Wanderland Facebook (Kyle Aguas)
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