BANGKOK – Bangkok played host on Friday to Asia’s first edition of the global electronic music event Transmission, a large-scale indoor audio-visual dance experience.
Over 10,000 people hailing from some 60 countries were treated to the sold-out event’s multimillion dollar laser light show that complemented the festival’s signature trance music style offered by some of the world’s best-known DJ’s, such as Markus Schulz and Ferry Corsten.
Transmission, which began in Prague in 2006, is one of 18 major electronic music festivals being held in Thailand this year in what is fast becoming a major tourism driver for the country.
Thailand has begun hosting many other similar gatherings, such as S20, Wonderfruit, Kolour in the Park, and Musictropolis, among others, which are notable for their sheer size and scope, as well as their ever-increasing production values.
Martijn van den Berg, Project Manager for Transmission International, told EFE that this spike in electronic music festivals with high-production costs is consistent with a global trend, observing that “in terms of productions and stages, everything is (becoming) more professional all over the world. If you compare festivals and what the stages looked like 15 years ago and how they look like now, it’s completely different.”
Transmission’s high production values and technical sophistication is evidence of how electronic music has developed as a culture and industry in both Thailand and Asia in general.
Transmission was the first event to be held at Bitec’s brand new hall “100” – the only indoor venue in Thailand capable of accommodating the show – with over 1,000 people involved in its production.
A statement released by United Music/Transmission Festival Asia, the event’s promoters, said production involved 18 industrial-strength lasers, along with 347 separate lighting fixtures, synchronized and projected onto a 44 meter by 23 meter-size stage, in combination with a Funktion One Vero sound system – all of which was imported from Europe.
According to the 2016 IMS Business Report, the global electronic music industry has grown from an estimated $4.5 billion in 2013 to $7.1 billion in 2016, with much of that growth coming from Asia.
Although exact figures are unavailable, with an average ticket price of THB 3,500 ($100), even the most conservative of estimates indicate that Transmission will generate close to $1 million in ticket sales alone, not taking into account the secondary effects festival-goers have on the local economy.
With many other festivals of similar size and scale being held throughout the year, Thailand can expect to generate tens of millions of dollars from its electronic music festival circuit.
Thailand’s reputation as a popular tourist destination, with its year-long warm climate, central location, and regional hub airports allowing for frequent and cheap flights, Bangkok is well-suited to hosting such large international gatherings, factors that were crucial in Transmission’s choice, according to van den Berg.
“Bangkok of course is a metropolis, it’s a very big city,” van den Berg told EFE. “It has a great location in Asia and that’s why we found it a perfect place to (host) Transmission.”