What's On Our Radar

Spend a sonic weekend in Cebu at the PLUS63 Festival

The PLUS63 Festival invites you to a weekend vacation like no other in Cebu. GRID talked to Peter Delantar of Insignia Presents to hear about the thrills and challenges of mounting this international festival.

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Each year, music-lovers all over the world flock to music festivals in different countries to experience a sonic vacation weekend like no other. If Japan has the Fuji Rock Festival and the U.S. has Coachella, here in the Philippines, the PLUS63 Festival is gunning to be the country’s unmissable annual music fest.

This year’s lineup includes Joji, who’s returning to the Philippines after his appearance last year and Kehlani, who will be wrapping up her visit to Asia in Cebu. The PLUS63 roster also includes local artists like Davao’s rising electropop star Paul Pablo, Cebu-based pop-rock bands The Sundown and Sansette, and Cebu’s crowd favorite DJ Short.

Peter Delantar of Insignia Presents, the organizer of the PLUS63 Festival, says that Cebu is the perfect place to host a music festival with this star-studded lineup. Just like the festivals in other countries, a whole weekend vacation can be planned around the event. “We already have the natural offerings of Cebu. We just had to create something to entice people [to come,]” he says.

The PLUS63 team offered an example of a perfect weekend: If you book a flight on a Friday morning to Cebu, you’ll be able to visit the stunning beaches of Bantayan, Malapascua, or Mactan. And in the evening, you can hit the city’s street food markets—including those in Carbon Night Market, Sugbo Mercado, The Market in Mandaue, and Tinda Locale. Have a taste of Ginabot, Tuslob buwa, and Lechon, which are perfect when paired with boiled young coconut rice called Pusô. After the festival day on Saturday caps off, festival goers will have an even more holistic core memory to hold on to.

Behind the festival scenes

The PLUS63 music festival has been running for a successful six years already, and yet Peter says they still are learning and building up their momentum. They’re careful not to bite off more than they can chew—which speaks to the herculean effort that it takes to string these festivals together.

“In any event, no matter how perfectly planned it is, big or small, something always falls out of place. Especially in a music festival setting where so many things are happening at the same time. It's not easy mounting a big event,” Peter says. They streamlined their artist lineup to put into consideration the many things that can potentially go wrong despite their detailed planning.

Another perk of having a streamlined lineup is that artists are guaranteed to be promoted well. At PLUS63, Peter is happy to say that both their international and local artists will be playing full sets. On top of that, their marketing team works closely with the local artists’ labels, letting their festival be a platform to a wider audience.

The PLUS63 Festival will kick off on February 18. Tickets are still available on their website at plus63festival.com. For more information, visit the festival social media accounts on Instagram and Facebook.

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