Held in the beautiful premises of Son Tinh Camp at Ba Vi, less than an hour driving from the capital city Hanoi, Quest is an international festival combined with outdoor camping – a communal celebration of music, arts and interpersonal connection amongst nature. Ques Festival is a 3-day escape for both local and foreigners, who came to Vietnam to enjoy diverse forms of art. More than 150 artists, festival enthusiasts and the event organizers including over 100 volunteers (counting for more than a thousand people in total), gather around this gorgeous space just for these special experiences, taking place once a year every November.
The story of Quest
4 years ago, Quest was formed by a small group of expats and locals in Hanoi, with the idea to bring the brand new international festival concept to Vietnam. During that time and even till today, there is no such event at a similar scale. Quest started with only couples of hundred attendants, expanding more than a thousand this year. Highly drawn to the event from its unique concept, bustling vibe and growing popularity, many artists from different part of the world signed up to play, even without having their flight from the other half of the world covered.
Questival offers the whole 3-day package of diverse art – music – performance – workshop
From Acoustic to Hip-Hop, Electronic to Rock, Folk to Heavy Metal, Quest’s live music program has it all! While there were above 30 bands playing throughout the whole festival, the most spectacular show to me were well performed by Kylian and Vegeance. Their set was a mind-blowing sophisticated compilation of electronic DJ set, violin play combined with singing. Emily (Kylian) and Attiss Ngo (Vegeance) were both young talented producers and artists originally from the US. Besides having artists coming from 5 continents, Quest also welcome local talents, including some of the most impressive Vietnamese rappers and beat-boxers I have seen.
One of the coolest workshops was Yoga, taking place every morning. You would find a wide variety of other interesting options including: belly dance, playing different instruments, etc. At Quest, not only do you get to see the performance, but also to actually get your hands on the art.
The vibe of freedom and escape
At Quest, you are free to express yourself! This is true in many ways – either dressing, performing, or enjoying all sorts of music, arts and culture you could find from around the world. Whether you’d not bother to look as casual (and probably messy too), or dress up in lots of fancy and expensive layers of costumes, we all feel welcomed at Quest. Most artists do tend to look very edgy, vintage or hippy.
I had tons of fun putting on facial arts at the festival. There’s even a workshop area where you can have your face and body painted. Frequent questers have their costumes well done and prepared long time ahead. You can check different out Quest theme each year, costume guide and ideas on their website. And don’t be shy to show some skin too. Vietnam is quite a traditional and slightly conservative country in terms of dressing out, but at Quest, it’s important to be yourself!
Partying is definitely counts a big part!
Be well prepared for partying hard, drink and dance from day till dawn. From evening till late night (9PM – 2AM), you’d feel the best energies out of the event. This is when the best DJs and artists rock the shows at main stages within the same time set. So make sure to scroll around the premise, in order not to miss any spectacular performance. Once the crazy parties are over, I love watching people doing nothing but chilling, lying besides the shores, or floating above the lake watching sunset.
Things to consider
As this is not going to be anything like a promotional article, I must mention several drawbacks of Quest. Like any other good festivals, it is a big mess! And it is certainly one of the FUN parts of it! Do not bring along anything way to expensive, as you do not want to lose it while being tipsy at the event, or have it stolen from your camp by the worst scenario. Most of the toilets are not clean, though there were cleaners working on site from time to time. I did not shower for days as my ankle was broken several days before the event (yet I decided that I must show up at Quest!). Nevertheless, the lake is dazzling, where you should definitely enjoy your time swimming and chilling.
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