The summer air in Vietnam is hot and thick with humidity, but the couple hundred bodies that have begun to file into the open-air courtyard of a historic building in Ho Chi Minh City pay the weather no mind. Instead, the room is palpable with their buzzing energy which begins to peak as the first striking tones of Troyboi's exotic, bass-driven set begins.
A line of sleekly dressed people are snaking through the foyer of the Ho Chi Minh City Museum of Fine Arts, a historic building lined with stunning sculptures and frames of artwork that has never hosted an event of this kind before. For three days, the museum has become home to immersive experiences in the form of daytime panels, discussions and demonstrations as well as compelling performances from a mix of impressive international and proudly local Vietnamese talent.
BUDX Ho Chi Minh City served as a snapshot of the brilliant and cutting-edge culture that exists across Vietnam, packing the museum's foyer with influential leaders across music, fashion, art and culture industries. The room, alive with activity, hosted a variety of impactful discussions and performances: a stunning demonstration of fashion and music from the Drag Queen Centro team; a live, interactive graffiti demonstration with artist Danny Daos; a fashion show and discussion between two proudly local and leading streetwear designers Headless and 5THEWAY; and a panel of festival and nightlife leaders across Vietnam to discuss the changing and progressing landscape of music tourism in the country.
Kicking off with high energy, day one welcomed a barrage of electro talents, starting with a powerful opening set from hometown hero Masew. Later, V-Pop rising star Orange took to the stage with a gorgeous showcase of her pipes, including a rousing cover of Beyonce that got the whole crowd singing along. Hanoi native DJ Minh Tri took to the stage, giving a proper warm up to the crowd for the headliner of the night, Cedric Gervais. Cedric, dipping expertly between electro classics and new, tech house rousers, set a high standard for the first night of BUDX Ho Chi Minh City.
Day two in Ho Chi Minh City took a hip-hop focus, starting off with rappers Rhymastic and BigDaddy, who each demonstrated their lyrical abilities and the rising excitement around Vietnamese hip hop. Ahead of the final act of the night, rising DJ and producer Get Looze showed off his scratching background with a tech house flair, setting the tone ahead of Troyboi's explosive and sultry R&B-infused performance.
Finally, day three saved some of the best for last, kicking off with a high energy beginning with DJ Trang Moon. Bich Phong kept the mood high with a showcase of her mesmerizing V-Pop songs before handing the stage over to Touliver, who got the crowd bouncing with a mix of tech house and bass-driven sounds. Finally, Australian star What So Not delivered an eclectic mix of drum 'n' bass, dub and melodic-driven originals for a well-deserved closing of BUDX Ho Chi Minh City.
View photos from the BUDX Ho Chi Minh City event below and find more info about the full global BUDX program here.
[Photos: Sara Wass]