Too good to be true: the Paradise International Music Festival report


Paradise International Music Festival was, in a word, unreal.

Heading to the festival grounds under the April sun, festival goers were welcomed by a virtual one-day oasis of musical experience. And just past the gate, the slew of sensory delights comes rushing immediately.


Paradise2016-Clara Benin-1




Paradise IMF was billed to exhibit a plethora of genres, but most of them definitely came from similarly bass-thumping kind. But first up were mostly from the guitar-wielding type–but each with their distinct sounds–represented by up-and-comers Lenses, Maude, Yolanda Moon, and Clara Benin. Heavy hitters Giniling Festival, Cheats, and Hale also beefed up the lineup until the sun went down, with Canadian band The Airplane Boys providing an exclamation point with their unique mix of hip-hop, rock, and electronica. Interspersed between the band sets were local DJs Jessica Milner and DJ Nina with Joyce Pring, punctuated by the performance of The X Factor darlings 4th Impact.




After the Itchyworms rode the sunset with their OPM gold of a set, Up Dharma Down took the main stage to herald the start of the primetime slots, and unfalteringly delivered a world-class performance for the swelling crowd. Austin Mahone brought in teenage swoons with his croons high energy moves. Rudimental, led by Piers Agget on the decks, delivered a massively mind-blowing set, which started out smooth with house and garage, and finished off on a fever pitch of drum n’ bass fervor with the help of Mark Crown and singer Bridgette Amofah.

There was no time for the crowd’s adrenaline to subside after the Rudimental set as the crowd had to prepare themselves with the back-to-back hiphop headliners.


When I first heard that Wiz Khalifa was going to be performing in Manila, I was extremely excited. I’ve liked his music for a few years now, but this past year I’ve gotten more into his music as well as his life. I knew that my first time seeing him perform live would be an amazing experience, and it exceeded my expectations. I wish the venue itself, was dust-free.

Khalifa loaded up his 90-minute set with big hits including “Black and Yellow” came as the opening song, livelier than the recorded version and intensely sung and a great song. Shedding the long-sleeve polo, tall and skinny, he seemed even younger than his 28 years.


He played the double-platinum hit “No Sleep” (one of the night’s best, emphatic and strong as he stood on a high pedestal that rose out of the stage) and “Young, Wild & Free”. The set list showed diversity and I liked that a lot as he played songs from different albums. It was a perfect blend of old and new songs paired with an ever growing onstage confidence. Two of the best songs performed were “Black and Yellow”, and “Work Hard, Play Hard”. Wiz closed the main part of his set with 2015’s number runaway hit, “See You Again”.


After 22 million album sales and 21 Grammy awards, Kanye West only just made his “Paradise” debut and it was totally worth the wait. The 38-year-old American hip hop recording artist, songwriter, record producer, fashion designer, and entrepreneur judged his set perfectly, and executed it with passion and style. He is among the most acclaimed musicians of the 21st century,[attracting both praise and criticism for his work and outspoken public persona.

“That’s the job of a true artist: not to be controlled by their finances, not to be controlled by perception, but only to be controlled by their truth. What you see, what you feel, and say what you fucking feel.” Kanye West.

The rap star performed at the first Paradise International Music Festival 2016 in front of a packed out crowd. His show was the much awaited  and performed a lengthy set that covered everything from past hits like Gold Digger, Stronger, Can’t Tell Me Nothing and All of the Lights plus the new tracks off his 7th studio album “The Life of Pablo” including All Day, Waves, Father Stretch My Hands and Famous


Half-way through his set, he paused for breath, allowing the audience to catch theirs, and interrupted a pep talk to “You don’t know, it’s really overwhelming for me to perform the song for the first time and for you all to react to it in that way.” When it came to giving the crowd a good talking to, most were stunned into silence.

All in all, Paradise IMF is one of the best local music festival experience fans could ever come across in the land, with a lineup that we’d never thought would happen. Every stage has perfect sound quality, because the festival provided loud but not distorted sound system. The sound is backed up by massive LED screens that made the audience feel like they are right up close to the stage. I honestly can’t describe how much fun it is to watch music at this festival.

Paradise IMF will be the benchmark for local music festivals in the country. Every set started time, and the production details were well managed and executed, creating the absolute best music festival experience in the land. They did a great job of giving attendees different forms of entertainment. They also made the smart decision of opening the gates in the morning which cut the time waiting in line.

Overall, we had fun here than we expected, and definitely giving it 9.5/10 only because the weather could have been more forgiving on the festival grounds, and that my night had DJs Afrojack and Rivero blaze through their sets to cap off an unbelievable night of fulfilled promises. Otherwise, it was perfect.

More Photos at Paradise IMF Photo Gallery

Written by Peter Tolibas and Vince
Photos by Peter Tolibas

Thank you so much Paradise IMF team and Boardworks Media for making this event possible


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