For bridging art and culture with impact
If you’ve ever tried to Google “sustainable music festival” in Asia, chances are you’ve come across Wonderfruit. Here’s the architect behind Wonderfruit: Pranitan “Pete” Phornprapha. His background is quite far from what you’d expect: Bangkok-born Pete’s family owns Siam Motors Group, and property businesses, among other things. Pete is the third generation of this family, and does work within the family business, dabbles in construction, heavy equipment, business development, and scooters too. But he’s more widely known for Wonderfruit, of which he’s the founder and creative director.
Wonderfruit, held near Pattaya in Thailand every year, has been around since 2014, and is first and foremost, a celebration of art and music, similar to other music festivals. But what’s different about Wonderfruit, aside from being also a celebration of Thai culture, is that it’s an art and culture festival that cares about and experiments with sustainability. Part of the reason why this is so is because Pete was schooled in environmental issues from young, thanks to his father, and Siam Motors’s environmental campaign: Think Earth. He decided to combine his passion for environmental issues together with festivals, inspired by living overseas and influences from other festivals like Burning Man, because he felt that festivals could be a perfect platform to raise awareness of issues to people who may not be previously aware of them.
Indeed, Wonderfruit was “set up to provoke people to think about sustainability”. And as Pete said: “We fool people into coming out here on the basis of having a good time”—tongue-in-cheek, of course. But the point stands: it’s all about getting people to think about these issues in a way that’s creative, engaging, fun and sexy, rather than being too scientific, or serious. (Which can be important, but doesn’t engage all folks!) So Wonderfruit is a music festival, but also a “social movement” built around six pillars: “music, arts, family, farm to feasts, talks and workshops, health, and adventures”, which all come together to create a one-of-a-kind, mindful experience for all festivalgoers. Between concerts, art installations, seminars and lectures, and incredible food, “Wonderers” are invited to think more deeply about how they can positively impact the earth, as well as each other.
As far as its environmental impact is concerned, Wonderfruit is unlike art, culture and music festivals around the world that are often heavy on environmental impact. Wonderfruit produces sustainability reports, and thinks about sustainability all throughout: from building materials to waste, from energy use to resource use and more—and it does better every single year… all while helping Wonderers have the time of their lives.
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