Index keen to reel in Tomorrowland festival
Thailand would be first in Asia to host
Thailand still has a chance to hold the first Tomorrowland in Asia, though the music festival's owners earlier denied that the event was coming.
Kriengkrai Kanjanapokin, founder and group chief executive of Index Creative Village Plc, said the original founders of Tomorrowland music festival told him recently that they wanted Thailand to be the Asian host because international tourists know the country well and the event would be a powerful magnet for tourism.
"Thailand is considered one of the highest-potential countries in Asia for world music events," said Mr Kriengkrai, one of the expected joint organisers. "We highly anticipate that the event will be held in Thailand in its 2019 or 2020 edition."
Tomorrowland, owned by Manu and Michiel Beers, is one of the biggest electronic music festivals in the world. It launched in 2005 in Boom, Belgium, with attendance topping 400,000.
The festival offers add-on experiences beyond the live music by headline performers. The event takes place over two weekends.
Last year, Tomorrowland was rumoured in local media to be eyeing Thailand for a future event. The company debunked that story, however.
Nonetheless, Mr Kriengkrai suggested the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) broaden its role to help pitch the project as soon as possible.
"The government must see the importance of this gigantic world event that will help massively promote Thailand's tourism and hospitality," he said.
Mr Kriengkrai said Tomorrowland could possibly take place at Sattahip, a coastal area of Chon Buri close to Pattaya and Rayong with space to support more than 100,000 people during the three-day festival.
"Tomorrowland has been successful in many countries since 2005, and if the famed music festival occurs in Thailand, it will generate more than 3 billion baht for Thailand's tourism industry from the big spenders because each concertgoer spends 35,000-100,000 baht on average," Mr Kriengkrai said.
A TCEB source said an affiliate company of Index Creative Village, Envirosell Thailand, has been researching the effects and benefits of hosting Tomorrowland.
Mr Kriengkrai said the trend of electronic dance music (EDM) has room to grow in Thailand, which counts only 80,000 EDM fans. Australia, by contrast, has 420,000.
The EDM industry in Asia has grown rapidly and is set to be valued at 35 billion baht this year -- 15% of the global EDM industry.
Mr Kriengkrai said EDM is creating opportunities for the event-organising business and Index aims to continually expand by blending music with consumer lifestyles and behaviour.