One of our last events before the pandemic hit was UnKonscious — Asia’s biggest trance festival on the beach — on Thailand’s Phuket island. We had such a great experience (see our 2020 festival coverage/recap here) that we couldn’t wait to attend again… but for obvious reasons that wasn’t going to be possible until further notice.
Fast-forward to now, we’re ecstatic that the festival is making a grand return in February 2023 at Alexa Beach club in Na Jomtien, Chonburi (Thailand; about 90 minutes driving from Suvarnabhumi Airport). And the lineup? Line up: Aly & Fila, Alex De Stefano, David Forbes, Greg Downey, John Askew, and MORE. You can learn more about the big event here.
Until then, we have even more fun news in the meantime. UnKonscious is gearing up for the festival with two events this November: UnKonscious Gathering on November 5 at ONYX in Bangkok and an event with Ferry Corsten at the same venue a few days before on November 2.
Our team is back in Thailand to cover all of these, and in anticipation, caught up with Founder Srangkun Sirisinha, also known as Lon or Lonskii. Read on to hear more about what he has been up so since we last saw him in 2020, and what he has coming up with UnKonscious (UNK).
The last UnKonscious Festival was in 2020, just before the pandemic hit. What did you do during the period when the nightlife scene shut down?
■ The pandemic hit was very hard for me because I have a few businesses directly affected by it. I was an international booking agent for the Top 100 DJs from 2014 until 2020 for one of Thailand’s biggest nightclubs, ONYX. I own a few traditional Thai massage and spa stores that had to close down temporarily during the lockdown phase, which relied heavily on foreign tourists. I was not doing much during 2020 because I couldn’t. In 2021, I started to mine cryptocurrency, which seemed to be doing well initially, but the market has dropped since. Now that we are moving towards an endemic era, I have since expanded my traditional massage stores across four locations in Bangkok, focusing more on the local market.
And you have the UnKonscious Festival returning in February 2023! We’ll talk more about that when we see you in Bangkok next month, but in the meantime, let’s talk about the UnKonscious Gathering happening on November 5. What inspired that event to happen? Is this your first event since 2020?
■ This is our first UnKonscious-related event since the previous edition in 2020. It is a nightclub scale and not as big as our upcoming festival in February 2023. However, we hope to keep pushing the brand forward and reuniting people before the time comes. We will have five international artists and one regional DJ joining us in Bangkok, so it is pretty impressive! I miss my global trance family, and it seems like a great opportunity to gather beforehand.
Earlier in the year, we had Sam Laxton do a livestreaming event on a boat cruise along the riverbanks of Ayutthaya city, a UNESCO world heritage site. It wasn’t a full-on party, but we had a great time on the boat!
Once nightlife reopened in Thailand, where was the first place you went? What was it like?
■ The pandemic made me an introvert! As weird as it sounds, I don’t feel like going out much. I think I got used to staying home with my wife and two kids. However, it did make me miss organizing events. I miss that more than partying and drinking. When the nightclubs opened up, I did an event with RAM, Asteroid, and Sam Laxton, and the vibe was pure bliss. The energy was amazing; I felt like everyone missed coming out.
How did you select the lineup for the Gathering?
■ We predicted the Gathering party would attract the regional market, so we were looking to gather our fellow Thai, Vietnamese, Malaysian, and Singaporean crowds that could pop into Bangkok for a weekend of trance. UNK 2020 attracted over 45 countries, so we expected this to be a smaller event.
Our neighboring countries love uplifting and harder trance, so I’m hoping Ferry Tayle, Factor B, and Sam Laxton will work well. At UnKonscious, we try to promote artists who have never performed in Asia, so we’ve had a lot of new DJs debut at our events. So many talented DJs/producers deserve the same opportunities as the other big-name artists. I hope UNK can be a platform for some of these artists to become uber-successful one day. It’s also one of the reasons we have added Billy Gillies and Will Rees to the lineup because they produced such mad tunes, but have not been given enough opportunities to perform to a larger audience in Asia. Introducing a new DJ is always a risk for a promoter, and at the same time, the trance music scene is very small here compared to the rest of the world. Nonetheless, it is our philosophy to keep pushing boundaries.
There is also an event a few days before on November 2 with Ferry Corsten. What is your involvement with that? Is it going to be like a pre-party for the Gathering?
■ Yes, you could say it is a pre-party to the UnKonscious Gathering event. We also have a special package deal for those who want to attend both events. I am thrilled to catch up with Ferry Corsten, because the last time I saw him was when I hosted Transmission Festival Asia in 2018. He is very cool, down-to-earth, and I love working with him and his team. I’m excited to have him back in Bangkok!
What are you most looking forward to with these two events in November?
■ Besides meeting and seeing everyone again, I look forward to working again. I’m a workaholic, so I enjoy entertaining everyone. It has been a passion of mine since 2010, despite the risk associated with putting on events in such a small market. It almost feels like I selected the “super difficult” mode on a game, and the outcome can go either way for me. I can only hope for success, not in terms of monetary value, but I hope everything goes as smoothly as possible and everyone is happy. To simply put it: you are happy, the DJ is happy, and everyone has some great memories to take home with them.
This is gearing up to be a great start to November.
■ I hope everyone can join us for the weekend because many of us have not seen each other since before the pandemic, and it would be such a great experience and opportunity to see familiar friends and faces again. With Ferry Corsten, Factor B, Ferry Tayle, Billy Gillies, Will Rees, and Sam Laxton together one weekend, you can’t expect to see an extensive nightclub lineup like this anywhere else. For anyone residing in South East Asia, Bangkok is a short flight away — it is the central transportation hub, and more flights are expected to be added to Bangkok every day.
Ticketing info for both November events below. Learn more about the main festival in February 2023 here. We will be chatting with Lon again in a few weeks to hear more about the festival, so check back soon for another interview with him, as well we interviews with Ferry and some of the Gathering artists!
Ferry Corsten: November 2, 2022
Pre-sale 700 baht
Door 1,000 baht
UNK Gathering: November 5, 2022
Pre-sale 1,300 baht
Door 1,500 baht
Pre-sale Package Deal for 2 events
700 + 1300 = 2000 baht >> Deal 1500 bht
Available to purchase at either link above.