Kyoto Protocol at Good Vibes Festival. Photo: Good Vibes Festival.

Good Vibes Festival, a new music festival in Malaysia, was held at Sepang Go Kart Circuit on Saturday 17 August. The music festival headlined with international acts The Smashing Pumpkins, Japandroids and Modest Mouse, as well as Malaysian band They Will Kill Us All.

When I arrived at Sepang, I encountered kids who look no younger than 12 years wandering around with their parents, which I found pretty cool as many concerts these days are restricted to 18+. Staying true to its all-aged event, specific drinking zones were allocated across the venue and beers couldn’t be taken out of these areas.

The day began with local acts OJ Law and Pastel Lite playing to a fairly quiet venue, with festival-goers still arriving throughout the late afternoon sets of Liyana Fizi and Kyoto Protocol. The mood was mellow, but by the time Northern Irish band Ash took the stage, the crowds had grown. There was a slight technical hitch, but the band went on to play enthusiastically with throwback hits like “Goldfinger” and “Girl From Mars”.

Liyana Fizi at Good Vibes Festival. Photo: Good Vibes Festival.

I was pretty psyched to hear that Modest Mouse would be playing at Good Vibes having quite liked them during my high school days. They did not disappoint by playing crowd favourites such as “Float On”.

Offering an alternative to indie rock, there was the Star Club, an 18+ zone that resembled a jungle gym transformed into a club. There were DJ sets from local favourites like Twilight Actiongirl, while Goldfish (one half of Goldfish & Blink) spun a pumping set of progressive house and trap music late into the night.

One particular zone that stood out was the Silent Discotek. Headphones were given out and music streamed from two DJs on the deck. It was pretty amazing to watch people dance to different streams of music.

Not far off from the Silent Discotek, there was a drool-inducing range of food vendors featuring artisan entrepeneurs such as Potong Artisan Pops, Botak Burger and Cabrera’s Tacos. There was also a fashion zone featuring collections of local designers curated by Tongue In Chic.

The Smashing Pumpkins at Good Vibes Festival. Photo: Good Vibes Festival.

The Smashing Pumpkins were the ultimate crowd puller, grabbing the attention festival-goers from every nook and cranny of the venue when they opened with “Tonight, Tonight”. A massive crowd thronged the Red Stage, many air-guitaring to the band’s staggering performance.

The events ended slightly pass midnight leaving most with a smile on their faces. Long lines could be seen booking cabs via the MyTeksi booth, which made it pretty convenient for those who take public transport to trek back from Sepang.

Overall, the crowd was mixed, some standing, some dancing and even lepaking on the grass enjoying the live music being played. The energy felt at Good Vibes was bit more mellow than the raves I’m used to. However, it was a good change and listening to good live music while chilling at my own pace was a breath of fresh air.