I planned on going to the poster exhibit today, but due to extreme slothfulness, I decided to stay indoors instead. You can still go, if you want, it starts at 8pm.
This is where I’ll be tomorrow though! I can’t wait! Here’s a briefer (below) to start with and a survival guide to this awesome party. Note: The party is for free for all!
All you really need to know about Meiday is that it’s a hell of a gig, which features a slew of bands — usually 20 or more — that range from acclaimed and popular (Itchyworms, Sugarfree) to lesser-known but worthy (The Discoball, Twin Lobster). And it is always free. And it is happening again tomorrow night, Feb. 5, Saturday, at Cubao Expo (a.k.a. Cubao X), from 5 p.m. onwards.
Okay, you may want to know more than that. You could look up the very useful “Survival Guide for Meiday Virgins,” which was written by Jansen Musico and came out in the Philippine Star last October (sample tip: “Learn the art of slip and squeeze”). You could also read on, because we talked to the founder and guiding force of this recurring party, the amazing Mei Bastes herself:
What do you do, when you’re not doing Meiday?
I manage my restaurant in Cubao called Kebab X. (Note: This author can attest first-hand to the excellence of their keema, which he has a tendency to consume in ridiculous amounts.) I also freelance-style for music videos and production design for indie films. I also own an eclectic fashion and music store called the Junkie Shop.
When/ Why/ How did you start Meiday?
I started Meiday February of 2008 in Purple Haze Bar, the only Meiday with a door charge. I started it because I wanted to get my mind off a failed relationship at that time. I also had so many band friends and there weren’t decent productions that would stage good gigs. The next ones were more of free parties for friends, then it became bigger when I moved it to Cubao X — featuring the much bigger bands.
What are Meiday’s guiding principles?
Well, it’s basically giving the finger to the pay-to-play productions who force bands to sell tickets. I see to it that the bands’ music is interesting and will appeal to most of my following. Most of all, all of the bands that play on Meiday are (or should be) my friends.
You’ve kept Meiday free in the face of criticisms (from other event organizers and even some artists). Why is it so important that it’s free?
There is nothing like it in Manila, in the Philippines even. Meiday is like a communal effort — the bands play pro-bono, graphic designer friends help out with posters, friends manning the bars, and volunteers who help out in the actual prod. I have kept it free to make it more accessible to everyone who likes music, and for the up-and-coming bands to get the well-deserved exposure.
What are the worst things you’ve had to deal with?
The worst thing is always the after-party damage because I’m always the one responsible, meaning I pay for whatever damage that has been done to the venue.
What, for you, are the best things — or moments — that have resulted because of Meiday?
The bands that I idolized before when I was younger are requesting me to let them play on Meiday! (Laughs). It has become so unbelievably big that I was considered one of the prominent people of the music scene by a local magazine. It’s very flattering.
What makes the Feb. 5 edition so special?
It’s the third anniversary party, marking three long years of hard work to promote local music. Also, the day after Meiday, I’m flying to Berlin for the Berlin International Film Festival, so it’s also a send-off party.
How long will you keep these parties going?
I still have no idea. I just throw Meiday when I feel like it.
Don’t miss the Third Anniversary Party of Meiday this Saturday, 5 p.m. onwards, at Cubao X! Among the 25-plus bands playing are Taken By Cars, Pedicab, Itchyworms, Sugarfree, Outerhope, Corporate Lo-Fi, Ang Bandang Shirley, Ciudad and many more.
Also, in the same venue but on the night before (that’s tonight, people), there will be a Meiday-inspired poster exhibit featuring the work of some of the most interesting (read: slightly damaged in the head) young artists and design teams around: Apol Sta. Maria, JP Cuison, Tof Zapanta, Team Manila, Everywhere We Shoot, Nelz Yumul, and more.
Also also: tonight marks the return of the pop-up shop We Are Triangle (still in Cubao X — I’m just glad I live near there), with a new collection of unique and knee-weakeningly attractive wares such as furniture, pillows, art and art prints, notebooks and books, clothes, bicycles, and et cetera. It will run from February 4 to 5 (4 p.m. onwards on both days), and feature DJ sets by Diego Mapa, Katwo Puertollano, and Mei Bastes herself, among others.
That’s like a hundred-plus reasons to be in Cubao X this weekend. So see you there!
WHO’S GOING TO MEIDAY?! See you!