On May 20, Saturday, MCA Music Inc will bring a slew of indie artists to the Mall Of Asia Arena for GetMusic Indie-Go. According to the record label, it is “An advocacy of MCA Music in bringing Filipino Artists together.”

The GMIG roster is as diverse as possible, covering the gamut from r&b to rock to hip-hop and electronica with Autotelic, Milesexperience, SUD, Jensen & The Flips, Reese Lansangan, Gabby Alipe, Somedaydream, Ninno, She’s Only Sixteen, Conscious & The Goodness, and Malaysia’s An Honest Mistake.

Also included are college bands who won an online competition to be part of the event: STLO (UP), Papapeta (UST), The Cohens (ADMU), and solo act Matty Juniosa (DLSU).

GMIG Poster w Band Photos
With GetMusic Indie-Go, MCA Music is pushing for more indie artists on the arena stage

Yes, the ticket prices look intimidating. During the press conference at the MCA Music offices, the artists themselves are all too aware of the immediate question: why pay an apparently princely sum to watch, say, Autotelic compared to a relative pittance at a small bar?

Can Autotelic rock an arena? Josh Villena says they will
Can Autotelic rock an arena? Josh Villena says they will

MCA Music’s Live Events/Senior Manager Cris Hermosisima–a veteran of the late NU107 and its annual Rock Awards– insists, “We (the audience) don’t mind saving– and paying– up to 10, 15 thousand pesos or even more to watch foreign acts. So, why can’t we save up for our local artists as well? And this is only the beginning. These are acts that are worth your money.” In total, there are 15 sets of performances.

All the artists insist that–while tight-lipped about specific “surprise” details– each of them will present sets that are near-impossible to pull off in their “normal” bar gigs. It will allow them to expand their performances both musically and visually. Milesexperience, for one, have always wanted horn and string sections to play with; for GMIG, they will. Reese Lansangan, being a visual artist herself, says she will inject and magnify new ideas for the bigger stage.

Jensen And The Flips performing "Love Child." Photo by Bea Lorenzo.
Jensen And The Flips performing “Love Child.” How will they do it in MOA? Photo by Bea Lorenzo.

They also admit to being used to the intimacy, immediacy, and yes, the comfort zone of compact venues. Translating that intimacy to an arena is a challenge they all welcome and for the audience, it may be interesting as well.

For example, how will Conscious and the Goodness, SUD, and Jensen & The Flips translate some of their respective, well, bedroom-related sensibilities all over the MOA Arena?

The GetMusic Indie-Go line-up. Collaborations may also be in store
The GetMusic Indie-Go main line-up. Collaborations may also be in store

On a poignant note, all the artists are stoked and flattered at the idea of playing a gargantuan venue normally associated with mega-acts.

Hermosisima also adds that initially, the college bands were slated to play in the MOA Arena lobby. The organisation quickly decided the college bands belong inside the arena as well and will have their own stage.

An Creative Team led by Paolo Valenciano was tapped for the GetMusic Indie-Go production. As a driving force behind slick events–including the ongoing Gary V Presents and the upcoming Manila X Festival– and as erstwhile vocalist of the currently-on-hiatus indie rock band Salamin, Valenciano knows both worlds very well. His Team aims to balance the show’s production values with each artists’ musical personality.

How do you plan to make each set look or feel different? For example, how would you treat, say, Reese’s set compared to Conscious And The Goodness’?

Lighting palettes and visual themes are being designed per artist. We’ve studied some of their videos and we basically wanted the audience to feel like they’re watching a music video come to life. Well, thats the goal. I don’t want to give too much away, but we want to make sure that when Conscious steps on stage, you’ll feel like you’re watching the headliner. Same with Reese.

Most of the artists performing are used to playing small, intimate venues. How do you encourage them to think bigger?

I spoke to some of them and mentioned everything had to be bigger. Their body language has to be able to communicate with those seated in upper box. Some are reinforcing their lineup with more musicians. Its very exciting stuff.

Malaysia’s An Honest Mistake is part of GetMusic Indie-Go. No strangers to Filipino acts, they have collaborated with Paranoid City and Julz Savard

What are the easiest and most difficult aspects to a multi-artist arena concert?

Anything with multiple artists is always a challenge. Doesn’t matter how big the venue is. The hardest thing is getting everyone to work together. Meaning everyone coming on time, starting on time, and ending on time. It’s almost impossible.

Did you draw inspiration or ideas from big slick mega-concerts?

We were really careful with the idea of a major concert featuring indie artists. One charm of these performers is their ability to make do with what they have. You can put them in a bar with garbage equipment and they will still shine. Their personalities are so important and if we overdo the lights and the visuals, we might mask some of the real magic. Hopefully, my team will be able to restrain themselves.

Is the Filipino artist worth paying for? MCA Music is betting on it. And so should we.

Check out getmusic Philippines’ INDIE-GO playlist on Spotify and iTunes.

GetMusic Indie-Go is made possible by MCA Music, FOX, MYX, INQ.NET, Philstar, Pulp Magazine, Monster RX 93.1, Home Radio 97.9, Rakista Radio, Business Mirror, JBMusic, Devant, Uber, and BillboardPH.

Tickets are now available at Php4000 (VIP Standing), Php3200 (VIP Seated), Php 2500 (Lower Box), and Php 1000 (Upper Box) at all SM Ticket outlets.

Call +632.470.2222 for inquiries and reservations and follow MCA Music on Facebook for more information.