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Thailand

Guide to S2O Songkran Music Festival (April)

Written by Charlotte

In just a few years S2O has grown to be one the biggest music festivals in the world, with people travelling from all over the globe to experience this monumental music water festival. The magic of S2O lies in its unique concept teamed with unparalleled production, and the fact that it coincides with Songkran, Thailand’s New Year’s celebrations. Songkran is basically a national water fight, wherever you go you will fall victim to someone throwing water at you. For three days you will feel like the party never ends whether its within the compounds of S2O or on the streets of Bangkok. It’s safe to say that there is no festival out there like it and should be at the top of any festival fan’s bucket list! To help you plan your festival adventure here is The Nitty Gritty Guide to S2O Songkran Music Festival!

When did I attend? April 2017

When is the next S2O Songkran Music Festival? 11-13 April 2020

What do you hear at S2O Songkran Music Festival? EDM

Where? Live Park Rama 9 (it’s moved from Show DC Oasis Arena!), Bangkok, Thailand

What’s the local currency? Thai Baht

What’s the local language? Thai

. S2O is based in Bangkok, Thailand and is on its fourth year

. S2O is a three day music festival that coincides with Songkran, the Thai New Year’s Festival, this year falling on the 13th to 15th April 2018

. Songkran is one of Thailand’s most important events and is marked by the throwing of water. Basically we’re talking about a nationwide water fight, expect to have everyone you come across try to throw water on you! You won’t be able to prevent getting wet, so brace yourself, it’s quite something!

. In 2017 S2O welcomed over 30,000 people, making it the biggest water music festival in the world

. S2O is the fastest selling music festival in Thailand, early bird tickets sell out in less than a minute!

Tickets for this mind-blowing party sell out very quickly. It stills holds the record for fastest selling festival in Thailand with the first round of tickets selling out in less than a minute (you barely have time to refresh the page and they’re gone). But luckily tickets are sold in a few rounds so you get a few chances to get one!

This year’s official ticket provider is Event Pop. It’s recommended that you don’t purchase tickets from any other ticketing platform as you never know what sort of complications you may run into in trying to pick up your wristband and enter the event. Also beware of people selling them on the streets at inflated prices, last year prices were going for three times the price they were being sold for online (as much as 15,000THB)!

After you’ve completed your purchase on Event Pop you’ll be sent an order confirmation via email. Hold on to this as you’ll need it if you’re collecting your wristband at the venue.

If you happen to have deleted this email or you can’t locate it then you can refer back to your Event Pop user account. Log in to your account and go to the ‘My Wallet’ section in the menu bar. You’ll be able to find your ticket there!

If you’re locally based you’ll be asked at checkout whether you’d like to pick up your wristband or have it delivered to your home.

If you’re based internationally your only option will be to pick up your wristband at the venue. In both cases if you’re picking them up you’ll need to make sure the order is in your name and that you’ve got with you a piece of ID and a copy of your order confirmation.

If you happen to not be the one who purchased the tickets but you want to collect them then you need to get the person who paid to give you a copy of their ID and of the card they used to process the payment. Please note you need both front and back copies of each, and the payee must sign all copies given to you. You also need the payee to write that they are consenting to releasing their tickets to you. Once you’ve got all that you’ll be able to pick up the tickets as opposed to the payee.

If you need any help purchasing your tickets Event Pop’s amazing Customer Support Team will be able to answers any queries 7 days a week, 10am to 6pm! 

Tickets for S2O are sold in several tiers. Tickets are also divided into one day or three day passeds for each tier. Depending on the ticket tier you select you will benefit from different perks. You can find your tickets HERE.

If you’re an international festival goer arriving into Bangkok then check out this Guide to Arriving in Bangkok! There you will find several options to get you to your destination within the city before moving on to the festival.

There are two BTS lines that run through Bangkok: the Siam Line and the Sukhumvit Line. Both of these lines connect at Siam station which is one of the most central points of the city.

The Sukhumvit Line runs between Bearing (East) and Mo Chit (North West). And the Siam Line runs between National Stadium (West) and Bang Wa (South West).

For a map, stations listings and hours of operation please go HERE.

Aside from the BTS, Bangkok also has one Metro line running through the city, from North to South. You change for the BTS at Sukhumvit MRT Station. Alight at Sukhumvit and make your way up to street level and follow signs to Asok BTS Station. From there you’ll be able to jump on the BTS Sukhumvit Line running between Bearing (East) and Mo Chit (North West). Note that the MRT and BTS are two run independently of each other so you’ll need to buy separate tickets to travel on them.

For more information on how to use the MRT and hours of operation please go HERE.

Using the BTS, the MRT and/or taxis you will be able to access all corners of the city. I’ve been living in Bangkok for a couple of years now and I’ve still not braved the bus route system. If you feel like going on an adventure then all the more power to you, you can let us know about your experience in the comments section! If it’s your first time in Bangkok then I recommend sticking to the easiest methods of travel so you avoid getting lost and possibly missing parts of the festival!

! S2O used to be held at Show DC Oasis Arena but this year it has moved to Live Park Rama 9 !

This new location is a little lost in the middle of nowhere in terms of public transport, the closest station is Ramkhamhaeng Station which is on the Airport Rail Link (ARL) and a little difficult to access depending on where you’re coming from as the ARL doesn’t serve many stations. But worry not as you can easily reach the festival by taxi / car / festival shuttles.

Ramkhamhaeng is the third station on the Airport Rail Link Line (ARL), after Makkasan and before Hua Mak.

If you’re situated closest to an MRT station and wish to travel to this station you will need to connect to ARL at Makkasan. Exit the MRT at Phetchaburi station, go up to street level to access the footbridge to Makkasan station.

If you’re closest to a BTS station you can access the ARL by alighting at Phaya Thai station on the Sukhumvit Line and making your way up to the ARL line.

Depending on where you’re coming from in the city you may even need to use both BTS and MRT to interchange for the ARL. To map your route from your point of departure please use this ROUTE PLANNER.

The organisers of S2O provide free shuttle buses to and from the venue location from a number of locations in the city to make accessing the festival easier for everyone! So if you’re thinking of taking public transport to the festival you will be able to hop on to a free shuttle bus service when you get to either ARL Ramkhamhaeng Station or BTS Ekkamai Station to get you to festival! More details on shuttle buses are usually released closer to the event date.

The shuttle bus schedule is always published a few days before the event, last year’s schedule looked a little like this:

If you’re thinking of getting to S2O by car you’ll be happy to hear that there are 3 parking locations available near the festival. Once you’ve parked your car you’ll be directed to the shuttle bus stop where you’ll be able to get on to one of the free shuttle bus services to the festival, provided by the organisers of S2O.

If you’re worried about driving home after partying you should consider giving the ‘U Drink I Drive’ app a try, a mobile application which enables you to instantly request a driver to your location to drive you and your vehicle home. So if it turns out you’ve partied a little harder than you thought you would then don’t run any risks and trust this app to get you home safely.

More information on the nearest car parks is published a few days before the event, last year’s map looked a little like this:

Don’t be surprised if your meter isn’t set to zero, all meters start 35THB, which will automatically be displayed on the meter when you start your journey.

Taxi drivers in Thailand have a tendency to try and trick passengers into paying hyper-inflated rates for their journeys. I say passengers because they even try it on the locals too! Always ask to have the meter on, if they say no then wave them goodbye and find another driver, you will find one who will take you on meter, don’t give up!

Also don’t be upset if you’re turned down by a few taxi drivers before you find one, there’s no logic to their method, for the most part they’re just lazy and will say no if you’re asking to be taken to a far away destination.

If this doesn’t sound like your kind of fun you can always download the Grab application (Asia’s answer to Uber – Uber no longer operate in Thailand) to your smartphone. You’ll have more control over the price you pay and sometimes even get discounts on your journeys. And you will definitely be sure to never get lost! Not to mention that both applications also offer food delivery services so you’ll be able to both order food and get around the city!

Now here’s my piece on travelling safely to the event. Most Bangkokians leave the city to celebrate Songkran with their families in their hometowns and take their cars with them. And the rest who stay behind are partying and will resort to other ways of getting about the city so they can go completely wild and not have to worry about driving themselves home! So really you don’t have to rely on motorcycle taxis as much during that period. Not to mention the streets are usually quite wet and slippery, I’ve even had people throw water at me from the side of the road whilst driving my scooter during Songkran so best to avoid two wheeled transportation during this time.

There are literally thousands of accommodation options in Bangkok, ranging for hostels to five star hotels, there’s something to suit every budget. But here’s my recommendation: stay close to a BTS station! Sure there isn’t a BTS station near the venue but you’ll definitely be able to find a taxi to get there and in the meantime being close to BTS station means you’ll be able to go around the city and do your sightseeing without needing to worry about traffic.

However, if you’re seriously only there to party then by all means I would suggest staying in accommodation that is relatively close to the venue.

Why not give Booking.com or Airbnb a try to find accommodation that is best suited to your travel needs? 

S2O is composed of one main stage so chances are you’re not going to get lost at this festival! General Admission are at the front and anything above that is located at the back and on the sides on elevated platforms. If you’re in GA then you’re right in the thick of it with water coming at your from all directions, it’s pretty spectacular and it’s definitely the core of the event despite all the fancy extras you get with VIP tickets. Expect giant water guns, water shoots, water sprays…but only in GA! Even if you’ve got a VIP ticket I strongly recommend you take a trip down to GA or you’ll be missing out on the most impressive part of the festival. It’s not quite the same just watching people get soaked, you’ll definitely be feeling like you’re missing out!

The venue is absolutely massive which means that you’ll never feel like the site is too packed, there’s enough space for everyone to party! Just make sure you choose a meeting point with your friends just in case some of you get lost during the rave. You won’t want to take out your phone in the middle of the crowd and risk it getting wet!

Every year S2O manages to bring together a pretty exclusive line of some of the world’s biggest Electronic Dance Music artists. I say exclusive because for the most part these DJs are making their debut in Thailand so you’ll be witnessing their first appearances at one of Bangkok’s wildest and most reputable festivals, what could be better than that?

Headliners this year include: Fatboy SlimTiëstoSteve Aoki, Bassjackers, 3LAU1788-L and more! Keep an eye out on their Facebook page for more announcements!

This festival is unbelievable, it’s feels almost surreal to be part of the experience. You bear witness to some of the finest festival production to ever make take place in Thailand. With water being thrown and sprayed on festival goers at completely randoms moments during the festival you never know what to expect and are kept yearning for more lights, music and water throughout.

Because the festival is hosted during the Thai New Year the festival goers are particularly hyped up and enthusiastic. The Thais are real party goers and are renowned for being extremely friendly and welcoming so you will feel right at home at this festival. If you’re a foreigner attending a festival in Thailand you’ll no doubt be offered drinks, be asked to join in a few selfies during the festival and you will probably wake up with a bunch of new Facebook friends you don’t remember meeting!

Overall everyone is very relaxed at this festival and there just to have a really good time. I mean water is being thrown around and no one is complaining about it, everyone is absolutely revelling in it. People normally complain about rain but at this festival we were all screaming for more, it’s absolutely brilliant.  

People also get exceptionally creative with their outfits for this festival, expect to see some really interesting waterproof outfits. S2O festival goers really go for it each year, you won’t be disappointed by the quality of the ambience at this insane water festival, it will be one of the best three days you have ever had.

This festival always manages to live up to even the fussiest of foodies’ expectations! In Thailand festival goers consider food and drink to be one of the most important parts of the festival. The Thais are real food enthusiasts so you’re basically guaranteed to have great food at most festivals and always at affordable prices. Not to mention that queuing and purchasing was a painless experience at this festival. There were more than enough bars to cater for the number of people at the festival, no doubt it will be the same again this year! And the RFID system (also operated by Event Pop) was absolutely seamless, making topping up and paying for purchases a completely painless experience for festival goers! 

You just know it’s going to be good when previous years involved a food and drink lineup of this magnitude, feast your eyes on this:

This festival is definitely one of the best value for money festivals available in Thailand. S2O organisers overdeliver from year to year with some stellar names in the line up; their production is absolutely phenomenal; the organisational structures put in place to ensure successful pre and post-festival transits are seamless; there is an incredible variety of amenities on site and remarkable measures taken to ensure the wellbeing and comfort of all festival goers…and all this for a very reasonable price tag with Early Bird 3 Day GA tickets going for only 3,400THB.

Not to mention that if you’re visiting Bangkok then your additional travel expenses on top of the price of the ticket aren’t going to be too expensive either. Bangkok is one of the most affordable cities to come to for a festival, particularly if you book your trip early. Like I mentioned above Songkran is one of the busiest times of year for Thailand so make sure you book everything in advance or else you will be paying above average prices for everything! Overall if you’re mindful of how and when you book your festival trip then you leave with memories to last a lifetime for a very modest price tag!

Waterproof EVERYTHING: Unless you want to drown the memories you make during the festival I strongly recommend you buy a plastic pouch to keep your personal items in. And not just at the festival but during your entire stay in Thailand over Songkran. You should be able to locate these at most 7-11s during the Songkran period in Thailand and/or outside the venue. These pouches are great because you can still use your touchscreen phone through the plastic! Alternatively a conventional ziplock bag, but don’t think that a plastic bag will suffice! I’m not joking when I say you won’t be able to escape the wetness. Keep everything under wraps!

Ear Plugs: you’ll need to keep your ears protected! Long or repeated exposure to loud sounds can cause longterm damage to your ear drums, don’t risk ruining your hearing, think of all the festivals you have yet to explore!

Goggles: over recent years these have become extremely attractive to Songkran-goers. They’ll keep the water out of your eyes, this is important for those of you who have sensitive eyes!

Sim Card: there’s no wifi available at the venue so if you’re looking to stay connected during the event you should try to buy a Thai sim card before arriving at the venue. For convenience if you’re flying into Bangkok I would recommend buying one in the arrivals hall. Please note however that they’re more expensive at the airport (about three times more expensive). If you’d rather opt for the cheaper option then you’ll need to visit a local service provider in one of the big shopping malls. I would recommend getting an AIS sim card as their customer service speak very good English so you will be able to get what you want!

Printed Ticket and ID: you will need to arm yourself with both of these to be able to enter the arena, so make you sure you don’t forget either or you’ll be missing out!

Cash: just to be on the safe side bring cash to the event! You don’t want to left stranded at the event with no money!

Don’t remove your wristband! if you’re doing more than one day at S2O please make sure you don’t remove your wristband and you don’t damage the RFID tag, you may be denied entry.

No Re-Entry! Re-entry is not permitted! So for example if you exit early on the first day you will not be allowed to return until the second day! 

Portable Charger: this festival is going to be packed full of moments you’ll want to video or photograph so it’s best to come prepared! Don’t miss any of your favourite moments because your phone is out of juice!

Stay Hydrated! drink plenty of water! (Getting water thrown at you doesn’t count!) You’re going to be going hard for hours at a time and you won’t necessarily feel like leaving the crowd to get some more water so stock up before finding a good spot in the crowd.

Agree on a Meeting Spot: a lot of people will be attending this festival so set a meeting point before going to any stages so you can easily find each other at the end of the festival should anyone go missing from the group and they’re unreachable during the festival!

I mean if that didn’t convince you that you should be at S2O Songkran Music Festival then I don’t know what will! And if you’re already a fan of this incredible festival then make sure you check out S2O Japan Songkran Music Festival in August 2018 and later in the year think about going to TBC – The Bangkok Countdown. Make sure you check out S2O Festival’s official Facebook page @s2ofestival for more information and announcements!

Want to share your experience of S2O Songkran Music Festival or know any other festival hacks for this festival that I missed out? Share your thoughts in the comment section! 
Don’t be shy, share this post with your festival crew!

About the author

Charlotte

My mission lies in acting as your virtual festival tour guide and relieving you of all the hard work that goes into planning for a festival so you can focus on having fun and making the most of your music festival experiences!

35 Comments

      • Charlotte, first search for information for my first visit to S20 and I find this.

        That is how you do it!! 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

        Comprehensive and helpful beyond belief. Well done and thanks.

        • Hi James, thank you for the feedback and the kind words! Is this your first time coming to Bangkok or just first time to S2O? It’s a fantastic festival, you’ll no doubt have a fantastic time! Don’t forget to share this guide with your festival crew 😉

          • Hi Charlotte, I’m a regular visitor. Was in Bkk recently for Maroon 5.

            I’ve already shared it ☺️🙏🏻

            Can’t wait! Robin Schultz 🤟🏼

          • Nice! Unfortunately wasn’t here for Maroon 5, it looked incredible! Where are you travelling from ? 🙂

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    • Hi Eloisa! I designed it myself but I had someone build the website for me. So I had the ideas but don’t know enough about building websites to do it on my own so I got some help!

    • Hi Michal! Thank you for the nice words! Experience and knowledge which has come from attending almost 100 festivals in just a couple of years! You learn to spot the differences and the highlights for each one, it’s pretty cool to be able to compare them to one another.

  • Hello,
    What is the price for an alkoholic Drink there?
    Does anybody need a ticket for the Saturday? One of my friends just told me he cannot participate and the ticket refund conditions are impossible.

    • Hi Anna! An alcoholic drink is usually between 150THB and 300THB, depending on what you get. They usually have beer bucket deals which are good value for money and great for sharing with friends!
      You might be able to find someone who wants the ticket at the door on the day of the event. Or you can message to ask Event Pop what your options are, they’re super helpful 🙂

  • Your positions continually have got a lot of really up to date info. Where do you come up with this? Just saying you are very resourceful. Thanks again

    • We attend all the festivals we write about, but unfortunately, we can’t attend every festival again each year so then we rely on suggestions and information from other festival goers if our information isn’t valid anymore. We love to hear from you guys, if you’ve got any suggestions or updates for us let us know! Thank you Izmir!

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