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7107 International Music Festival: Blood sugar festival magik

Spice brothers: Red Hot Chili Peppers will headline the 7107 International Music Festival in Clark.

There would be days like this.

Mike Pio Roda — 7107 co-founder/producer — would be on the phone at 3 or 4 in the morning, talking to the security head of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, jack-ironing out details. Wait, you need to flaunt an exclamation point in there somewhere: the guys from Red Hot Chili Peppers — along with local and other foreign bands — are playing in the Philippines for the first time at the 7107 International Music Festival, which takes place on Feb. 22 and 23, Saturday and Sunday, slated from 12 noon to 12 midnight, at the Global Gateway Logistics City in Clark Field, Pampanga!

Anthony Kiedis, Flea and the rest of the sir psycho sexies are just musicians you hear on records; watch in concert on Blu-rays and DVDs; read about in Uncut, Mojo and Q; and imagine playing in our own neck of the woods with their musical amalgam of rock, funk, punk, psychedelia and other brash, bare-chested genres. The Chili Peppers have remained relevant after all the lineup changes, the hits and misses, the side-winding movements of musical trends. Well, they had a life before fans first saw John Frusciante (who has since departed, twice) strumming that EM7 chord on Under the Bridge via MTV, and they had a life after their induction to the Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall of Fame in 2012 — with George Clinton and Slash in the freaky-styley party in Cleveland Rocks. (Well, the Chili Peppers recently co-headlined Superbowl XLVIII.)

A week from now, you’d get to see Flea in the flesh slap the hell out of that bass on, what, Suck My Kiss? And it’s not just the Chili Peppers doing a full set. A slate of other not-to-missed groups are going to play in the Clark Field of dreams.

Presenting a musical festival in the tradition of Coachella, Glastonbury, Fuji Rock and Summer Sonic (with a spirit of those EDM — electronic dance music — festivals) here in the R.P. was just a dream at first.

“But we realized we could pull it off,” Roda explains. “There’s a lot of land, there’s a thriving music industry — plus the musical atmosphere itself  is enough to make it happen.” Once the organizers got the Red Hot Chili Peppers as headliners, the band became the anchor in getting the other foreign acts.

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“We chose Empire of Sun immediately after. Kendrick was a simple choice. Then Asteroid Galaxy, Natives and Red Jumpsuit Apparatus approached us. With our local bands, we want  them to put them on a global stage. To show that Filipinos can match up with international bands.”

International acts are Red Hot Chili Peppers, Empire of the Sun, Asteroid Galaxy, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Natives, Kendrick Lamar, Kaskade, Kid Ink, Alvaro, Luciana, DJ Riddler, and Reid Stefan.

Homegrown bands are Up Darma Down, Radioactive Sago Project, Pulso, Sponge Cola, The Ringmaster, She’s Only Sixteen, Yolanda Moon, Runmanila, Jensen & The Flips, Maude, Abra & Loonie, DJ B-Cal, DJ Ron Poe, Nix Dam P, Encounters with Yeti, Runway Crimes, Rocksteddy, Cheats, Itchyworms, Musical O, Sleepwalk Circus, Hidden Nikki, Skymarines, Child/Ren of the Pilgrimage, The Charmes, Popular Days, The Sleepyheads, Not Another Boy Band, Wilderness, Taken by Cars, She’s Only Sixteen, Techy Romantics, Keith Bryan Haw, Marc Marasigan, Aryan, Travis Monsod, Katsy Lee, Carlo Atendido, Patrick Po, Jessica Milner, Motherbasss and Skratchmark.

Another person with a blitzkrieg bop of a things-to-do for the festival is 7107’s Tina Herrera.

“It feels like I have to do everything and have to decide on everything (laughs),” shares Herrera, but it is a labor of love for the young executive producer.

“We want it to be a long-running festival and not just focused on one segment, so we opened up the genres — rock, electronic, dance, indie,” she explains, “We want to start the festival culture here in the Philippines — and it’s the right time. We’re setting up the foundation. And, hey, one tweet from the Red Hot Chili Peppers about the Philippines, how gorgeous the beaches are, that’s already promotion for our country. VH1 India is flying winners in for a trek to Pinatubo and, after that, attend the 7107 festival.”

What in tarnation does 7107 mean?

“We wanted to have a name that will last a lifetime,” Herrera points out. “We didn’t want to name it after one city, because in the event we decide to move we will have to build up the festival name again.”

Most of the festival names pertain to cities; 7107 is different. Herrera and Roda explain that the name celebrates the Philippines — all of its glorious 7,107 islands — as a musical country.

“And the name creates a lot of intrigue,” she adds. “‘7107?’ What does that mean? Exactly! (laughs).” 

Roda says, “And we’ve already been approached by other music agents about their bands possibly playing in 2015.”

“Last weekend, we were featured on Billboard,” Herrera concludes. “Something about the Red Hot Chili Peppers playing in a music festival with Radioactive Sago Project and Up Dharma Down. I think it’s the first time Filipino bands have been mentioned on that level.”

So there. Anthony Kiedis singing a track from “Californication” — bare-chested, his back to Mount Arayat, the hearts of Pinoy fans throbbing upon higher ground.

Who knew there’d come a night like that?

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