There are two major holidays in May in Thailand, starting with Labour Day (also known as May Day) on the first of the month. It’s a public holiday to commemorate the workers of the world, but happily it’s celebrated by everyone not working (insert joke here). The next is on May 10th when the people of Thailand are treated to yet another public holiday with the celebration of Visakha Bucha—which commemorates the three major events in the life of Buddha: his birth, his enlightenment, and his death. However, if you’re looking to make May 10th into a party, be aware that alcohol is not sold on this day, as it is a Buddhist holiday. Take note also that the date for Coronation Day, previously observed on May 5th—the day the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej was crowned—has been changed.
The first Italian Festival in Thailand event this month is Tosca X: Omaggio a Giacomo Puccini, an exciting contemporary dance performance by the Artemis Danza/Monica Casadei dance company. The show will take place at the Chulalongkorn University, Music Hall (254 Phaya Thai Rd). Start time is 7pm, and admission is free.
Mexican-style bars and restaurants around Bangkok will be even livelier than normal on Cinco de Mayo (the 5th of May). This raucous annual tradition commemorates the Mexican army’s unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza. And for millions of Mexicans, and friends of Mexico worldwide, that’s more than enough reason enough to make a few tequila toasts and order a second round of margaritas.
The Singha Light Live Series presents Mew, an alternative rock band from Denmark. Now 20 years into their career, the group still brings to their music and performances the same energy they had from day one. These dynamic Danes will be performing live at Voice Space (197 BBD Building Viphavadi Rangsit Rd), and tickets at the door are priced at B1,900.
The newly opened 137 Pillars Suites & Residences Bangkok (59/1, Sukhumvit Soi 39) presents Accademia Italiana: Sfilata di Moda, in which young designers from Accademia Italiana Bangkok—the most famous fashion design school in Thailand—will come together showcasing their designs in a vibrant and colourful fashion show. Admission is free.
Renowned French dance-pop group Yelle is coming to town—their first Thailand appearance—performing at Live RCA Bangkok (23/92-94 RCA Alley). The group enjoys a significant following in many non-French-speaking countries, and is one of the rare French acts to have played at Coachella three times. Showtime is 9pm, and pre-sale tickets are B750 (B900 at the door).
The concert dubbed ‘The Road to Golden Axe Music Festival’ will feature former chart-topper Nelly. This Texas-born American rapper and singer is best known for his hits including “Hot in Here”, “Dilemma”, and “Work It”. He’ll be taking the stage at GMM Live House (8/F, CentralWorld, Rama 1 Rd), and tickets are priced at B1,500, B2,500, and B45,000 (which gets you a table of 5 to 8 persons, with complimentary drinks).
The Bangkok Midnight Marathon 2017 gets underway at the stroke of 12, when racers assembled at the Rama VIII Bridge set off for a night time run through several old town districts. Runs include the full 42 km marathon, a 21 km half-marathon, a 10 km mini-marathon, and a 5 km micro-marathon. Details about the route, and all registration fees, can be found on the website.
Formed back in 2003, in Toronto, Canada, Crystal Castles is the brainchild of songwriter and producer Ethan Kath (it wasn’t until 2006 that he recruited vocalist Alice Glass). Their debut album was released in 2008, and appeared on NME’s Top 100 Greatest Albums of the Decade list (at No. 39). Known for their chaotic live shows and lo-fi melancholic tunes, they will be bringing their unique stagecraft to Live RCA Bangkok (23/92-94 RCA Alley) for a 10pm show. Tickets are B1,190.
For an astounding mix of nu-soul and reggae jazz, be sure to catch the Serena Brancale Jazz Quartet at either one (or both) of their two Bangkok appearances this month. The group’s sound is predominantly soul, funk, and R&B, with a mix of originals in Italian and English—as well as covers by Pink Martini, Joshua Redman, Charles Mingus and more. They will be at the Living Room, the jazz bar at the Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit (250 Sukhumvit Rd), on May 23rd at 9pm, or see them the following evening at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (939 Rama 1 Rd) at 7pm. Admission is free.
Armando Christian Perez, better known to the world as Pitbull, is a musician, fashion icon, and actor, whose career sales have exceeded 5 million albums. His only previous Bangkok performance—at the Sonic Bang music festival in 2013—had the sellout crowd dancing from the first song to the last. This time he’s back with a full show, which takes place at Impact Exhibition Halls 3-4 (Muangthong Thani). Ticket prices range from B2,500 to B3,500, and gates open at 7:30pm.
The Siam Ratchada Auditorium (GF, Fortune Town, New Ratchadapisek Rd) is the place to be for the Bangkok International Piano Festival, this year featuring the Italian contingent of Mario Tonda and Alberto Firrincieli. Start time is 7pm, and tickets can be purchased at the venue.
The 55th annual Bangkok St George’s Society Ball will be held this year at the Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel (2 Charoen Krung Rd, Soi 30). Tickets are B3,500 each and admission includes a sparkling reception at 6:30pm, a gourmet 5-course English dinner (with free flow drinks), a traditional flag-waving sing-a-long with the Royal Thai Army Orchestra, and dancing till 2am. For reservations or more details, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Samsung Galaxy Thailand Championship 2017 race is touted as the most prestige 10K race in Thailand. Participants will run through the heart of Bangkok’s business district, and finish th14 evebe race where it begins—at Suphachalasai Stadium, the oldest national stadium of Thailand (located Bangkok’s Pathum Wan District). Registration info is available on the website.