What’s going on #EIFamily! I hope you’ve all been having a fantastic year. As the Festival Director for Electric Island Festival, it’s been a pretty exciting year for myself and the entire EIF team based in Los Angeles, Guam and Saipan.

Why has this year been so exciting?Well to start, 2017 marks the 5 year anniversary of Electric Island Festival.  As someone who has been involved with the creation of EIF from the very beginning it’s been truly inspirational to see EIF grow as a magnet to attract music lovers from all over the world including Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and the U.S. mainland. It’s been even more inspirational; to see people make the annual trip back home to (or between) the Mariana islands, just so that they can attend EIF back home. All the support from our #EIFamily have put the Mariana Islands on the map as not only a destination for world class electronic music in paradise, but also a place to reconnect with friends and family.

I reference the Mariana Islands in this post, and not just Guam, because something really special happened this past weekend (April 29th, 2017). As many of you probably have seen from our Snaps and IG Story (@eifestival) we just officially kicked off the EIF 2017 season with our VERY FIRST EIF Saipan.

Welcome to the #EIFamily Saipan!

And as you can also tell from all of our social feeds, this event was massive success. The energy, the vibe and of course, the crowd, made this by far one of the best received EIF events to date.

Saipan: I think you’re ready for Electronic Music and we’re going to bring a lot more of it to you in the future, so please stay tuned.

I’ve made the 16+ hour flight out from Los Angeles to Guam and Saipan over 10 times over the past 5 years and that gives me a lot of time to think and reflect about EIF and what it means to me. So on this trip back to Los Angeles, one thought stands out to me in particular about this year’s EIF events: Gratitude.

Some of you have seen the motto “Count Your Blessings” as a theme across EIF. We decided to use this as our theme this year because this has become a central guiding point for the EIF team as we work towards bringing 6 different events on Guam and Saipan from April 2017 – December 2017.

So why Count Your Blessings?

We know that everyone has an amazing time at our events, but just like us at the EIF team, we hope that when the party ends, that you you always remember to count your blessings so that every day becomes a never ending party.

We realize it’s really easy to take what you have for granted. And sometimes when we get upset, sad, stressed our anxious, it’s because we’re really not counting our blessings. For those of you who live on one of the Mariana Islands, I see a lot of posts on social media saying that you’re bored. Or that you’re frustrated because the internet sucks. Or there aren’t enough food, shopping, etc. options.

From an outsider’s point of view, all of your “complaints” on social media are simply you not counting your blessings. All of you live in paradise that people all around the world PAY to get to! You live on islands that have some of the friendliest, most welcoming, family oriented people in the world! You have amazing food that is a melting pot of Chamorro, Korea, Japanese, Chinese and many other cultures! You all have it made and I want to remember that every time you feel down about the beautiful islands that you live on, to remember to Count Your Blessings!

We (your EIF team) would be hypocrites for not taking our own advice and I also wanted to make sure that our EIF team also remembers to Count OUR (own) Blessings. You see, throwing a music festival is hard work. There’s financial risk involved. It requires running on very little sleep. There’s a lot of risk in general involved and getting upset, sad, stressed or anxious all come with the territory with being a festival promoter and producer. And sometimes when you start thinking about why throwing a music festival can be so hard, you start to take for granted why you started doing this thing in the first place: to create awesome experiences for our fans.

When you realize you have fans that would fly from the US mainland every year to come back for EIF that gives you motivation. When you realize you have fans that would book out an entire airplane to fly from Guam to Saipan to support EIF, that gives you motivation to work through the stress and anxiety. I could give you endless stories like these that I’ve heard meeting everyone in the Marianas, but you get the picture.

And I want to paint this picture of gratitude and counting our blessings for all of you because our goal this year is to remind ourselves (the ENTIRE EIF Family including us, the festival Promoters and Producers) that we are all truly blessed. Blessed to have amazing islands which you call home. Blessed to have amazing friends and family. Blessed to have amazing EIF supporters. You’ll see this reflected in everything we do. From our banners and posters, to our activities, games and giveaways, we’ve got a lot in store for you to show our gratitude.

So as we kick off our 5th EIF season I just wanted to say on behalf of our entire EIF team a big Thank You for all of your support over the years. We have some really special stuff in store for you in #EIFYear5.

I know this has turned into somewhat of a long post, but after spending a week on Saipan, helping to plan our very first event there, I wanted to give a shoutout to some folks that I feel truly blessed to have met and have around me:

To the People of Saipan: You are all amazing and I truly thank each and every one of you for taking a chance and coming out to support our very first EIF event there. I know there was some hesitation about how people would receive Electronic Music, but I think I can wholeheartedly say that you dig the music! So thank you Saipan for taking a chance on us and spending your hard earned money to come out and party with us. Please follow your local DJs Big Ken Camacho and Mike Benavente, they’ll be the ones pushing this movement forward and are a key reason why we brought EIF to Saipan! Support LOCAL!!!

To Our Partners on Saipan: TRIBE MARIANAS, SAFEHOUSE, Rob, Furbz, TJ, Ray, from the bottom of my heart, thank you guys for all of your support. Our EIF strategy has always been to build awesome partnerships with like minded people and I’m so happy that you guys took a chance on us. Thank you for all your hard work, functioning on no sleep and for taking care of all of our DJs and staff to show them everything that Saipan has to offer. It’s safe to say that your guys’ hospitality and just you guys being you has put Saipan on the map as a world class destination for Electronic Music lovers.

To Our Brand Ambassadors on Saipan: Shae, Kolfred, Ged, Kai, Brent, Julian and to all the other KOLs and Brand Ambassadors, WOW. I have been in event promotions for over a decade now and I have to say that I’ve never met a more enthusiastic, genuine and hard-working promotion team. You are the epitome of genuine enthusiasm and I am so happy that I got to meet you all while I was on Saipan. Thank you for helping us make HISTORY on Saipan!

To Our Sponsors: A very warm thank you to all of our sponsors that made this event happen. I especially have MVA to thank in this area as you were the very sponsors who believed in us nearly 8 months ago when I first approached you about bringing EIF to Saipan. Thank you for believing in us and thank you for doing all that you do to help make Saipan a premier destination of choice for visitors from throughout the world, while also providing more events to improve the quality of life for people on Saipan. I also wanted to give a huge thank you to Budweiser, Bacardi, Fiesta Resort and Spa, IP&E Shell, Docomo Pacific, Eventbrite, AK Saipan, Tribe Marianas and Power 99. And last, but certainly not least, you remember all those visuals, lighting and sound? That’s all thanks to Dave from Dave Electronics. So thanks Dave for helping us bring a world class production to Saipan.

To All the Guamies Who Flew Out: I was not lying when I told people that a huge group of people from Guam would be flying out to support EIF’s very first event on Saipan. Thanks to all of you guys and girls who flew out and represented Guam and brought the energy and vibe throughout the entire week. I could feel, hear and see you guys throughout the entire week and it’s been amazing to see you guys build unity between Saipan and Guam through EIF.

To My EIF Staff: You’re all amazing and I have said this too many times over the weekend: We couldn’t have done this without you. From our birthday boy Ben to one of our newest member Jenivee and to all of our new staff on Saipan, its been an honor working with all of you. To our entire Los Angeles team, Jared, Tommy K, Tommy, S and Jia thanks for allowing us to have a team that runs 24/7. I hope that you’ve gotten as much enjoyment as I have in bringing the EIF experience to a new place. And last, but certainly not least I have to thank my right and left hands Art and OJ for making this whole damn thing run. You guys are the future of EIF and I can’t see what you have in store for it.

If you haven’t done so already, make sure you get your tickets for all of our upcoming events at www.electricislandfestival.com.

I’ll see you on the dance floor!

Andrew Hong
EIF Festival Director
Partner, 6AM Group

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