On Saturday, May 24, the U.S. Embassy Hanoi and CAMA Vietnam organized the second annual ASEAN music festival with live music, performances, food and beverage to be enjoyed throughout the day and night, all set in a beautiful outdoor setting in the heart of Hanoi: the American Club. ASEAN Music Fest returned after its huge inaugural success of last year, this time as ASEAN PRIDE > Celebrating Diversity.
The day featured bands from the ASEAN region as well as art and community groups in and around Hanoi. With confirmed acts such as Protocol Afro (Indonesia), Big Bag (Myanmar), the Pinholes (Singapore) and Stylish Nonsense (Thailand), as well as many Vietnamese acts, this event was a one-of-a-kind opportunity to enjoy ASEAN Pride and youth culture in Vietnam. The festival also featured a creative arts market run by the Hanoi Flea Market, and a section for artists.
As well as promoting the cultural vibrancy of nations in South East Asia, the festival also aimed to raise ASEAN PRIDE awareness. The United States is dedicated to eliminating barriers to equality, ending discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and engaging lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities. The United States is committed to working towards creating the brightest future for individuals and a vision which includes equality for the LGBT community. Secretary of State John Kerry maintains promoting LGBT issues abroad is “at the very heart” of U.S. efforts. This is important because it is an affirmation of fundamental freedoms—people taking pride in who they are, no matter their sexual orientation or gender identity.