Park & Jams pushes through today, rain or shine




Rain or shine today, Park & Jams is pushing through.

The producers of the 12-act music gig that takes place in an outdoor venue, McKinley Whisky Park in Taguig City, have long prepared in case of a downpour. They included in the ticketing scheme a raincoat each for all concertgoers. They made instructions to have umbrellas ready for use at all tables and, if it’s raining hard, let the audience get into the venue’s indoor spaces. They also arranged for the stage roof to be big enough to ensure the safety of the musicians, instruments and equipment as the show goes on.


Despite the extra preparations, the people behind Park & Jams believe that McKinley Whisky Park perfectly provides the music festival vibes that millennials and Gen Zers go for. “Parang picnic,” said JB Balaquit, the founder of DocDef Productions, which co-produces the gig with the music and audio marketing agency Homonym. The gig is strictly for people 18 years old and above. Valid ID will be checked upon entrance to the venue.

“Siyempre may (of course there are) tables,” he pointed out, adding that each table comes with an ice bucket. It is for the bottle of Charles and James whisky sold for P750 and good for six persons. Next to the tables, there’s a row of food stalls offering a variety of pulutan and even meals.

“We just want to elevate the local gig experience here in the Philippines,” Balaquit told DAILY TRIBUNE in an interview. “Because pre-pandemic, iba ang ginagawa namin. When we got back after the pandemic, nagulat kami. The landscape of the gig scene, ibang-iba na. Kung ano ang ginagawa namin, hindi na effective.”

The concert organizer and his partners found inspiration while driving around Bonifacio Global City and passed by the McKinley West township. They saw a sprawling property along Lombard Street that turned out to be McKinley Whisky Park, which is owned by the makers of Charles and James whisky and other liquor brands under the Emperador, Inc. holding company.

‘Park & Jams’

Balaquit recalled being reminded of his DocDef Productions’ biggest project, which is the Tagaytay Art Beat held a few years ago at the Museo Orlina. He then told his companions, “Let’s do a gig here.”

That gig is finally happening, after being postponed twice because of bad weather, with 12 acts comprised of bands and solo performers. Show runs from 1 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Then a DJ will play music for those staying for the after-party until 2 a.m.

He then talked about the musical attractions: “We have indie favorites, like Autotelic. Kasama na namin sila 10 years ago pa. We also have Leanne & Naara, which is an award-winning duo. The crowd favorites are Arthur Miguel, Paolo Sandejas, The Ridleys. These are the Gen Z bands na sila talaga ang naghahatak.


“Aside from those acts, we are also featuring those from outside Metro Manila. We have Similar Sky from Bulacan. We have PLAYERTWO from Davao. We have Shades of Native from Bukidnon and Davao. It’s really a music discovery platform. If you’re really new sa eksena, and you want to dive in and educate yourself, this is the best gig. Kasi papakitaan ka namin ng ibat-ibang genre.”

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