Next month, from July 16-19, a Thai homegrown music festival will be hitting the stages of Croatia for a trance musical experience that found its beginnings in Phuket and Pattaya with husband and wife couple Srangkun “Lonskii” Sirisinha and Katie Sirisinha. BK speaks with the two on what the future of this festival holds for Thailand's music scene. 
First of all, tell us about how both of you came to start Unkoncious. 
Lon: So back in 2010, we had our first event called King of Club. That was back in Melbourne and then we moved back in 2012. We hosted Transmission Festival Asia in 2017. And then I was thinking about hosting my own international trance music Festival and that's how we came up with Unkoncious. 
Katie: It really kind of grew from having done a lot of different festivals and working with other promoters and realizing, the creative challenges and stuff that you couldn't really do management-wise. And then we decided, 'Why don't we just try doing our own homegrown thing and kind of see how we go with that?' 
Can you tell our readers why it is so important to have a Thai music festival getting international recognition? 
Katie: As you can see with the Thai scene, there's actually a huge number of music festivals just in Thailand by itself. I think that a lot of people recognize the potential of Thailand as a travel destination and a destination for music festivals. So you tend to see a lot of people trying to not only create music festivals in Thailand, but also to bring international branded events to Thailand as well. When anyone brings it over to Thailand, the goal is to target the entire region, not just specifically Thai people. For us, Unkoncious is actually the first ever Asian and Thai music festival to go specifically to Europe. Specifically Europe and Croatia, Unkoncious is the first Thai brand ever to expand [there]. 
Photo: Unkoncious in Pattaya / Unkoncious
What is it that makes Unkoncious special? What sets it apart from other music festivals? 
Katie: Being its own genre, it carves its own kind of target market. There's a certain set of listeners that listen to Unkoncious and it's very different from the type of people that listen to EDM. Unkoncious almost feels a little bit like an underdog in a way. You'd be surprised at the huge number of Western or foreign attendees. They may or may have not attended Unkoncious, but they are aware of the branding or aware of the actual project itself. But very, very few people actually know where it comes from or who's behind it or its beginnings or how it came about. So surprisingly, for us, it's become like a bucket list event for people in this genre. We started this in 2018 and since then, we've had a really big global recognition within our niche market. When you think of certain festivals, let's say EDC and Tomorrowland, our name Unkoncious is up there with all the other big ones but in our own category. We've managed to wiggle our way up to the top, but there's so much room for us to grow.
Well, 2018 was a long time ago for the first show in Phuket, what has changed with Unkoncious since?
Lon: So 2018, 2019, 2020 we were in Phuket at Paradise Beach, and when the pandemic hit, the venue sort of shut down and then we had to move to Alexa Beach (Pattaya) in 2023 and 24. But for next year, we are thinking of moving back to Phuket because when we announce it seems like the foreigners prefer to hear the word Phuket rather than like Chonburi or Pattaya. Alexa Beach is a beautiful venue. There's a pool next to the beach. People stay in the pool all day, all night.
Katie:  I just wanted to add that over the years, we've tried to add a lot more experience parties. So when we first started it was just a three day event, and in the last year, we've progressed to like a six day thing. So it's like a massive, crazy party. And we've incorporated different venues and different types of music under the genre to try and cater to different people that enjoy different types of trance. We've added that in, and it's created one Unkoncious crazy party. 
Photo: Unkoncious at Zrce Beach / Unkoncious
Looking at the lineup for Croatia, what does the success of Unkoncious mean for local artists and music promoters in Bangkok and Thailand internationally? 
Katie: Well, the change that we've made actually with Unkoncious Croatia this year is we've targeted a lot more local and regional promoters that are actually from Europe as opposed to Asia. Traditionally, whenever we do an event in Asia, we will try to promote and give more Asian artists a platform for them to promote their songs or to even perform. So, every year we always have an array of artists and DJs and producers that are debuting on our stages or at our pre-parties or boat parties. We give them that support and at the same time they want to support our festival. But with Croatia, it's the first time for us to reach our networks even further and contact other producers and artists in Croatia and Germany and Switzerland and everywhere regionally. We're saying, 'Hey, we're gonna be having an event, would you like to come and perform with us?' This year, we have our main festival, which will be from 10pm until 6am, but we also have a pre-party—the same venue at the same stage, same everything—and it's gonna be four hours each day where we showcase regional talent, and it's free entry. So anyone can come, you don't even need to have festival tickets. 
So, it's Phuket, Chonburi, Croatia. Where, where do you think you might be heading next? 
Lon: We have Road to Unkoncious. It would be like a smaller scale trance show that promoters host. Last year we had Road to Unkoncious in Taipei and then we hosted Road to Unkoncious in Shenzhen, China. And we are doing smaller parties as well and maybe in the future we might be doing one in Vietnam or Myanmar or Singapore, maybe Melbourne as well. 
Thailand, in particular Pattaya, has had some drug and health problems at festivals in recent years, a lot of them drug related. How does Unkoncious keep concertgoers safe?
Katie: I think that's a practice that we all have to take regardless. I think a lot of people that come to Unkoncious just wanna wanna have a good time, right? I think it's important to be vigilant and also to stay up to the international standard of how to take care of your guests— whether it's providing paramedics or exit points or lifeguards on duty and things like that. So it's very important for us to follow the proper standard festival rules and regulations.And also try to always inform people and always have a line of constant communication and let them know that they're able to reach you quite easily.
Lon: For me, I think our crowd is like 90% overseas, and these people know the drug laws in Thailand are quite tough. Compared to other festivals in Thailand, I think locals are able to get their hands on the stuff more. So I think with our festival we have less of this issue. 
Anything else you'd like to let our readers know about your upcoming events?
Lon: Next year in Thailand, it will most likely be in Phuket, maybe in the first or second weekend of February—but not confirmed yet. I’m also working on a new project called In a Coma, which is a techno brand. I branched it out, one for trance, one for techno. And this is more like a club show. We started in March and we had our event in Bangkok, and then in Phuket and then in Chiang Mai at Liquid Room.