LOOK: This is why Red Ninja Year 8 Fest is the music festival you shouldn’t miss

TJ Zialcita

In today’s day and age, music festivals have served as a melting pot for musicians and music lovers alike. Through these events, new music is constantly discovered, cultivated, and produced. But unlike other festivals that showcase prominent figures in the industry, there’s another place where up and coming artists are welcome with open arms.

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Founded by Nicole Sarmiento and Myke Reyes in 2009, Red Ninja is one of the longest running production groups in Manila. This team has been organizing a number of successful events for the past eight years.

Presently, Red Ninja is owned by Nicole Sarmiento and she is aided by her growing family of interns in handling their production’s gigs and events. Some of their more notable events are Red Ninja Year 7 Fest, Red Ninja Year Ender Fest, Fete de la Musique Rock Stage and Common Ground Music Festival.

This year, they’re bringing a new festival to the table and it’s looking to be quite a feat.


Red Ninja Year 8 Fest is bringing over 15 bands together for one incredible celebration of OPM music at its finest.

We got to sit down with some of the talented bands managed by Red Ninja and who will be performing at the Year 8 Music Festival this coming April, and of course a little Q&A was in order.


What is Red Ninja for you?

“It’s a community. A bunch of people who really care about the music.” – Vin Dancel, Peryodiko

Image uploaded from iOS (5)“Red Ninja gives hope to bedroom musicians and upcoming musicians trying to establish themselves.” April Hernandez, TheSunManager

“Red Ninja is an environment that I want myself to be surrounded by. A bunch of people na gusto lang mag enjoy.” – Icoy Rapadas, Lions and Acrobats

“From an outsider perspective, it’s a family.” – Jensen Gomez, Jensen and the Flips

Image uploaded from iOS (6)“‘Yan yung alam mong pag pumunta ka dun, kahit mag-isa ka, okay lang.” – Dee Cruz, Run Dorothy

What is your best Red Ninja moment?

Image uploaded from iOS (2)“Year 3. Sa Saguijo, 2010. I was still a solo artist back then. First time ko mag Saguijo ever. And Saguijo for me back then was a dream. And nagka totoo ‘yon dahil sa Red Ninja.” – Jensen Gomez, Jensen and the Flips

“Year-ender. We don’t get many people singing to our songs. For the Indie bands to be able to produce physical copies of their songs, it was amazing.” – Vin Dancel, Peryodiko

Why do you like playing for a Red Ninja event?

“Yung environement. Iba siya eh. ‘Di mo kailangan mag impress. Just do your thing. No judgement.” – April Hernandez, TheSunManager

Image uploaded from iOS copy“Yung Red Ninja, pinatugtog nila kami, wala pang may pakialam samin.” – Icoy Rapadas, Lions and Acrobats

“Sobrang laking difference. Sobrang alaga. Every little detail, matutulungan ka nila. They’re not choosing a certain sound pag kumukuha ng banda.” – Paolo Tabuena, Runaway Crimes

Image uploaded from iOS (4)“Sobrang welcoming ng mga tao sa Red Ninja. Sobrang at home ng feeling.” – Dee Cruz, Run Dorothy

What should the audience expect for Year 8 Fest?

“People should expect good music.” – Vin Dancel, Peryodiko

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“The tiny moments like people singing along. There’s a sense of belonging.” – April Hernandez, TheSunManager

“The feeling of just being there, it feels like a community. Like a family.” – Paolo Tabuena, Runaway Crimes

“Walang mawawala sa’yo pag pumunta ka. Pero malaki mawawala sa’yo pag hindi ka pumunta.” – Dee Cruz, Run Dorothy

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“Ako kasi nagbago yung buhay ko sa Red Ninja. It’s actually much better than  thought it was.” – Icoy Rapadas, Lions and Acrobats

Image uploaded from iOS copy 2Up until this night, I’d never even heard of some of the bands that performed for us. But as they each took the mic to perform their original pieces, I was absolutely blown away. Each performer was like a work of art just slowly unfolding before me. Getting to take it all in like that felt like such a privilege.

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Each artist had his or her own unique story to tell. Some of them had day jobs, others were remarkably keeping the balance between playing in a band and working in an advertising agency, while some really made a career of music. What keeps them you ask? I think that can be answered in the words of Nicole Sarmiento, founder and present owner of Red Ninja Production.

To quote Nicole:

“To see people who love music as much as I do, it’s really inspiring.”

Why should you go and see Red Ninja Year 8 Fest then? Well, for one thing it’ll be exploding with amazing talent and great music. For another thing, you get to watch people share their craft with you in a way that can pierce your soul. It sounds cheesy, I know. But it’s also true.


Red Ninja is more than just another event organizer. Their a group of very talented individuals who want to share what their most passionate about to the pvblic. They’re a community. They’re a family. And in this family, everybody is welcome.

Check out their official Facebook event page here for more details!

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