Every year during the winter months, the park turns into a concert hall. Every second Sunday the Bangkok Symphony orchestra puts together a potpourri of classical music for the fans, supporters and passer-bys. The people on the lawn in front of the pavilion resemble an open air concert crowd or a 4th of July picnic group with food and drinks, kids and dogs milling around. The spectators are usually a majority of foreigners, but young Thai families also come out at pre-sunset to find a space to lay down their straw mats and enjoy the music.
The event is free. It draws a pretty good crowd and is light enough for the “uninitiated” and intermittently spiced up with a complex piece to keep the classical enthusiasts from wandering off. Usually, I am not crazy about the music program because it is a wild mix of composers, classical tunes, film music, singing and orchestra. The musically attuned find it more confusing than relaxing switching from centuries of music and styles back and forth.
I do love the concept that classical music is offered for free. It is a great way for people who would normally not stop and listen to this type of music or pay for a concert ticket or sit through a three-hour symphony or opera, to get an earful and discover something new. I also like that it is in a public park where everyone has access and the superrich and the less fortunate from down the road mix.
Of course as at every event in Thailand, there are street vendors with food and drinks and even a guy who rents straw mats. If the music gets too loud right in front of the pavilion, one can rent one of the pedalos (paddle boats) and leisurely glide around the small like a swan (incidentally some of the boats look like swans) and enjoy the music from there.
It is an amazing way to end your Sunday afternoon: outdoors with friends and family in the pleasant January temperatures of the “cold” season.