Chiang Mai’s Mr. Festival

By | Wed 23 Nov 2022

Jai Thep Festival, which ran for five years before the pandemic, has put Chiang Mai on the Asian festival map and if you haven’t been, make sure you keep your ears open just in case they decide to do another Jai Thep in the near future…fingers crossed. 

So, seeing as we are still in the post-pandemic doldrums, Citylife’s editor Pim Kemasingki thought it would be fun to sit down with one of the founders of Jai Thep Festival Tom Fannypinchin Clark, to discuss all things festival…as well as to pester him into putting one on again soon.

Pim and Tom chat about his unlikely journey to fabulous festival guru which started off when he was born near festival-central – Glastonbury, England. Following a lucrative career selling calendars – yes, muscly men, cute puppies and everything in between – Tom moved to Thailand and now helps his wife run an English teaching online empire when he isn’t planning yet another major shin-dig.

Jai Thep Festival, described as Music, Art and Magic, is on hold for now, but we talk about the upcoming Thai High Convention (THC) which Tom will be organising on 10th and 11th December at Cannabis Café in the old city. Expecting a crowd of up to 1000 and featuring music, workshops, activities, food, drinks and of course cannabis, this event promises to be a celebration of 2022’s decriminalisation of marijuana. 

Tom chats about how he came to organise such massive festivals, giving us some insight into the Herculean efforts needed by so many to bring it all together successfully. He then goes on to talk about his passion for marijuana and what future ideas he has for his own role in the industry as well as his hopes as to how it will help reshape the Thai tourism industry. 

Tom is great fun to watch and listen to and you will have a good laugh with the pair as they discuss the return of Chiang Mai’s party scene, the rise of the ‘Festival City’ future of Chiang Mai, Tom’s many grand plans and his fascination with the budding world of cannabis.