gCircuit’s Songkran party for this year will be on fire at new party location EMSPHERE, hints founders

We spoke to the creative minds behind Asia’s biggest gay extravaganza about their accomplishments, the new venue, and the concept for this year’s much awaited Songkran party.

Time Out Bangkok in partnership with gCircuit
gCircuit Songkran
Photographer: Tanisorn Vongsoonton / gCircuit founders Sumet “Oui" Srimuang and Tom Tan

Every April, fun-loving holidaymakers flock to Thailand to get soaking wet—and wild—during Songkran Water Festival, also known as the Thai New Year. Among several activities, one of the most anticipated event is the one hosted by party organizer gCircuit. We’re talking about gCircuit Songkran, which is currently regarded as Asia’s biggest gay-focused—and definitely the wildest—circuit party extravaganza.

gCircuit Songkran

Providing a safe space where everyone can be unapologetically themselves, gCircuit’s Songkran bash is always characterized by phenomenal productions, crazy themes, spellbinding visuals, spectacular performances, sizzling beats, and loads of surprises. 

gCircuit Songkran
gCircuit Songkran

This year, the party series will return from April 12 to 15 with the theme “SHANGAYLA: World of Fantasy,” promising over-the-top features and productions, just like it has always delivered—across four evening parties and two pool parties.  

To make things even more exciting, gCircuit’s Songkran parties will be held at a spanking new location at the UOB Live Hall at the new EMSPHERE in Phrom Phong. The happening lifestyle destination will play host to four all-night, blow-out parties, with each night following a different theme: Anime Planet, Ever After, House of Dragon, and Medieval Gods. In between, two thrilling pool parties, Mega Tropicana for hot bears and Tropicana for hunky boys, will be heating up Tribe Sky Beach Club.

gCircuit Songkran
Photographer: Tanisorn VongsoontongCircuit founders Sumet “Oui" Srimuang and Tom Tan

We sat down to chat with Sumet “Oui” Srimuang and Tom Tan, the couple behind this globally acclaimed Songkran party. 

Can you please remind us how you established gCircuit? 

Tom: The beginning of gCircuit was connected to our love story. During the summer holiday, when I was a freshman at NYU, my friends and I made a trip to Thailand. I met Oui on the last night of my trip and it was love at first sight. Not long after, he moved to New York to live with me. We liked to explore the city together. At that time, there were two very famous clubs called The Roxy and Limelight, which usually hosted gay nights every Saturday and Sunday. The productions gave us goosebumps! We felt like it was created deliberately for gay people. And we had never seen any events like that.

So when we came back to Thailand, we thought, why not do a gay party with amazing production in an amazing venue like in New York?  And that instantly led to the next question: Which time of the year is the best period to put on this party?.  It was very clear to me that it had to be Songkran because I wanted this party to be a local Thai brand. That was how it all began and now our party is widely recognized around the world. 

As gCircuit enters its 18th year, what can you say you are most proud of?

Tom: One thing that we’re very proud of is how we are able to push this local Thai gay party, which we created from scratch with our own hands, to the global stage and attract many foreigners, especially from western countries, every Songkran. So, I think what we have done is quite amazing.

Oui: A Thai celebrity once told us that gCircuit can be considered a real soft power. Seventeen years ago, Songkran was an off-peak period for Bangkok but everything’s changed ever since we started the party. The demand and rates of hotel rooms in Bangkok became higher. And during their trip, our partygoers splash out on everything. That makes for increased revenue for various businesses in the city. We’re proud that our party can partly help boost the growth of our country’s economy.

gCircuit Songkran
Photographer: Tanisorn Vongsoonton /gCircuit founder Sumet “Oui" Srimuang

What has changed since you first launched?

Oui: Last year’s party was our first event after a three-year hiatus. We saw more participants in their 20s having more confidence in their body. They didn’t care anymore about whether they were brawny enough to join a gCircuit party. They just came and had fun with their friends. 

Tom: I feel like today’s youth are very confident with how they look, how they dress and who they are. And that’s a good thing because we want our event to be inclusive for everyone. Our participants must be welcomed as who they are, not who they think they should be to fit in with the event. 

Oui: And that’s why we’re seeing an increased number of lesbian couples, and straight men and women as well. They feel more comfortable to join their gay friends in our party.

gCircuit Songkran
Photographer: Tanisorn Vongsoonton /gCircuit founders Tom Tan

What are the key factors that contributed to gCircuit’s success?

Tom: I always wondered why this subculture has existed for so many years and is still so popular, even among today’s young generation. Then I realized that, even though some countries legalize gay marriage or support gay rights, their rights are being taken away at the same time, even in the USA. The progress of the LGBTQ+ movement has never been linear. So people in this era, no matter what generation they are, always treasure a community where they feel safe, where they can unleash their true selves and feel happy. gCircuit has always offered that safe space, which is why our event has lasted so long. 

Also, other than having a strong team with the same vision, we are determined to stay true to our core values. I keep telling myself that we put on gCircuit parties every year to give everyone a space where they can be safe and be truly themselves. But to make them happy with what we do, we have to push ourselves to try out new things. I’m never happy to repeat the same theme every year. And I will not follow the popular trend, but I will give our partygoers what I’ve never done before and what I think would go well with the space and the vibe each year. 

Is this why you’re moving to a new location this year?

Tom: We met Khun Supaluck Umpujh (Chairwoman of The Mall Group, EM District and Siam Paragon Retail), the chairperson of Emsphere, at our party last year. She introduced us to UOB LIVE hall. She is really welcoming and very LGBTQ-supportive. We always strive for change and we think this could be a good opportunity for our party. So, that’s why we said “yes”. 

gCircuit Songkran
Photographer: Tanisorn Vongsoonton /gCircuit founders Sumet “Oui" Srimuang and Tom Tan

What is the inspiration for this year’s main theme, “SHANGAYLA: World of Fantasy”, and what should we expect at the party?

Tom: SHANGAYLA comes from the word “Shangri-La”, which refers to a world where everything is perfect. So, I played with this term and translated it into a world of fantasy. Every night of the four-day event is individually themed after different elements from my favorite fantasy stories. The first night is “Anime Planet”, based on beloved anime series from my childhood. “Ever After” features all of the fairy tale staples. The theme “House of Dragon” on the third night is inspired by my favorite series, Game of Thrones. And we wrap up this year’s event with the fantasy realm of “Medieval Gods”. 

Oui: And at this new venue, revelers cannot predict what journey they will embark on. They will be hyped up from the moment they enter and will get surprised by different elements in the party every 15 minutes! 

Tom: It’s not a new experience only for our participants but also for us. We’re putting all our effort into this year's parties. We’re really excited and hope that everyone will be happy with what we present. We guarantee that this year will definitely be better than last year’s event. 

Oui: This aligns with our motto “We must aim to outperform what we've achieved in the previous year.”  

Advance tickets for this year’s gCircuit party are now on sale now on Check out all updates from the organizers on

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