Behind the Scene: Rod Quinton from Saigon Soundsystem

As the man behind one of Saigon’s best-known live music venues, Cargo Bar/Q4, Rod Quinton is one of the most recognized names on the music scene. Before opening his event space in District 4, he had already made a big name for himself through Saigon Soundsystem.

Originally from Australia, Rod has been in Vietnam for 17 years. A lover of music since childhood, he says it is his personal passion that fuels his desire to bring in top international live acts to Vietnam.

Rod got his first taste of event promotion by bringing in bands to perform for the annual Australia Day celebrations. “After doing that year after year, I got to know the whole set of logistics that goes with events and discovered that I really liked it,” he says

An opportunity then came to Rod through his connection with respected Australian venue, The Hi Fi Bar. He was brought on board to open a new venue under the Hi Fi banner on Saigon’s downtown Dong Khoi street. Although the venue itself was short lived, Saigon Soundsystem became well-established as its promoting arm, going from strength to strength after the bar shut its doors.

The big break for Saigon Soundsystem came with the opportunity to stage Bob Dylan, an event that drew a crowd of almost 10,000. While the show nearly put Saigon Soundsystem in the red, the event catapulted it into the upper-echelon of international music promotion in Saigon.

Soon after, another opportunity came in the form of the sale of a warehouse in Saigon’s District 4. Cargo Bar/Q4 was born and quickly became one of the go-to spots for live music in the city.

The venue hosts events ranging from rock and electronic acts through to hip hop and reggae, with an increasing audience size and an ever growing diversity of acts. Saigon Soundsystem is now collaborating with Loud Minority to bring in some of the most high profile live indie rock acts the city has seen.