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Preview: Singapore Night Festival 2016

Singapore Night Festival 2016

Singapore Night Festival returns once again this year to take over Bras Basah! Expertly manipulating light and drawing crowds with a host of international and local acts, the ninth edition of the iconic festival is set to be even bigger and better than the last!

This year’s theme is Inventions and Innovation, and it shows in the well curated programme.:Samara

This year is even bigger than the last, and there’s a bumper crop of local artists who will be presenting their works this year. The Festival held an inaugural Open Call for artists this year and decided on three artworks that were in line with the theme, namely: #showerthoughts, :Samara, and Light Force, Night Falls.  Samara by Max Pagel and Jonathan Hwang, for example, is inspired by the loss of their favourite tree, and features an interactive illuminated tree sculpture in the Armenian Church.

Here’s some other highlights to look out for:


I last saw KEYFRAMES (Groupe LAPS, France) when it was in London earlier this year for a light festival. Taking over the National Museum this year, the light installation sees a facade of stick-men made of LED lights constructed around the building, and lights up to showcase a story through a unique animation medium. It’s visually arresting, so make sure to get a good position and watch it from start to end!


Invasion and Let’s Celebrate will be two performances presented by Close-Act (Netherlands) at the National Museum Front Lawn and Armenian Street respectively, from 26-27 August. If you’ve ever watched the Lion King musical, then expect an even crazier version of that taking to the streets for Invasion, with giant mechanical animals roaming the night and greeting excited onlookers. As for Let’s Celebrate, it’s what puts the festival in Night Festival, promising fire performers and stilt walkers, and you’ll be kicking yourself if you miss this spectacle.

The Wheel House

The Wheel House by  Acroujou (United Kingdom) looks like one for the absurd and experimental theatre fans. This one features two actors encased in a wheel that rolls around the Mainground on 19 and 20 August, telling a comic dystopian story of friendship as the audience follows their journey, rolling around in their wheel house. It sounds weird and wonderful and we are all for that.

House of Curiosities is the only ticketed event during the festival, and is presented by local theatre company CAKE. Based on a story entitled The Mechanical Heart, the performance will let audiences go on a spectacular journey, discovering technologically advanced and fascinating machines while adventuring to deep oceans and subterranean caverns, like something out of a Jules Verne novel. Tickets are very affordable and available from SISTIC and at the door.

This year also sees the introduction of official Night Fest merchandise, in the form of a limited edition ez-link card, available from the National Museum Visitor Services counter from 15-27 August, and profits will go towards production of next year’s edition of the Night Fest. What’s more, buyers will be entered into a lucky draw and stand to win attractive prizes. You can also donate $2 with your Ez-link card and receive a special Lego brick to add to a wall installation by Singaporean artist Xylvie Huang! 

From my own experience so far, Night Festival has always impressed me with its spectacular shows and community events. Do prepare yourself for the masses of people who will be in attendance though; each year is more popular than the last, but always a night to remember.

Singapore Night Festival takes place over two weekends, 19-20 August and 26-27 August from 730pm-2am around Bras Basah and Bugis. There’s a whole lineup of even more activities, so for the full list of events, check out their website HERE #SGNightFest

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