Arts Preview Singapore

Preview: Baybeats 2021 by Esplanade – Theatres on The Bay

20 years on from its inception, and Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay’s iconic Baybeats festival is still going strong. Forever a champion of the local music scene, Baybeats is back this November, and extends to 4 days, instead of their usual 3.

In light of the pandemic, the festival will take on a hybrid format this year, allowing as many people as possible to attend the versatile and diverse lineup of artists featured. Not only will live performances be playing at the Esplanade; audiences can also join in from the comfort of home via livestreaming options.


The heart of Baybeats has always been indie and alternative bands, and to honour our most iconic musicians, the Esplanade Theatre stage will host veterans such as Amateur Takes Control, Tiramisu, Electrico, Pleasantry, Caracal and The Full Pledge Munkees. Expect these bands to go full out, and fill the theatre with their signature sound to rock out to.


With so many underground music venues suffering closures, the Esplanade Annexe Studio aims to shine a light in the dark, with collaborative presentations with indie organisers, labels and presenters. This year’s festival will feature collaborations with four partners—Atmos, Big Duck, Middle Class Cigars and Secret Signals, with each one bringing their distinctive flavour to the presentations at Baybeats. Expect artists as varied as lewloh to Ihasamic! to make their appearance, and present their new music.


Baybeats has always been a platform for younger bands looking to make waves, and has been the starting point for so many bands that have gone on to do greater things. This year’s line-up will be livestreamed, and feature the bands Astronauts, Cadence, Summations and BGourd. Baybeats will also feature the bands of the Baybeats Budding programmes, including 2020’s batch of Budding Bands, who were unable to take to the stage last year due to the pandemic’s restrictions.

As the milestone 20th anniversary, Baybeats has also commissioned a four-part episodic series titled Add to Playlist that takes a deep dive into the scene and the festival. Produced by Not Safe For TV (NSFTV), the videos will explore themes relevant to alternative music including subcultures, inclusivity, nostalgia and finding a voice, and will be available to view on Esplanade Offstage.


Finally, the Baybeats Budding initiative, Baybeats welcomes and spotlights young talents in music-making and peripheral fields, including music journalism and gig photography.

Baybeats is and always will continue to give a voice to alternative and indie musicians, and constantly pushes the envelope, constantly adding new talent to the Baybeats family and the local music scene. With still more artists and programmes to be revealed, performing at outdoor spaces such as the Arena (Outdoor Theatre) and Chillout Stage (Concourse), this year is the most exciting edition yet.

Baybeats 2021 runs from 4th to 7th November 2021. More information available here

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