Singapore Night Festival is back and we're excited! This year’s festivity is chock-a-block with brill projections, vibrant performances, fun experiences, and more…
What happens when the sun goes down these two weekends in August? The night owls come out to party, all thanks to Singapore Night Festival 2023! Back for its 14th edition, the iconic art event is set to rule the Bras Basah.Bugis (BBB) precinct again from 18 to 26 August 2023. This year’s festival theme highlights Singapore’s 700-year evolution from a trading port to a sprawling metropolis. Here’s what you should look out for.
What to expect at Singapore Night Festival 2023
1. Keep rollin’, rollin’, rollin’
Do you remember Singapore during the swinging sixties and disco fever eras? It’s okay if you don’t – you can (and should) still take part in this year’s highlight act. Grab your roller skates and channel your inner dancing queen at the National Museum of Singapore! Time is a Black Circle, the highlight act for this edition of the festival, pays tribute to the psychedelic discotheque period. An indoor skating rink transports festivalgoers to the retro eras as they dance to hit songs that the older generation (or perhaps even they) are familiar with. Can’t skate? You can still vibe to the music in a designated lounge zone. Get your tickets here.
2. Facades get lit with cool projections
One of our favourite things about the Singapore Night Festival is the projection mappings cast on heritage buildings in the BBB precinct. This year, visitors can expect four visual treats throughout the two weeks. Park yourselves down on a good spot at the National Museum’s lawn and check out 700 Years, which traces Singapore’s early years by taking viewers on a six-minute timelapse journey. You’ll follow Seri Anggerik as she travels through time and witnesses our humble island’s glow up.
The remaining light projections, presented by three local artists, rotate at Chijmes. Birth in Bloom tells the tale of a star’s transformation into a magnificent flower by combining mythical legends and Singapore’s local flora. The third illumination, Evolution of Bras Basah Entertainment Scene, highlights the district’s transformation by celebrating its cultural diversity and showcasing traditional performances staged there. Port(al) City, the final projection, presents Singapore as an entryway to a prosperous life through the eyes of past and present inhabitants.
3. Trip the light fantastic!
As expected, this year’s Singapore Night Festival looks set to be lit! There are 12 glowing spectacles across the BBB precinct, all following the festival theme. After admiring the facade projection at the National Museum, direct your attention to A Stone’s Throw (Away) near the Banyan Tree. The artwork is inspired by the legend of the Singapore Stone, which was flung from Fort Canning Hill by Badang. Speaking of Fort Canning, there’s another projection mapping that’s worth the climb. Rimbun ditches the typical by casting its illumination across Farquhar Garden. Watch the green space come alive with batik, songket, and traditional wood carving motifs.
Don’t miss Florescence, a huge inflatable periwinkle flower installation wrapped around the side of the Bugis Street multi-storey carpark. If you find yourself around Funan, take a moment to glance at SeaScape Symphony on the kinetic wall. Watch sea creatures and aquatic landscapes along our shores unfold, and be part of the artwork using the bubble makers provided.
Those of you who didn’t manage to catch GifFest earlier in the year will be glad to know that this interactive exhibition is taking up space at both National Design Centre and the National Museum. Celebrate the beauty of the unusual and imperfections at these two locations.
4. Be amazed by live acts and experiential programmes
Three locations will be filled with exciting performances throughout the two weeks. Waterloo Street features stories about the location’s rich history; a theatrical procession transforms Fort Canning Rise into a vast ocean; and Capitol Singapore stages jazz performances with an Asian twist.
Have you always wanted to explore our museums beyond opening hours? Well, now you can. The Children’s Museum welcomes visitors of all ages – adults, you don’t need a child to enter this time! Those with little ones can participate in the kid-friendly programmes. Next, head to the recently-reopened Peranakan Museum and learn more about this ethnic group in Singapore. Of course, don’t forget to explore our National Museum!
Think there’s already a lot going on at the festival? Think again. Guided tours, film screenings, and storytelling sessions are taking place this year. Real foodies should join Indie Singapore Tours’ walking culinary tour, which goes down Middle Road in Bugis. Psst: we hear cocktails (or mocktails for the teetotalers) and kueh waiting for you!
Avid photographers, get ready to whip out your camera (don’t forget the tripod!) and snap photos along Waterloo Street. Just sign up for the NightFest Photo Walk and off you go.
5. Revel in the magic of the night
Singapore Night Festival 2023’s main attraction, the Festival Village, takes place across three sites. As in past years, the main village is rooted at Singapore Management University’s Campus Green, where works by young art talents are displayed. Visitors can scarf down festival-exclusive creations such as curry chicken mashed potatoes, ondeh ondeh churros, and Thai milk tea.
The Armenian Street and Chijmes satellite villages present exhilarating performances, booze, and food experiences. Port 2.0 at Armenian Street invites you to check out digital art installations, take part in an interactive adventure quest within Peranakan Museum, and experience live performances by local artists. Pop over to the Barter and Buy Market for some retail therapy. At Chijmes, you can lounge at Harry’s, sip on refreshing beer and gin, and enjoy festival-exclusive deals including 15% off burger joint Honbo’s full menu.
See you at this year’s Singapore Night Festival!
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Singapore Night Festival 2023, 18 to 26 August 2023, 7.30pm to 12am, Bras Basah.Bugis precinct; admission is free unless otherwise stated.