By Darren Tan, edited by Teo Dawn
Festivals that include fancy lights are dime a dozen in Singapore.
It is almost as if we do not have enough light pollution as it is. From the mainstream-friendly, brightly lit artworks on display for the annual iLights Festival, we even have the audience participative projections of the Light to Night Festival now.
There is certainly a festival to appeal to everyone, especially your photography enthusiasts and the many Instagram models. Recently, we just wrapped up the Singapore Night Festival presented by the National Heritage Board, now in its 11th iteration.
Can one get festival fatigue? It is almost as if we are afraid of our regular cityscape – having festivals happening consecutively one after another.
With all the similarly styled light installation festivals abound here on this tiny island, what sets all of them apart from one another?
Food-wise, it seems that all of them lean towards food trends that pass Singapore by in a couple of months or so.
From classic truffle fries to oddball outliers like mentaiko-flavoured pasta to downright decadent meatballs-in-a-bucket, it seems like food stalls centered around these festivals appeal more from an “instagrammable” perspective than anything else. Taste notwithstanding.
But I guess if it keeps things selling, then of course business takes priority.
What about the live performances?
I suppose we may have some leeway here, as there are many ways one can wow the crowd at such festivals, expecting some de rigeur flash and flair expected of this type of entertainment.
How many times does one have to see another human being risk their lives performing live action stunts, and appreciating them for their masterful skill and talent in doing so, to be relatively numb to their imagined peril?
Musically speaking, there have always been choice cuts for most festival-goers. Quality acts are slowly emerging from the woodwork and getting the attention of festival organisers, and many would agree that these acts are one of many reasons to participate in such a festival.
Live music is just different from listening to the beats thumping in your earphones.
Also, support local.
Skimming through the brochure given by ushers, there simply is something for everyone. It is a festival catered to the masses and to give you a sense of wonder; transforming the regular city into a magical play space.
Though there will always be dilemmas on what to catch since the time slots usually clash and having to brave the traffic might not be the best experience sometimes.