Night festival typically occurs in August in Singapore.
It is a showcase of arts and culture joined by local and international artistes.
This year, I finally got to experience the night Festival as it was the day I finished my two-year course and I badly needed to get in touch with reality after losing my sanity for two years.
I brought big boy and grandma along, the two who would be more game to brave the mad crowd and humid weather.
Honestly, whoever decided to hold such an event at night is a genius. There was breeze all through the night, and we felt so relaxed and cool to want to visit most of the sites.
The festival spans a huge area from Singapore Art Museum to Singapore Management University, to the areas around Raffles city and the areas near Middle Road.
I did some homework and researched on the items I wanted to see. But goodness, it was hard to locate those places. Yes, they do put up a bit big lighted ball outside those places, but you had to source for the place if it was a huge building. For example, big boy wanted to play some kampong games, and we spent about 15 minutes locating the shop within Waterloo centre. So, NO to the lack of directions. The exact locations of the exhibits or performances are not detailed anywhere sadly in their beautiful map and schedule. At the National Design Centre, there were 3 ongoing performances. But we had no idea where to go for what once in the building.
Nonetheless, whichever place we ended up at, we got to view some performances. At SMU, the central stage area, we managed to grab some bites at the food stalls put up and watched a funny wrestling show. Not my type of arts or culture. They had four or five men and a lady put up a mock wrestling fight, slamming each other about in public. I don’t know where the art of culture bit is. We left off after finishing my sio bak (yea u read right.. they sold roasted pork belly here). Much to my astonishment, I think there were some blur families who probably didn’t know that that was not all to it for the night festival and I could see the mummies trying to conceal their shock from exposing their really young kids (like 3-6) to what I felt was rather violent and awkwardly unbefitting performance. Actually, when I looked around, I didn’t think anyone knew how to appreciate, but people were just too kind and didn’t want to appear rude, or rather they wanted to act like they knew that was art and culture. Sorry, not my cup of tea. Haha. I wouldn’t mind a sumo performance but this…. seriously? Mocked wrestling??
Not a good start to the night. But the breeze saved it.
Next performance was drums at 8Q at SAM. Sounded good, but I couldn’t see a thing cos of the crowd. We moved on to Singapore Arts Museum and saw some light and sound installation. Not too bad considering they are colorful and interactive. You put your hands over the black sensors and record your voice. When all voices play at the same time, it sounds like an interesting chorus.
Then to a light and music show where this artiste (I think from jap) tried to play music with light waves. Interesting, but damn loud….my ears hurt…
We moved to “when I was four” at Waterloo centre. And this was the highlight of my day, except for getting lost for about 15 minutes in a signless building to look for the shop selling old school stuff. We had some fun retro games which all 3 of us really enjoyed. Worth the hassle! Big boy played many games and won some toys. He also got some toys from this toy machine.
I had planned to continue at philatelic museum for some magic and juggling show but big boy and grandma were too tired and hungry. So our last stop was at National Design Centre. We had Prata and left for home.
To sum up my experience, I would say it’s overall just good for a relaxing night out. Don’t plan too much perhaps, cos u end up walking all about and tiring yourself out. Just choose one or two places to focus on. Do some research so u save some time. One of the exhibits at National Design centre had an hour’s queue. Too much for people with kids.
Verdict? 5/10. Nothing too fancy that you must go for. But like I mentioned, if you don’t mind some urban breeze and night walk, it’s a good option.