The Singapore Night Festival returns for its 14th edition with more than 50 performances, installations, and projection mapping displays across the sprawling Bras Basah.Bugis (BBB) precinct – here’s a guide to finding the best and brightest attractions with the least steps possible.
After all, there’s so much to see at this year’s edition of the festival – themed Singapore, the Great Port City – where our island’s rich maritime history will be commemorated with district-wide activations from tonight to 26 August.
Pick out your comfiest walking shoes, pack a water bottle, and get ready for a night of culture, jazz performances and the festival’s first-ever theatrical projection mapping display at The Singapore Night Festival 2023.
1. Start with jazz and Asian melodies at Capitol Singapore
Our journey begins at City Hall MRT Station. Our first stop: Capitol Singapore’s outdoor theatre, where jazz and Asian melodies by prominent local bands await.
Highlight acts include Filipino-Spanish singer Yvette Atienza, a 37-year veteran of Singapore’s jazz scene (18 Aug, 8:30pm – 9:15pm), along with The Jazz Djogets, a multiethnic group specialising in the Malay, Japanese and disco oldies from the ’50s all the way to the ’80s (26 Aug, 7:30pm – 8pm).
2. Festival Village pit-stop at Armenian Street and the Peranakan Museum
Thereafter, it’s a short walk to the first Festival Village pit-stop at Armenian Street, where you can grab a bite at Asian street food pop-ups – including cult-fave biryani brand GlobalMat Soul Kitchen – before engaging in some retail therapy with the local brands at the Barter and Buy Market.
Culture buffs can also explore the newly reopened Peranakan Museum, opening ’til late in light of the festivities, or indulge in live music performances, immersive mixed-medium walkthroughs, or any of the other exciting programmes lined up in the historic street.
Psst – you can experience your own night at the museum (or cool off) at both the Children’s Museum Singapore and our next stop, the National Museum of Singapore, will be open ’til late for the duration of the Singapore Night Festival.
3. Photo ops galore at the National Museum of Singapore
Enjoy a peaceful walk through the Fort Canning Park (near the Registry of Marriages) before emerging near the side entrance to the National Museum of Singapore – look out for photo opportunities like the multicoloured #SGNIGHTFEST installation (left) and A Stone’s Throw (Away) just… a stone’s throw away.
The latter art exhibit, co-presented by the National Library Board), calls back to the myth of the Singapore Stone – a boulder apparently flung from Fort Canning Hill to the mouth of the Singapore River by 14th century muscleman Badang, where it lay until it was removed by the British in 1843.
Step onto panels to light up three vignettes illustrating the myth, or head inside for yet another photo op.
A Stone’s Throw (Away) When:18 to 26 August, 7:30pm – midnight Where:Banyan Tree, National Museum of Singapore Price:Free Website:N/A
4. Catch 700 Years, the Singapore Night Festival’s first theatrical projection mapping display
When you’ve got enough of posing for photos, make a beeline to the front of the National Museum of Singapore, facing Stamford Road.
There, you can expect a six-minute theatrical projection mapping display depicting – what else – the history of Singapore as it grew from island to colonial entrepot then the thriving metropolis it is today.
Pay close attention to the paintings, many of which are inspired by the collections of National Gallery Singapore, the National Museum of Singapore, and the National Heritage Board.
700 Years When:18 to 26 August, 7:30pm – midnight Where:Facade of the National Museum of Singapore Price:Free Website:NA
5. Take a break at the Main Festival Village
The next closest stop is just across the road at the Singapore Management University (SMU), where you’ll find the Main Festival Village for the entire affair at Campus Green.
It should be comfortably beer o’clock by the time you reach, so don’t hesitate to kick back with a bottle or three as you enjoy more live performances on-site, courtesy of SMU’s music and dance groups.
In fact, there’s a whole host of programming at the SMU Art Fest, running in conjunction with the Singapore Night Festival for the first time ever (full schedule here).
6. Catch a light projection extravaganza at CHIJMES
Make a beeline to CHIJMES across Victoria Street, where you’ll get to experience three light projections by local artists Ashley YK Yeo, Sadiq Mansor (who also goes by 249.png) and Chris Chai (also known as Cosmicchai).
If you’re somehow not stuffed just yet, participating F&B merchants from CHIJMES are offering exclusive festive deals – including 15% off the full menu at recently opened smash burger joint Honbo, along with 40% off selected booze at Prive.
The first seven items add up to a walk that’s around two kilometres, which should be just far enough to help you snag that daily 10,000-step count, without causing up overly sore feet tomorrow morning.
That said, you can extend your night by taking a 750m stroll to Bugis along the well-paved Victoria Street (or hopping on bus services 197, 851 or 960 for a couple of stops) to visit Florescence, a massive inflatable periwinkle sticking out of the Bugis Street Multi-Storey Carpark.
Why the periwinkle, which originates in Madagascar? Because it was once a hotly traded item in Singapore’s earlier days, when it was highly sought after for its medicinal properties.
Once there, you’re just a hop away from the final stop of the night: Stamford Arts Centre, where multiethnic programme A Date with Tradition will be running on the second weekend of the Singapore Night Festival.
Let technology be your constant companion as you head purposefully into your favourite activities. From mobility aids to watches that monitor your vitals and fins to propel you there’s a tech fix to fit your needs.
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