Dreamers are everywhere, but it’s not so often that we see one setting out—and fishing out huge sums of money—to make his crazy dreams a reality. Malcolm Davis is one such fella, and the Sembawang Festival, his brainchild.
This inaugural music festival has 34 spectacular foreign and local acts in the lineup. Be hit by waves of aural bliss as Australia’s Nineteen 27 delivers some deft guitar riffs and nifty drum action, or chill to the sounds of The Animators from Brooklyn, who is touted as the next Coldplay. This up and coming act is gathering a following that grows bigger with every stage it destroys. Its captivating pop sound has led it to playing alongside Norah Jones, Ray LaMontagne, Gavin DeGraw and Mike Viola. New Australian outfit The Avenues will perform upbeat pop rock that will have you hooked within moments. Twirl and whirl to the fun tunes by Astorbat. This band pledges to play hits by Beatles—Foo Fighter style. If you are dazed and confused, check out the Regurgitator from Australia. This electrifying band plays a baffling mix of rock, funk and punk, and has fascinated, as well as perplexed, several music lovers in big festivals such as Big Day Out and Fuji Rock. It might just add to your confusion, but it sure is entertaining.
After being banned in Singapore and blowing Australia away with its awesome rock songs, local rock act The Suns (formerly known as the Boredphucks) returns home to thrill indie music fans. Whether it be the throwing of panties or chocolate coins to the crowd, Ronin (also nicknamed “Singapore’s Guns N’ Roses”) is out to start a revolution with its kick ass stage antics. In your face and upfront, Saw Losers (formerly Pug Jelly) will create chaos with its signature blend of pop, punk and rock. For rockers who have turned mellow and prefer not to risk a heart attack, the sweet and simple pop tunes of The Ocean Band will soothe, while three piece act ShameJoanShame will make you smile with its unpredictable and spontaneous tracks. Other must-sees include Monofone, Samata and The Pinholes.
It is not just music that is up for grabs. Ice cold Australian beers are being hawked at this carnival too. From wheat beer to lagers, these alcoholic beverages will compete for the limelight with the bands on stage. Another strong contender demanding your attention is Sexy Land, an upmarket sex shop boasting a wide array of lingerie, fragrances and adult toys. If your dog is vain, take it to the Doggie Corner to be pampered with manicures and pedicures.
Despite the widespread perception of the inferiority of homegrown talent, and the potential to make a loss, Malcolm Davis is determined to have his dream materialized. If the Sembawang Festival could take off and rock Sembawang Park annually, Singapore might just have an awe inspiring music festival that we could finally call our own.
Here’s where you definitely need to be at Sembawang Festival:
• The Festival Village will offer party-goers security for their belongings, water-refill stations, and even ice in addition to quirky comforts such as a “slumberland” tent and movie tent.
• Sexy Land. The wide range of lingerie, fragrances and sex toys is an eye opener.
• Doggy corner. Bet you didn’t expect the organizers to provide dog-care and an entertainment program to keep canines happy while their owners set themselves loose to the music.
• F&B corner.
• Main Stage, where you can rock on with international bands.
• POW Stage that lets you party with local bands.
Who qualifies for entry?
• Anyone from 8 to 80 who still rocks!
• Only those 16 and above can enter the Festival Village camping zone.
• Sexy Land is for those above 21.
• Dogs, because this is a dog-friendly music event.
1. Your identification card.
2. Bottles that can be filled up at water stations.
3. Your tent to see you through the two-day survivor program.
4. Lots of pockets; there is no bag check-in.
5. Cash plus inexhaustible energy and spunk to get you through 36 hours of non-stop music.