A guide to all the cool music festivals coming up in Singapore

Starting later this month, get your calendars ready for an onslaught of major music festivals for every type of music lover, from classical purists to A capella junkies. And in case you haven’t been keeping up, here are our highlights.

For Classical Purists

Singapore International Festival of Music (Sep 26-Oct 10)

Top local musicians, violinist Loh Jun Hong and conductor Darrell Ang, have come together to present the first classical music festival here. It features 40 emerging and acclaimed Singaporean musicians such as pianist Abigail Sin, a former child prodigy. They will be performing in a series of six chamber music concerts like War & Peace, comprising a chamber orchestra playing Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5 and other works by Stravinsky and Britten, Vienna, with string and piano pieces from Haydn, Beethoven and Schubert and Singapura, which celebrates compositions by local stalwarts like Phoon Yew Tien, Tan Chan Boon and the late Leong Yoon Pin. Don’t forget the fringe events too, as there are initmate recitals by Abigail Sin and cellist Brendan Goh. Tickets start at $10 for the fringe recitals to $120 for a six-show season passpurchase them here.

For Singapore Sentimentalists

5th Singapore Lieder Festival (Oct 16-18)

Already on its fourth consecutive run, this local-centric showcase by Singaporean art song collective, The Sing Song Club, features a series of three recitals by homegrown composers Dr Kelly Tang, a Cultural Medallion recipent and Young Artist Award winner Dr Zechariah Koh . This is one event you may want to bring your folks to, as there will be classic favorites like Burung Kakak Tua and Xiao Bai Chuan (Little White Boat). Tickets go from $40 for a four-performance season pass, here

For Fans of Vocal Acrobatics (and Pitch Perfect)

International A Cappella Festival (Oct 1-31)

Catch over 100 singers from Singapore, Sweden and the Philippines in 10 concerts through the month of October. Possibly the best example of teamwork, groups like Urban Rock Choir (Singapore), Vocal Six (Sweden) and Acapellago (Philippines) will be belting out pop, jazz and even rock tunes. Also, if you fancy yourself a potential crooner, check out vocal technique workshops by The A Capella Society. Tickets are from $30 here.

For Authentic Indie Geeks

Neon Lights 2015 (Nov 28-29)

This indie music mecca will host famous and underground acts at Fort Canning Park such as Irish troubadour Damien Rice of “The Blowers Daughter” (he really needs no introduction), French bossa nova group Nouvelle Vague and ’80’s disco legends Chic featuring Nile Rodgers. And if you’re a true blue music geek, there’s Kiasmos, Sun Kil Moon, Flight Facilities and Hanging Up The Moon. Currently, 16 bands and DJs have been announced, but we’ll keep you posted if there are more to come. The event also features food booths accompanied by performance tents and a live street art and culture pop-up. Early bird two-day passes from $189 here.

For Instagrammers (and Wannabe Hipsters)

St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival 2016 (Jan 30)

Back for the sixth time at Meadows by the Bay, next year’s line-up includes a couple of big-name headlining acts, as well as artists from Singapore, Australia, U.S, Canada and U.K. You may already be familiar with electronic band CHVRCHES, dream-pop duo Beach House and electro producer Flume but it’s also a great plaform to discover other musicians such as Battles, Big Scary, DIIV and local talents DJ Intriguant, Cashew Chemists and Cheats. Headgears, wellies and flower tiaras are compulsory. Early bird tickets from $165 here.

Also, watch this space…


Details about this new festival, organized by Symmetry Entertainment (who brought us Bombay Bicycle Club and Camp Symmetry) and Wanderland Music and Arts Festival, are a little sketchy at the moment, but the event promises to bring a line-up of international, regional and local acts together. For now, they’ve already roped in Death Cab for Cutie for a one-night only concert preceding the big show.