A countdown actually worth braving the crowds for

This year’s New Year’s Eve countdown just got a whole lot sexier. If you’ve always abhorred the Marina Bay festivities that happen every Dec 31, you might just change your mind for the heralding of 2019. For the first time, look forward to a full-blown fireworks musical of lights, 3D surround sound, performances and more, hailing all the way from Japan.

A landmark debut production by Japan’s top entertainment group Avex, Star Island Singapore will be the group’s first presentation outside Japan, after sold-out shows in Odaiba and Tokyo. It’s no ordinary fireworks display—six chapters (Ceremony, Earth, World, Chaos, Love, One), each choreographed to a unique soundtrack, will introduce six differently themed shows of fireworks throughout the night, accompanied by 3D surround sound technology.

The show pays homage to hanabi—the Japanese word for fireworks, and a long-standing summer tradition in the country where people gather to revel and watch firework displays together in the cooler nights. Star Island takes hanabi a step further with the upscale tech and experiential show elements. The contemporary take is an immersive, participatory experience for audiences too, as you’ll be able to become part of the lights via your individual LED wristbands that respond to the show. All that, as a backdrop to 60 minutes of electrifying drumming and dance performances onstage.

Of course, nothing in Singapore comes cheap; especially not foreign imports. The inaugural light show is ticketed, and prices ranges from $38 to $148 for the full VIP experience. Each ticket includes entrance to the seating gallery at The Float @ Marina Bay, where all the action will take place. There’ll also be fringe activities starting from 5pm for every ticket-holder, which includes a marketplace of F&B stalls and roving performances.

Certainly not everyone has that kind of dough to fork out. For those who can't (or would rather not) afford it, the Star Island fireworks begin around 10:30pm, and will end in the annual Marina Bay Singapore Countdown. You can attempt jostling with the crowds at the free-to-enter areas surrounding The Float, or try one of these alternative vantage points here.

Star Island Singapore Countdown Edition will take place at The Float @ Marina Bay on Dec 31. Tickets and more information available here