Plus, R&B for the first time at the electronic picnic party

If you’re feeling the music festival drought from the absence of Laneway this year, fret not—Sunshine Nation’s annual Garden Beats is back. Happening Mar 9 at Fort Canning Green, the fifth edition of the sustainable music and picnic fest is diversifying from its usual EDM line-up.

Grab your melancholic, all-black-wearing friends; English indie rock band The Kooks will be playing a set, returning to our shores four years after they last played here for SG50. There will be a brand new mix of R&B acts too—namely American singer Alina Baraz and trap-house jazz king Masego—switching things up. As for those who enjoy the electronic aspect of Garden Beats, look forward to a line-up featuring South African DJ Black Coffee, German producer Alle Farben and Bangkok’s Coran; with an appearance from Portland-based disco funk artist Yung Bae. In the day time, Singapore’s own talents Orio, Daryl C., Toppings and Bongomann will be spinning to get you in the mood.

Music aside, the festival’s annual fringe activities remain ever enticing. Glam up with (bio-degradable) glitter and temp tatts at the styling field, play lawn games like ring toss and sack racing, or take part in conscious art-making workshops—where you can create everything from fruit-based colour pigments to DIY body mist. Continuing its sustainable goals from last year, the festival is implementing extra eco-friendly initiatives: banning single-use plastics and setting up recycling and composting stations around the park. In that same vein of wellness, an all-new Zen Garden will be onsite too, where you can go to to revitalise and recharge before the next pumping set.

And of course, you won’t go hungry; the organisers have made sure of it. This year’s roster of fab F&B pop-up stalls include Dumpling Darlings, Udders, Papi’s Tacos, Fat Prince, Don Ho and Kult Kafe, with vegan and meat-heavy eats alike. Otherwise, just bring your own food and picnic mats and settle in for a good day out.

Early bird tickets are available at $108 here from now till Jan 16.

Garden Beats Festival 2019 happens Mar 9 at Fort Canning Green. More information here.