The biggest indie rock and alternative music festival is back, better than ever this year – and is still free! From Oct 6 to 8, Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay will host Baybeats’ 22nd edition, featuring a fusion of homegrown and international acts, supported by new partnerships with overseas music festivals and principal sponsor Keen, an independently owned outdoor footwear brand.
Baybeats 2023 celebrates Singapore’s music community, promoting local talent, and internationalising the festival with 40 local and global acts. Esplanade is also partnering with two renowned East Asian festivals this year: Taiwan’s Golden Melody Awards and Festival and Hong Kong’s Ear Up Music Festival. As a result of these connections, fans can enjoy outstanding acts such as Taiwanese dream pop and alternative rock band I Mean Us and Hong Kong music producer hirsk.
The Powerhouse2 stage at the Singtel Waterfront Theatre is the newest and most power-packed addition to the festival grounds. For three days, it will treat underground music fans to a headbanging line-up – so get ready to mosh!
The stage will host British math rock icons Delta Sleep, and Filipino indie rock band Urbandub. There will also be emo band Forests and deathcore veterans No Rest For The Weary from Singapore; punk band The Jansen from Indonesia; and heavy psych doom metal band Holy Serpent from Australia.
Returning to Baybeats are local legends The Great Spy Experiment, and Wormrot featuring Spanish vocalist Gabriel Dubko and multidisciplinary artist weish. Other acts include heavy metal Thai quintet Bomb At Track; Singaporean producer and singer-songwriter Shye, who writes, records, mixes, and masters her dreamy pop tracks in her bedroom; Chinese post-punk outfit FAZI; and a global showcase of Hong Kong musicians’ original new music through Ear Up Global.
The Arena’s exciting line-up at the DBS Foundation Outdoor Theatre at Esplanade includes the front runners of the Singapore ska scene, Cesspit; Chinese alternative indie trio Orange Ocean; Thailand’s shoegaze/dream pop band Death of Heather; and Sun Cell, a solo project of Singaporean synthpop producer Daryl Hor. Lastly, don’t miss five Baybeats Budding Bands – Count Vernon, Taledrops, M.Y.T.H, The Workshop and Thy Howler – from this year’s mentorship programme.
Over at the Annexe (Esplanade Annexe Studio), fans can bask in a myriad of intricate sounds by post hardcore/shoegaze trio Mass of the Fermenting Dregs from Japan; instrumental math rock by Singapore’s Sphaeras; and electronic beats by Jade Eyes, an all-female Taiwanese trio. For hip hop, rap, and R&B enthusiasts, watch out for Feez, Mary Sue and the Clementi Sound Appreciation Club, and R&B duo nkei.
The Chillout Stage (Esplanade Concourse) presents hard-hitting numbers in unplugged settings by Malaysian psychedelic rock band, Capt’n Trips and The Kid, and experimental/post-hardcore band Tres Empre, alongside Singaporean alternative rock outfit, Krunkle, and the soulful, stirring vocals of Hong Kong-based singer-songwriter Lester Lam, originally from Malaysia.
Along with the vibrant musical performances, the Baybeats festival village will be back at the Esplanade Lawn outside Singtel Waterfront Theatre – complete with a lepak area at the Esplanade Courtyard, offering festival goers a space to relax and recharge, and to check out the latest Keen and Baybeats merchandise.
Pre-registration is required for all performances. Esplanade&Me members have priority registration from Sep 22, 2023, 12pm; public registration begins Sep 29, 12pm. Visit esplanade.com/baybeats for the whole scoop.