While music festivals may be the norm now, ZoukOut has been leading the charge since holding its very first beach party in 2000. Every year the production gets more elaborate — more pyros and confetti, longer fireworks, bigger stages, lasers, lights and visuals; everything to heighten the senses, even as its beach location continues to shrink in size due to neighbouring developments.
But it's ZoukOut's lineup of DJs which are the main attraction. Bringing together the who's who in the dance music charts, a tactical mix of commercial and underground names pleases both dance music newbies and veterans alike. This year drew some 45,000 revellers over two days, with global acts like Armin van Buuren, DJ Snake, Dixon and Claude Vonstroke taking the stage alongside Zouk resident DJs and other Singapore talents who performed at the Kaleidoscope Arena curated by Lush99.5fm.
The festival audience felt slightly less international this year, likely because of neighbouring cities like Jakarta and Bangkok holding their own dance events around the same time (Djakarta Warehouse Project and 808 Festival respectively), piggybacking on some of ZoukOut's headliners. This was when local audiences really stepped up, bringing their serious party game and paying for the raised ticket prices as well as braving the seven hour rain on Day 2 (only the second time wet weather has hit in ZoukOut's long history!). Here's what went down:
ZoukOut's main entrance: the eye of the storm... and a peak into the bright future.
All guests vyed for a snap with ZoukOut's shimmering main backdrop as they entered the venue.
More sparkle came via stiltwalker talents who roved the beach.
As well as Tokyo's sexy cyberdancers who returned to ZoukOut and gave audiences something else to oggle on stage other than the DJs.
The confetti game was strong this ZoukOut, shooting high into the sky every time the music hit a climatic note (ie. very often).
The local tent was brought back after a hiatus last year in the form of the Kaleidescope arena, curated by radio station, Lush 99.5fm. It featured an all homegrown lineup, including artists like Shiggashay, Vandetta and The Lion City Boy featured below.
A stroke of musical genius came from DJ Claude Vonstroke at the Star Stage on Day 2.
No one went hungry with food vendors like Keisuke Ramen serving up piping hot bowls of noodles.
Some attendees showed that not only could they dance, they could do acrobatics too.
Love was in air and everywhere you looked around.
Zouk resident, Hong, took the night into day, playing the closing set at the Star Stage (more confetti).
Zouk resident, Formative, closed the Moon Stage and showed some serious Singapore pride, which is just what we feel for this homegrown festival.