New year, new highs: Here’s what to look forward to in 2017
What's cookin', good lookin'?
FOR THE CINEPHILES
Palestinian Film Festival makes a debut from 19 to 22 January with screenings at The Projector that include a tale on the first Middle Eastern all-women race car driving team Speed Sisters, award-winning coming-of-age movie Slingshot Hip Hop and a Wes Anderson-recalling semi-autobiography The Time That Remains.
Held at the cult arthouse cinema as well, Swedish Film Festival makes its second return in February with a confection of never-before-seen dramas, documentaries and short films on our shores hailed from the Nordic land.
FOR THE GIG-GOERS
Be still, our beating hearts: Passenger, Two Door Cinema Club and Coldplay are making sure we’re starting the year with a major hurrah. Passenger’s Mike Rosenberg is set to charm tender hearts on 13 January, while indie electronic band Two Door Cinema Club will take turn on 16 January. And for two nights of jam-packed shows (100,000 tickets were sold out in 2 hours, by the way), Chris Martin and co. are making a much-awaited A Head Full of Dreams stop on 31 March and 1 April.
To really kick things off with a bang, the annual weekend bash Laneway Festival has AURORA, NAO and Nick Murphy (who recently ditched his Chet Faker alias) leading the headlines on 21 January. But if you’re looking for funky chillaxin’ beats, head over to Singapore International Jazz Festival & The Late Show on 31 March till 2 April. For the rambunctious raver, lock down 3 and 4 June for another round of Ultra Singapore madness. Although the line-up is yet to be announced, expect EDM royalty to take over the deck. Also in June is Baybeats Festival with its eclectic array of alternative acts. Here are more dates to mark your calendar for: Bryan Adams on 20 January, James Taylor on 21 February, Yiruma on 25 February and Armin on 1 April. And if all goes well, word on the street that U2’s first-ever appearance in Singapore may not just be all talk. What a time to be alive.
FOR THE HEAD BANGERS
Let’s just say 2017 is the time for hardcore music savants to gyrate in. Feel the force of heavy metal with Grammy award-winning Metallica’s face-melting anthems on 22 January. Then on 25 February, get your rock ’n’ roll fix sorted with ‘80s icon Guns N’ Roses’ Not In This Lifetime tour — which is pretty much a reunion between the founding members who went their separate ways before. On top of that, speed metal forerunner Megadeth is storming the Kallang Theatre stage as part of their Dystopia World tour on 2 May.
Meanwhile, alternative rock’s raucous trailblazer PJ Harvey and her full 10-piece band are poised for a jam session of her ninth record The Hope Six Demolition Project on 13 January. British rock troupe Bring Me the Horizon is also performing on the heels of their latest album That’s the Spirit on 2 February. Don’t say we didn’t warn you: Pre-show neck stretches and ratty band tees are mandatory.
FOR THE ART APPRECIATORS
As vibrant as ever, Singapore’s art scene favourites are back, back again. The M1 Singapore Fringe Festival takes place from 4 to 15 January with plays, dance and visual arts that centre on a theme of Art & Skin — shedding light on diversity and the significance of the skin. Singapore Art Week is handed over the baton from 11 to 22 January with a contemporary art fair at Art Stage Singapore (12-15 January), after-hours mural mayhem at Art After Dark @ Gillman Baracks (13 January) and street art splendour at Aliwal Urban Art Festival (14-15 January) as part of the programme. In August, it’s business as usual for Singapore Night Festival. Celebrating its decade milestone, the nocturnal extravaganza is open calling local artists and designers to contribute for its 10 Magical Years installations.
The Singapore International Art Festival will return to push for international and Singapore art appreciation through performance, theatre, dance and music. As the premier performing arts festival on the island, SIFA promises to give a stellar performance in 2017, with it being festival director Ong Keng Sen's final year at the helm.
Kudos to the good folks of indie creative workshop and gallery STPI's 15th anniversary specials: A string of exhibitions the likes of multidisciplinary artist Amanda Heng’s We Are the World: These Are Our Stories, a year-long series of symposiums with art’s influential figures in Distinguished Speaker Series and STPI Festival Week in September.
FOR STAGE SAGES
Theatre buffs rejoice! Broadway’s multi award-winning hit Chicago opens on 8 February and runs till 26 February at Marina Bay Sands MasterCard Theatres. With a Grammy, six Tonys, two Oliviers, two BAFTAs and six Academy Awards under their belt, this one’s not for any musical aficionado to miss. For a comically light insight on Singapore’s swinging sixties, look no further than Tropicana the Musical. Written by homegrown playwright Haresh Sharma, Tropicana weaves the story behind Orchard Road’s then-new grand Las Vegas-style nightspot in 1968.
What better way to herald in a new year with a comedic look back at 2016? Jostling funny bones will be Reggie Brown as Barack Obama and Anthony Atamanuik as Donald Trump running high for Goodbye Obama, Hello Trump presidential election parodies on 4 February. For different veined funnies, check out East India Comedy’s All-Stars Tour for some guffaws on celeb-bashing and Bollywood on 8 January.
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