Calling all culture kids: Here's what to look forward to in 2016

Calling all culture kids: Here's what to look forward to in 2016


Text: Adibah Isa

Image: Aloysius Lim - Laneway Festival Singapore,
Alvin Ho - Laneway Festival Singapore,

What better way to break into your 2016 planner than with a to-go, to-see, and to-do list


The Swedish Film Festival takes place for the first time in Singapore from 28 to 31 January, bringing together films such as Call Girl, Force Majeure and The Last Sentence. Brought to you by The Embassy of Sweden and the Swedish Institute, it's also presented by everyone's favourite indie cinema, The Projector

A still from one of the films to be screened at Food

While they're still keeping mum on details, the guys behind last year's A Design Film Festival (which screened films such as Iris and Dior and I) will be launching, a film festival on food. They've already announced the first film, NOMA: My Perfect Storm — with a preview screening in March.


Simply put, we suggest you create a separate savings account to fuel your love for live music. For the hipster humble braggers, there's the big annual bash Laneway Festival on 30 January to look forward to, while the Singapore International Jazz Festival returns to pool together chill pills from 4 to 6 March. In between that, look out for Getai Soul in February, presented by the good guys from the Getai Group, Tim De Cotta and Carmen Low — it'll feature soul-influenced local and regional acts grooving to funky pockets, backbeats, black rhythms and melodies. Also, let's not forget the rumour mill that has been speculating the visit of Madonnna for her Rebel Heart tour.

Laneway Festival

Meanwhile, here are some dates you should take note of: Walk The Moon on 19 January, Diana Krall on 16 and 17 February, Bon Iver on 26 February, Kool & the Gang on 27 February, Death Cab for Cutie on 7 March, Tom Jones on 31 March and Of Monsters and Men on 10 May.


This year sees returning favourites with fresh themes and concepts to herald in the new: M1 Singapore Fringe Festival presents Art and the Animal from 13 to 24 January, while Art Stage Singapore — which anchors Singapore Art Week — will introduce their inaugural Southeast Asian Forum during the fair dates of 21 to 24 January. Within the art week, look out for Steve McCurry's (the man behind the iconic National Geographic Aghan Girl photograph) exhibition at Sundaram Tagore Gallery from 16 January to 21 February. For young collectors, look out for mid-level market-friendly Singapore Contemporary Art Show, a newcomer from Hong Kong taking place at the same time as Art Stage.

Aliwal Urban Art Festival

For an appreciation that's far less stuffy and more upbeat, the Aliwal Urban Art Festival is an annual get-together that's not to be missed on 16 January. This year, the guys are championing street art once more with the headlining exhibit 'Cannot Be Bo(a)rdered', which features 16 artists and collectives from Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia who've used the skateboard as a medium for new works.


The mid-year mark is looking to be quite the season for lovers of the stage. Star-crossed lovers meet again in the humid tropics of Fort Canning Park for Shakespeare in the Park, this time staging the commonly digestible Romeo and Juliet from 27 April to 22 May. If you haven't seen the musical giant that is Les Misérables, choose a date from 31 May to 26 June to catch this Cameron Mackintosh production — perhaps you'll finally be able to push Russell Crowe's unfortunate singing in the film version to the recesses of your mind. Another big name act on its way is Rent — by Adrian and Tracie Pang's Pangdemonium — which will be staged from 7 to 23 October

Les Misérables

For something more experimental, The Twenty-Something Theatre Festival makes its debut in June. As its name suggests, it celebrates the artistic prowess of Singapore's theatre makers in their twenties. With veteran Tan Kheng Hua as creative director, the festival's headliners include Irfan Kasban and Joel Tan, who'll be premiering their new works.  


Kevin Hart, Russell Peters and Margaret Cho — could there be a better threesome lined up this year? While Peters is no stranger to our shores, it'll be a first time for comedy heavyweights Hart and Cho.

Russell Peters

We last laughed at Hart when he hosted Justin Bieber's Comedy Central Roast and when he starred in a H&M campaign with David Beckham — now, he'll bring his WHAT NOW? tour to us on 2 February. Next up is Peters, whose ALMOST FAMOUS WORLD TOUR arrives on 15 February. As for the Grammy and Emmy-nominated Cho, she'll take THE PSYCHO TOUR to us on 5 March.

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