We might be small, but there are a few major festivals that have hit our shores over the years. From huge music festivals like Ultra to prestigious food festivals like the World Gourmet Summit, Singapore has definitely had her fair share of merrymaking. Still, there is never a reason to turn down more excitement in our lives, right? Well, here are 10 festivals other countries get to enjoy that just need and could possibly be brought here.
International Pop Overthrow
The International Pop Overthrow (The IPO) is a festival celebrating pop music and other related genres. It was first held in 1998 in Los Angeles, USA, and later became international in 2003. Today, the IPO is held in over 16 cities worldwide, with countries in the Asia Pacific (like Australia and Japan) being high on the list of possible future locations.
Over the years, the IPO has seen major pop musicians and bands like Maroon 5 and The Click Five in its lineup. However, it primarily features up-and-coming pop musicians and unsigned bands. They aim to grant these musicians a chance to play their music in a festival atmosphere as well as to draw greater attention to pop music.
With its potential inception in Asia Pacific, there’s definitely a chance that the IPO will hit Singapore’s sunny shores sooner rather than later!
The Riot Fest is a multi-day music festival that specializes in rock, punk, alternative rock, and hip hop. While much smaller than its close counterpart, the Vans Warped Tour, Riot Fest made it to the list as a potential successor for the Warped Tour that is closing down this year.
EDM festivals are widely popular these days but festivals specializing in rock are a little less prevalent in this part of the world. While the Riot Fest is currently situated only in Canada and the United States, we would love to see someone bring the best of rock music to our doorstep!
For those looking for something a little more hardcore, the Ozzfest is something you have to keep an eye out for. Ozzfest travels around the United States, Europe, and Japan, featuring performances by heavy metal and hard rock bands.
In 2016, Ozzfest and Knotfest joined up to create an electrifying experience. Both festivals have had stellar line-ups that included major bands like Bring Me The Horizon and Avenged Sevenfold over the years.
While there’s no doubt that this festival is a little more niche in terms of music genre, it would surely kickstart and ignite the heavy metal and hard rock music scene in Singapore!
If you’re not so much of a party animal, the Wanderlust Festival will be ideal for you. Touted as an all-out festival of mindful living, the Wanderlust Festival brings together musicians, chefs, speakers, and fitness gurus with the intentions of bringing you the ultimate blissful experience.
It was first held in 2009 and has since grown to seven festivals across the United States and Canada. For a fully immersive experience, the festival is always held in natural settings. Now, we know that Singapore is a tad limited on natural spaces, but just imagine a gathering of like-minded people in a place like the Botanic Gardens.
Food, music, exercise, nature, and meditation all in one place – what’s not to love? Now, if only it would come to Singapore to grant us Singaporeans some much needed stress relief.
Let’s cheer for girl power because Be:FIT is currently Europe’s largest fitness festival catered only for women. During the festival, women can look forward to fitness and yoga classes, pop-up nutrition workshops, and body confidence workshops, among others.
Be:FIT aims to promote health and wellness for women by creating a female-only, non-competitive environment. It wishes to not just encourage women to get fit, but to also boost their self-esteem and confidence.
Fitness has certainly been the in-thing lately, and having an avenue for women to practice health and wellness in a safe environment will certainly make a difference.
Nomadic Arts Festival
The Nomadic Arts Festival is an international mobile project that aims to explore the local, through the country’s arts and cultural practices. It has taken places in various countries around the world, including Italy, Poland, and Slovakia.
Their focus on the local means that each festival is unique to the places that they are at. Be it in the countryside or the city, Nomadic Arts Festival seeks to understand and explore how individuals engage in the places they live in.
While the Nomadic Arts Festival doesn’t necessarily come with strobe lights and hyped up music, its aim to strengthen local identities and relations will no doubt make for a unique experience.
Hay Festival of Literature and Arts
With the National Library Board pushing for more to start reading in recent years, what better way to complement these efforts than to bring a festival all about literature to Singapore?
The Hay Festival aims to bring both readers and writers together to share stories and ideas in sustainable events around the world. It draws people of all backgrounds – novelists, scientists, politicians, historians, and musicians included.
The festival sees a dynamic conversation being started on all sorts of ideas and opinions regarding an array of topics. It also boasts a wide range of programmes for aspiring writers. The Hay Festival has breathed new life into the literature scenes of countries like Colombia, Peru, and Mexico, among others. It’ll be a much-needed injection of novelty into Singapore’s literature scene too, should it arrive here!
Human Rights Watch Film Festival
The Human Rights Watch (HRW) Film Festival aims to use the medium of films to shed light on human rights abuse. By screening films that address human rights subject matters, it hopes to “challenge each individual to empathize and demand justice for all people”.
Currently, the HRW Film Festival screens in over 20 cities, with approximately 40 films being selected each year. The films are selected based on their content as well as their artistic merit. Additionally, HRW also makes it a point to screen films regardless of the point-of-view taken, as long as they are factually sound. This ensures an open dialogue on such issues even while appreciating the artistry of the films.
Singaporeans are fairly sheltered when it comes to human rights issues — it’s simply not something most of us have to worry about. This will definitely be a great way for Singaporeans to gain more knowledge about human rights issues, and hopefully, urge some of us into action as well.
Sundance Shorts Tour
The Sundance Film Festival is the largest independent film festival in the United States. However, it is a localised tour that takes place annually in Park City, Utah. Likelihood is, the Sundance Film Festival is a name that you would’ve heard before.
However, did you know that the Sundance Institute also has a touring festival? The Sundance Shorts Tour is a theatrical program of seven short films that are selected from each year’s festival. The Shorts tour retains the essence of the Film Festival, offering audience around the world a brief taste of the film festival.
Singapore has definitely had our fair share of film festivals, featuring both local and international films. But really, the Sundance Film Festival has always been touted as one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world — if only us Singaporeans would get to experience a little taste of it.
Taste Festivals is actually not the name of the festival. Rather, it is the name of the company who has been running food festivals around the world since 2004. Currently, there have been festivals in fifteen cities.
The festivals all begin with the name Taste Of [City], and each festival features mini-kitchens from different restaurants, including Michelin-starred ones. There are also live demonstrations from chefs, completing the whole food festival experience.
A festival that brings together all the best chefs and restaurants in Singapore — what’s not to want, really?
Music, food, art, film — festivals are a great way to bring like-minded people together and celebrate some of these finer things in life. With the huge publicity our little nation has gotten from the Trump-Kim summit, perhaps some of these organizers will deem it fit to bring these amazing festivals here. We can only hope!
Featured image taken from Colossal Photos
We hope and pray that these festivals come to our shores sooner rather than later much like how Ultra did a few years ago. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and download the free app here to find more fun stuff to do in Singapore! #bescenesg
If you’re an organiser and want us to check out your event/ workshop, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
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