Singapore’s Baybeats — aptly named for its waterfront venue at the Esplanade Theatres on the Bay, located at the mouth of the Singapore River — is a three-day music festival that runs from June 28 through 30. The first musical gathering that the Esplanade ever presented, Baybeats is now in its 12th edition. It continues to feature fresh talent locally and regionally, drawing on both popular and unique genres, such as folk, metal, acoustic bluegrass, pop, post-rock, punk and progressive metalcore. Gathering music lovers from all over Asia, the three-day event creates a niche venue for exciting and cutting-edge bands, including 21 acts from Singapore and 14 from Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Korea, Taiwan, Japan and Australia.
If you’re planning on attending the event this year, expect to mingle with a huge crowd, as Baybeats attracted more than 85,000 enthusiastic fans in 2012. Shows will conclude at different times, depending on the stage you are attending, but no stage will close after midnight. Given the eclectic mix featured at Baybeats, each of the four different stages has its own unique appeal: The Chillout Stage, located at the Esplanade Upper Concourse, will feature mainly acoustic and folk acts; The Powerhouse is at the Esplanade’s Edge and it will showcase the harder beats of heavy metal and hard rock; The Arena looks to draw among the pop and post-rock crowds; The Observation Deck is at the Library@Esplanade and will give guests the opportunity to clink glasses with the talent, listen to interview sessions and catch previews of performances.
Plan to be at The Arena at 9 p.m. June 30 to groove to well-known indie heavyweight Electrico, composers of the National Day Parade 2009 theme song “What Do You See?” This locally raised trio has been producing songs since 2003, including radio chart-toppers “I Want You,” “Love in New Wave” and the newest single, “No.” Electrico was nominated for an MTV Asia Award in 2005 and 2008.
Other must-see acts include Save Me Hollywood, a group hailing from the Philippines. A recent opener at the Vans Summer Music Jam, Save Me Hollywood was formed in 2010 as a collaboration of members from local influential bands Chicosci, Typecast and MYX, Asia’s music television network. The five-member ensemble will perform its singles “We Are One Tonight” and “Reckless” on June 29. Named after a professional wrestling attack maneuver, South Korea’s Asian Chairshot will show its wide range of grunge, metal, psychedelic and traditional Korean mask dance beats at The Arena stage on June 28. The trio joined forces only in 2011 but was already featured in an iPad commercial in its native country earlier this year.
In between the three days of acts, festival-goers can visit the Baybeats Festival Village located at Esplanade Lawn. The Village will host independent retailers and local craftwork artists as well as be the site for Budding Entrepreneurs, a Baybeats original program that allows individuals under the age of 25 the opportunity to leverage the festival to market their own creative ideas or original products.
Photos courtesy of Esplanade and Theaters On The Bay