Singapore River Festival 2010 Celebrates History, Heritage With Aerial and Water Shows

By Mallika Naguran

Singapore, 10 June 2010 – Here's something new for river buffs. The Singapore River Festival will put on nine nights of performances from 25 June to 3 July 2010 of music, fashion shows and non-stop partying.

Boat Quay, Clarke Quay, Robertson Quay and Empress Place have come together to oversee this year’s festival. Now that's one long river! All “to develop Singapore River into a must-visit destination for locals and visitors.” said Ms Ranita Sundramoorthy, Deputy Director of Arts & Entertainment at the Singapore Tourism Board. This is Singapore's third annual festival celebrating life about and around the river.

The Singapore River has an important story to tell – what was once a busy trading port has now become a key 24-hour entertainment precinct offering intimate waterfront dining and entertainment experiences.

Dazzling aerial show pays tribute to Singapore river.

Mr Edward Chia, Singapore River Festival Working Committee spokesperson said, “Singapore River is probably one of the few rivers in the world which showcases the river’s rich history set against a backdrop of modern buildings. As the signature event of the River, Singapore River Festival celebrates this transformation through specially-commissioned experiences that tell the River’s history with a modern twist. With most of the events being non-ticketed and targeted at the general public, we hope to welcome more people to this year’s event.”

The Singapore River Festival features a core event, ‘AIR’, that will anchor the festival. Other supporting events will take place along the river and at the various quays. There will be breathtaking aerial and water spectacle, a dazzling bumboat parade, mobile live performances, an interactive art installation by the river, a wine and jazz festival and many irresistible promotional deals. 

Event highlights

Over the River – Aerial and Water spectacular

The core event for Singapore River Festival 2010, a breathtaking aerial and water spectacle, ‘AIR’, a locally directed and created production – will kick start this year’s festival on 25 June 2010.

Directed by Stan Lee, Executive Creative Director of Muse Inc. who is the appointed event organiser for Singapore River Festival, ‘AIR’ is an aerial aquatic production of surrealism and romance. Inspired by the concept of infinity of air and the elegance of water, it is a celebration of life.  The show pays tribute to the river as a source of life. Blending aerial acrobatics, dazzling choreography, larger than life costumes and a whimsical character ensemble, the show takes the audience on a fantastical journey between dreams and reality.

‘AIR’ combines different performance arts disciplines, from theatre, dance to acrobatics in a unique aerial performance setting. Working with steel wire rigging, artists will perform on and above the river surface between Clarke Quay, Central and Read Bridge.

Free entry; Read Bridge, Clarke Quay

25 June - 27 June, 7:30 pm and 10 pm

Cruising along the river – showcasing Singapore River’s best

Fantastical fountain choreography and dance in store.

The HiPPO River Show offers live music as it cruises down the picturesque river. Party-goers looking for a new pubbing experience can enjoy the HiPPO River Pub at this Singapore River Festival. 

Singapore River Cruises & Leisure presents ‘Singapore River Childhood Memories’ Bumboat Parade, a colourful parade on water that will bring back glowing nostalgic memories of childhood and growing up along Singapore River in the yesteryears. View the transformation of five traditional bumboats into whimsical larger-than-lifeplay things from childhood memories. Catch the “Chinese Wooden Clog” Bumboat Float, “Giant Paper Boat” Bumboat Float, “Toy Sail Boat” Bumboat Float, “Newspaper Sampan” Bumboat Float and “Horse Racing Calendar” Bumboat Float during the Bumboat Parade which will sail past Clarke Quay, Boat Quay and Marina Bay.

On festival weekends, not-to be-missed are enthralling performances by local award-winning dance company Fireflys during the Bumboat Parade on the “Chinese Wooden Clog” Bumboat Float and the “Giant Paper Boat” Bumboat Float. With the Singapore River and its rich history as the main inspiration, the performances will be a celebration of the wealth of heritage and culture that the river holds. Fusing elements of dance, music and fire while floating on water, this will be the first time that Fireflys will be performing on boats at the Singapore River and visitors are in for a rare visual treat. 

Visitors can also embark on a unique and an interactive bumboat journey and sail back in time with fascinating characters, a satay seller and a popular courtesan and songstress. ‘Sailing Past – Reliving the River’ Heritage Bumboat Cruise is conceived, written and directed by multi-talented Artistic Director, Jonathan Lim.

Along Singapore River, Clarke Quay and Boat Quay

25 June-27 June, 2 July, 3 July from 7:30 pm to 10:30 pm

SGD 18/Adult and SGD 12 Child

Central –  exploring the magic and poetry of water

The first-ever performance, Fountain of Fantasy, original water spectacle created exclusively for SRF. The audiences will be presented with a choreographed dance and statuesque Pantomimes dressed as fountain sculptures. Watch them come to life and be prepared for a wet and wild fantasy ride at Central!

Robertson Quay – savour great wines and groove along to smooth jazz

Wine enthusiasts will have the opportunity to meet with sommeliers from different wine houses, taste their best wines - Chardonnay, Sauvignon, Riesling - and more, while enjoying performances by some of the top jazz acts from the region.

Empress Place – KinestAsia

Empress Place presents a multi-genre Asian Music Festival featuring Asian talents from the rock, Indie and traditional music scene. Headliners include Labjacd (Australia), T- bone (Thailand) and Alarice (New Zealand). The diversity in these bands offers something for everyone. Tourists come to Singapore to visit this concert and rock out to great international bands. Even locals from cities like Tokyo and Hong Kong travel overseas to join in on the festivities. Tourists can book a Singapore hotel at a good rate if they plan ahead. Booking in advance not only guarantees a good room but it also a lower rate. The Empress Place is the venue to visit if you want to listen to good tunes in a fun atmosphere.

Clarke Quay – La Dolce Vita

La Dolce Vita is all about the sweet life, Clarke Quay brings you a weekend of Food, Fashion and Parties, set to give you the perfect weekend out! Inspire your inner fashionista by catching this season’s trendiest threads from local and international labels at Fashion Rocks Clarke Quay – Clarke Quay’s first ever fashion show at the Read Bridge.

Deals to augment the experience

As part of the celebrations, festival-goers will be treated to special deals and promotions at the various outlets located along the river. Selected outlets at Boat Quay will be offering festival goers a chance to make their wish come true if they purchase a bucket of five Heineken bottles.  Choose from travel vouchers worth SGD2,000, 24 cases of Heineken or an exclusive Asia Pacific Brewery Tour that includes dinner and beer tasting. 

Asian Civilisations Museum will be offering free late night admission (5pm till 1am) to coincide with their blockbuster exhibition, Treasury of the World.

 Visit Singapore Tourism Board website for more details.