Culture

What It’s Like To Party All Night On A Beach In Singapore

The sun is just beginning to crack over the horizon on Singapore‘s Siloso Beach, and 20,000 festival goers are still partying hard. It’s the end of a long evening — one which has seen acts like Galantis, KSHMR, Timmy Trumpet, and Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike step up the plate — but by the looks of it, no one has lost energy just yet.

But then, this is what ZoukOut Festival is. For one night every December, dance fans from across the globe assemble on Sentosa Island for Asia’s largest dusk-till-dawn music festival. And by dusk-till-dawn, we really mean it: ZoukOut kicks off at 6pm on Saturday evening with their iconic Mambo Jambo party, and winds up around 8.30am on Sunday. If you’re not used to all night parties, buckle up.

For audiences in Australia — who are used to city festivals clocking off at 10pm and going not a minute over lest they be permanently blacklisted — it’s almost bizarre to witness a thunderous all-night festival taking place in the middle of the densely populated island.

ZoukOut Festival Singapore

Siloso Beach itself is totally picturesque: swaying palm trees and bright white sand and at the edge, the long view of water across the Singapore Strait. Mega resorts are a mere stones throw from the festival site — obviously noise restrictions aren’t really a thing in Singapore, as the bass continues to thump at spine shattering levels until well after the sun rises.

At one end of the long slip of beach lies the stage — although to be honest, “stage” is a wild understatement for what ZoukOut have prepared for the occasion. A 30-metre high castle-like structure towers at the end of the festival site, rendering the DJs mere pinpricks in the middle of its mass. At its centre, a monstrous, animated eye swivels and stares down at the punters — giving an eerie feeling that Sauron from Lord Of The Rings has decided to come join the throng.

If that doesn’t hold your eye enough, fireworks explode at seemingly random times from the top of the castle, while confetti and streamers are shot into the crowd with every bone crunching drop.

If you like your festivals with a side of luxury, then ZoukOut is going to be right up your alley. The VIP area is as plush as any Vegas club, decked out with lit up bottles of Belvedere vodka and a crew of dancers that deliver your champagne with firecrackers and sparklers.

Buckets of Dom Perignon (which retails at a few hundred dollars, festival prices would be way more than that) dot every table. At one point — as a thank you for the fairly innocuous favour of helping carry their drinks to their table — a punter reaches into his ice bucket and gives me an entire bottle of Dom.

But if you want to leave the comfort of your Dom-laden table, there’s plenty at ZoukOut to get stuck into. A bevvy of gourmet food and drink will keep you going until sunrise, while hair styling and GUESS pop ups will keep you looking fresh in the 100 percent humidity. If the dance music starts to hit you too hard, there’s also chill out areas complete with swing pods and bubble machines to ease you into the morning.

ZoukOut

But if you do want to lose yourself to dance, then ZoukOut has you covered. After all, Zouk — the Singapore nightclub which lends ZoukOut its name — has been named one of the best clubs in the world for a number of years now. Top-shelf dance is what they know, and it’s what they deliver.

Headliners Galantis brought an arsenal of their biggest hits with them — including ‘Runaway (U & I)’, ‘Peanut Butter Jelly, ‘No Money’ — while Dutch duo W&W threatened to break the record for the most amount of drops in a single set.

They crammed in just about every dance classic they could find: There was the ubiquitous ‘Heads Will Roll’, Alice Deejay’s ‘Better Off Alone’, Cascada’s ‘Everytime We Touch’, an obligatory remix of ‘Seven Nation Army’, and Avicii’s ‘Levels’. It was near exhausting — thank god for the chill-out areas.

By the time the sun rises to the drops of American producer KSHMR, you’re soaked with sweat (Singapore’s heat doesn’t break, even in the dead of night) and your feet are in desperate need of some TLC. But somehow, as you watch the sun crest over the horizon, with confetti exploding overhead, none of that matters. Because there aren’t many experiences like this going around.

The writer was a guest of ZoukOut Festival.

(All images: Colossal Photos / supplied)