Making its debut in Singapore this year, the legendary Ultra Music Festival and dedicated Ultra goers took over the heart of the city with their bass drops and colourful costumes for two days earlier this week. Living only a short plane ride away, we couldn't say no to a quick weekend trip over to the land of hawker food stalls and a music festival that had an impressive 3-stage line up release!
Booking our trip was easy, with packaged deals from our friends over at Asia Music Fest, we scored some nice-ass rooms at the Mandarin Oriental (Yes, we did shamelessly use our own code ~ELECTRICSOUL~ for 5% off). Not only was booking and planning easy, the Mandarin was also conveniently located within walking distance of the festival grounds, making early mornings and late nights a lot easier to deal with. Aside from the Mandarin, the festival area is actually surrounded by a bunch of hotels, guaranteeing that you and your friends will find the one right for your budget. (assuming that RTU Singapore comes back for a second year). Even though the festival was in such a busy area, traffic going in and out really wasn't all that bad; leaving at night once the sets were over was expectedly hectic, but it was nothing compared to the insanity one would experience at a North American music festival (thank god, Asia heat + traffic does not make for a happy camper). Not only was it convenient to go in and out of the festival grounds, living in the heart of the city meant that everything was close-by, making quick stops to the corner store for water and food just a few steps away. Pro tip: Bring your own gum to Singapore! They don't sell it there!
Due to rain earlier in the week, the physical grounds at the entrance of the festival were muddy and filled with water puddles, making for a poor impression upon arrival. However, that's just us being nit-picky 'cause the ugly floor obviously ruined our coveted "At-the-entrance-of-a-music-festival" Instagram. Though the actual festival grounds was lacking in decor, it was ultimately enhanced by the natural beauty of Singapore, with the Marina Bay Sands hotel visible in the skyline at a distance. The venue itself was a good size, having enough space to house the huge crowds while still having areas where people can take a breather away from the action. It's also definitely nice to be able to just break out some crazy-weird moves with your friends without having to worry that you'll be hitting people with your dabs every few seconds ;) Aside from showing off your new, self-taught shuffles, the extra space allowed for people to cool off, away from the furnace-like temperatures of the crowd at the front. With summer temperatures still on full blast in Singapore, "hot" was an understatement. People brought fans during the day to cool themselves off while they waited for the breeze of nightfall.
Speaking of the people, we were lucky enough to meet many friendly festival goers while there. Giving them free swag might've helped, but everyone definitely lived by the PLUR lifestyle and locals welcomed us with big smiles and some even wore Kandie to show their dedication. Don't forget to tag us on Instagram (@electricsoulapp) if you saw our flag and chilled with us!
With a huge lineup including headliners like Afrojack, Axwell & Ingrosso, Kygo and Alesso playing across three different stages, it was a tough call when deciding on who to go see first. Sadly, we missed ZHU's set, but in exchange, we were able to catch DeadMau5, DJ Snake, Above&Beyond and Kygo! With world-renowned status, both DJ Snake and Kygo were well-worth the wait in the sun to see live, but the artists who really stole the show were Deadmau5 and Above&Beyond. Deadmau5 exceeded our expectations, blowing our socks off live with his super original set. There were barely any top40-esque songs, which truly speaks volumes as many artists who come to Asia tend to use chart-toppings songs as a crutch to ensure popularity amongst locals. The same can be said of Above&Beyond, who were also masters of originality. The reason both these artists are amazing, especially live, is because they're the ones who would still be doing EDM even if it hadn't become a world-wide craze, meaning that they stay true to their own sound and style. They're 100% of a different class to other artists that only became what they are due to the skyrocketing popularity of EDM over the last couple of years. Those artists tend to lose their identity to the masses, choosing to please the crowd rather than making their own mark in the music world.
The one thing we hope Ultra Singapore improves on in their next take of the legendary Ultra title would be the lighting effects; we don't expect that of the likes of EDC, but we hope that more effort is put into the lights shows as they play such an integral part of the festival experience. Aside from that, we had a blast in Singapore and it definitely got us hyped for Hong Kong's very own RTU festival!