A world-class performing arts centre, the uniquely designed Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay presents several performing arts festivals a year. Conveniently located in Marina Bay, Esplanade is one of the top places to check out the performing arts scene in Singapore.
Three of the annual performing arts festivals held at the Esplanade are directly linked to Singapore’s ethnic heritage: the Pesta Raya festival of Malay Arts, the Huayi Chinese Festival of Arts, and Kalaa Utsavam which is an Indian arts festival. All three feature music and dance performances specific to each culture, and have a variety of paid and free events.
There are also music festivals presented by the Esplanade: Baybeats, which showcases local and international bands across genres and includes a music festival village, and the Mosaic Music Festival which showcases Singaporean and world music.
Then there’s the Esplanade da:ns festival, an annual event which brings together dance companies from everywhere, covering classical ballet, folk and classical dance from around the world, local dance companies, and experimental / contemporary acts. Check out the event calendar on the Esplanade website to find out what’s happening when you’re in town.
Organised annually by the National Arts Council, The Singapore Arts Festival is one of the biggest of its kind in the region. Visual arts, music, dance and theatre are covered, with artists from Singapore and all over the world. It’s well worth attending if you want to understand the modern landscape of Asian arts.
Film festivals have gained increasing popularity in Singapore over the years. The Singapore International Film Festival is the biggest, incorporating film awards and other events. There are also festivals that focus on short films, French and German cinema, and even films about design and technology.
The festival brings together local and international authors, emerging writers and publishers in a range of events that can be enjoyed by audiences of all ages. Expect panel discussions, writing workshops, live readings by authors, dinners with writers, publishing symposiums, participatory events, special guest lectures and film screenings.