SINGAPORE - An overly elaborate and tacky main stage proved to be a distraction from the headline acts at this year's edition of ZoukOut, the annual beach dance music festival that kicked off Friday night (Dec 8) at Sentosa's Siloso Beach.
The Moon Stage, as it is called, with its towering "lion head" that looked more like a dragon, and eyes that shot laser beams, seemed an ill-advised attempt to keep up with the iconic stages of international dance music festivals such as Tomorrowland and Ultra.
Jam-packed with everything from strobe lights to lasers, LED panels, CO2 jets, and pyrotechnics, it was a centrepiece that certainly went for scale.
Last year's Moon Stage was smaller and uniquely shaped like the Zouk logo of an eye, making for a spectacular backdrop for the acts.
The two-day event, by home-grown club Zouk, is now in its 17th year and is considered one of the top dance music festivals in the region.
Frenchman DJ Snake and Australian DJ-producer Flume were among the big name acts that headlined the main stage on day one. Earlier in the night, Asian hip hop crew 88 Rising - comprising Rich Chigga, Higher Brothers and Joji - played a blistering opening set that saw a sizeable crowd at the early hour of 11pm.
The dusk-to-dawn party continues on Saturday going into Sunday morning with day two's line up including Swedish DJ duo Axwell and Ingrosso, Dutch DJ duo Yellow Claw and masked DJ Marshmello.
Organisers Zouk are expecting 40,000 attendees over both days.
Among them was Mr Boszs Apiwat, 27, who has attended ZoukOut for the previous two years as well. While he has gone to other festivals such as Ultra Singapore, Korea and Thailand, the electronic dance music fan says he is here to see DJ Snake. "Even though the stage is different, I just wanted to come here and experience it again because I love festivals," he says.
This year ZoukOut also partnered with bungy jump attraction AJ Hackett Sentosa, which had a 50m tall Bungy Jump Tower, Giant Swing, Vertical Skywalk and 40m long Skybridge operating within the festival area. At the start of the night, there were already partygoers trying out the activities.