Vote for your favourite party

Wild Wednesdays #GE2015

Bars and restaurants are holding their own election-themed parties

Before Singaporeans go to the polls next Friday, bars and restaurants are rallying crowds using a different kind of party: the election-themed night.

For example, the Kacang Putih cocktail bar at Boat Quay hosted a private networking event last Friday, called the Gerrymander Party, which was attended by 25 people.

During the event, the bar was divided into different "GRCs" in which people were encouraged to mingle.

But every 30 minutes, the boundaries of each "GRC" were redrawn, forcing attendees to interact with different people in the bar.

Says the bar's owner, Mr Elex Ng, 29: "We thought the concept was very timely and relatable to guests since the polls are just next week.

Elections are festive occasions in most parts of the world. There are posters, decorations, visits by candidates, rallies, as well as politically themed merchandise... This creates a natural ecology for such parties to emerge.


"But we weren't out to make a political statement. It was just a cheeky take on current affairs."

His view echoes those of many other organisers, who say their events are not meant to garner support for any political party, but are just a bit of fun for customers.

On Wednesday, Bang Bang dance club at Raffles Boulevard will theme its ladies night around the General Election.

Partygoers will supposedly hint at who they will vote through their drinks - clear drinks mean they will vote for the ruling party, red drinks mean they will vote for the opposition.

Ms Gursheel Dhillon, 27, the director of Vanilla Luxury, the club's marketing agency, says: "Of course, it's not like you have to vote for anybody based on what you drink.

"Our event is just a light-hearted, tongue-in-cheek way of letting our guests have a bit of fun."

At the f.Club Singapore nightclub at Clarke Quay, partygoers are invited to dress up on Thursday in blue, orange, red, white or yellow - colours commonly associated with political parties. The club will reward those it thinks are "well-dressed" with a bottle of vodka worth $298.

The club's marketing and events manager, Ms Melanie Romilien, 30, says: "We pride ourselves on being relevant to our local customers. We've decided to go with a playful twist on the election theme."

Several venues will also organise their own "polls" to let customers vote for their favourite drinks or dishes.

For example, the Fresh cocktail bar at The Sultan Hotel will hold a "national cocktail election" from tomorrow.

From tomorrow to Thursday, it will serve five new cocktails - Peach Apple Pleaser (PAP), Wild Berries Palmier (WP), Sparkling People's Punch (SPP), Super Duper Potent (SDP) and Nonya Sling Pop (NSP) - and let customers vote for their favourite through a ballot box at the bar.

The most popular drink will be added to the bar's menu.

Meanwhile, Humpback, a seafood restaurant at Bukit Pasoh Road, will hold an "oyster polling day" next Friday, where diners can vote for their favourite oyster offerings using ballot sheets.

Says the restaurant's co-owner, Mr Indra Kantono, 32: "This will be our first election-themed event and we just want to inject more fun to our customers' dining experience."

Experts are not surprised at the emergence of election-themed events.

Associate professor of marketing education Seshan Ramaswami, 50, from the Singapore Management University (SMU), says: "Elections are festive occasions in most parts of the world.

"There are posters, decorations, visits by candidates, rallies, as well as politically themed merchandise such as hats, T-shirts and balloons.

"This creates a natural ecology for such parties to emerge. After all, what is a festival without a party?"

Adds professor of marketing Jochen Wirtz, 53, from National University of Singapore: "I think club owners are simply leveraging on an event of interest to get people to go out and party.

"Such events seem more like a commercial opportunity than a political statement."

But assistant professor of law Jack Lee, 44, from SMU warns that some actions, such as displaying banners and posters relating to candidates in the current election, are illegal without a permit from the Returning Officer.

"If organisers hold events on Cooling-off Day (Sept 10) or Polling Day (Sept 11), I'd advise them against displaying any banners, posters or decorations bearing photographs of candidates or party symbols. They should also not encourage guests to wear or carry such items.

"Using some types of electionthemed decorations - such as balloons, miniature flags and soft toys - should be all right though, as these items are not regarded as election advertising."

Marketing executive Vanessa Loh, 23, will head down to Fresh cocktail bar this weekend with friends.

She says: "I find the election theme intriguing because it's what the whole country is talking about right now.

"Some venues also have an interesting spin on this concept, and it's fresh compared to the regular happy hour and ladies night."


Where: Bang Bang, Pan Pacific Singapore, 7 Raffles Boulevard

When: Wednesday, 10pm until late

Admission: $25 for men, free for women. Women who RSVP before the event receive five complimentary drinks worth $90


Where: f.Club Singapore, 01-08, 3B River Valley Road

When: Thursday, 10pm to 5am

Admission: $30 (including two drinks). Free entry for Singaporeans before 11pm


Where: Fresh, The Sultan Hotel, 101 Jalan Sultan

When: Tomorrow till Thursday, 7pm till late

Admission: Free


Where: The Chupitos Shots Bar, 01-05, 3B River Valley Road

When: Next Friday, 6.30pm to 3am

Admission: Free


Where: Humpback, 20 Bukit Pasoh Road

When: Next Friday, 5pm to midnight

Admission: Free

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 04, 2015, with the headline 'Vote for your favourite party'. Print Edition | Subscribe