A stellar turnout halted ticket sales at the Singapore Coffee Festival yesterday, when more than 10,000 people filled the halls of the F1 Pit Building where the four-day coffee and lifestyle festival is being held.
Around 8,000 tickets had been pre-purchased on Sistic, and another 2,000 tickets were sold at the door before sales were stopped at 2pm to ensure the comfort and safety of the festival-goers.
Ms Goh Wee Wang, general manager (consumer) of Sphere Exhibits, the Singapore Press Holdings subsidiary which organised the event, said only people who pre-purchased their tickets will be admitted today, the last day of the festival.
No additional tickets will be sold at the door.
"We want to manage the safety and ensure a pleasant experience for all who visit the festival," she said. The event is presented by DBS and hosted by The Straits Times.
Vendors told The Sunday Times that people had started filtering in even before the festival's official opening time of 11am. By noon the halls were packed, and the crowd did not thin out until close to 6pm.
•Tickets for entry today are sold out. No tickets will be available for purchase at the venue.
•Only visitors with pre-purchased tickets will be admitted. Thank you for your support.
Even then, people continued to arrive to enjoy coffee, food and live music until the festival closed at 9pm. After that, an audience of a couple of hundred enjoyed free screenings of local films 7 Letters and Eating Air in the carpark outside.
"We're happy that people are getting to appreciate and learn more about coffee. The response has been amazing," said Ms Goh.
Added Mr Warren Fernandez, editor of The Straits Times: "We had figured there were many coffee lovers out there, and the response has been just great.
"We are happy to see so many people enjoying the coffee, food, and engaging with our journalists over coffee. This is just what we were hoping to achieve and we are grateful for the support we have received."
In high spirits, attendees checked out coffee talks, workshops and the lifestyle offerings of more than 100 vendors, posing for photos and Instagram-ming their favourite latte art along the way.
Specially designed spaces, such as a vintage kopi-tiam, a bean bag corner, and an F&B square made to look like an alfresco dining area, were particularly popular places to take a break as people hopped from one pop-up cafe to another.
While queues formed at stalls of Singapore's favourite cafes, such as Common Man Coffee Roasters, Symmetry and Strangers' Reunion, festival-goers also gravitated towards vendors who offered new coffee styles.
Roasted In Japan, a project dedicated to promoting the best roasters and brewers from around the country, was a crowd favourite. Their drip and aeropress brews and delicate coffee roasts were in constant demand, and bags of their special bean blends were snapped up.
Coffee lovers seeking smooth and less astringent brews formed lines around the stall of Made Cold, which specialises in coffee brewed in cold water for 12 to 24 hours.
Live music, talks by The Straits Times journalists, free manicures, make-up sessions and a flea market boasting everything from fashion to jewellery, leather goods, cosmetics and home decor, rounded out the day's entertainment.
Though she felt the place was too crowded, visitor Lai Yan, 19, had a good time. " There is something for everyone, if you like making coffee at home or if you are someone who just likes to drink coffee, like me."