Debut for many ZoukOut acts

Up-and-coming French DJ and rapper DJ Snake will be appearing for the first time at ZoukOut.
Up-and-coming French DJ and rapper DJ Snake will be appearing for the first time at ZoukOut. PHOTO: COURTESY OF ZOUKOUT

Close to half of the first wave of international acts announced will perform for the first time

Dance music festival ZoukOut will see the highest number of music acts making their debut this year in the event's 15-year history.

Its organiser, nightclub Zouk, announced the first wave of the annual ZoukOut festival line-up yesterday. Close to half of the 12 international acts will perform for the first time in this year's ZoukOut.

They include Swedish electronic music duo Axwell and Ingrosso, who are from the now-defunct dance music trio Swedish House Mafia; up-and-coming French DJ and rapper DJ Snake; and British deep house producer and DJ, Duke Dumont.

Also making their debut are Dutch music producer Oliver Heldens and American techno and house music trio Visionquest.

Last year, only three of the 31 acts performed for the first time at ZoukOut, which is regarded as one of the biggest and most prominent dance music festivals in Asia.

On attracting more new performers to ZoukOut, Ms Sofie Chandra, 32, Zouk's head of marketing and events, says: "ZoukOut is becoming an internationally known event and we have seen more artists wanting to perform here to be part of a world-class experience."

She notes that the first wave of performers is "a good balance of electronic dance music headliners and deep house artists".

The pulsating beach rave party will be held on Dec 11 and 12 at Siloso Beach in Sentosa.

The release of this year's ZoukOut line-up comes hot on the heels of last week's announcement that Zouk will move from its 24-year-old location in Jiak Kim Street in May next year and relocate to Clarke Quay by September next year.

With a confirmed new venue for the popular home-grown nightclub, ZoukOut will remain a marquee event on Zouk's calendar.

Ms Chandra says: "We couldn't be more proud to be able to continue to take the Zouk spirit and energy outdoors.

"The first edition of ZoukOut in 2000 saw a mere 8,000 revellers attending the festival, but it has since grown to attract 50,000 people last year." Zouk hopes to attract about 55,000 people this year.

She adds that more than 40 per cent of last year's revellers were tourists who flew in from as far as Europe and the United States.

Zouk estimates that more than $4.5 million will be spent on organising this year's ZoukOut with a "more elaborate production set-up, pyrotechnics and artist line-up and entertainers".

In all, about 30 international and local dance music acts will hit the stage over the two-day event. Other crowd-favourite acts include Grammy-winning DJ and record producer Tiesto, seasoned American DJ Kaskade and Australian dance duo Nervo.

And like last year's edition, local DJs will perform alongside international acts on the festival's two main stages. They include Zouk's resident DJs such as Formative, Hong and Lincey.

Financial planner Brandon Hu, 27, who has attended two ZoukOut festivals, says: "It is a pretty solid line-up. I am tempted to buy tickets to this year's event, but will wait for the second wave of acts to be released."

He adds that the organisers are taking a risk by including newer names such as DJ Snake and Visionquest, but is glad to see returning acts such as Kaskade.

He says: "Returning acts are always welcomed, as you can anticipate the energy of their performances and enjoy the experience."

Business undergraduate Marcus Yeo, 21 is looking forward most to Axwell and Ingrosso's debut performance here. He says: "They were so good as part of Swedish House Mafia, so it will be interesting to see if they are still as good as a duo."

He is also excited to see Duke Dumont spin in Singapore. He says: "I like his kind of relaxed deep house music, which is a change from the usual pumped-up dance music."

Polytechnic student Keith Ng, 19 says that besides having Axwell and Ingrosso as the "must-watch crowd pullers", he is pleased that promising DJs are also given the spotlight. "I am also looking out for Oliver Heldens as he is part of the trendy wave of chillstep music," he says.

The second wave of acts is slated to be announced next month or in September, when ticket sales start.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 06, 2015, with the headline 'Debut for many ZoukOut acts'. Print Edition | Subscribe