Fate of Ultra Singapore up in the air

Like last year's event (above), the fourth edition of Ultra Singapore is supposed to be held at the open field next to Marina Bay Sands Tower 1.
Like last year's event (above), the fourth edition of Ultra Singapore is supposed to be held at the open field next to Marina Bay Sands Tower 1.PHOTO: ALIVE COVERAGE

Construction of the outdoor venue for the dance music festival, slated to take place on Saturday and Sunday, has not begun, raising questions

With a few days to go, uncertainty is swirling over whether annual two-day outdoor dance music festival Ultra Singapore has been moved indoors to the Sands Expo and Convention Centre in Marina Bay Sands (MBS) or if it will be cancelled entirely.

This year's edition is slated to be held this weekend on June 8 and 9, at its usual venue of the open field next to MBS Tower 1.

However, with less than a week to go, construction of the festival venue and its three stages has not started on the open field.

E-tickets received by some partygoers show that the venue has been changed to MBS Sands Expo and Convention Centre.

The Straits Times has contacted the organisers for confirmation, but did not receive a response by press time.

The annual music festival - run by executive producers Alex Chew and Raj Datwani - is into its fourth year and boasts headline international DJ acts such as Skrillex and Martin Garrix.

Ticket-holder Jonathan Lee, 29 - who has attended all three editions of Ultra Singapore and is looking forward to seeing Swedish DJ Axwell - says: "I would not have wanted to go if I knew it was indoors."

The business development manager also questioned: "Is this Fyre Festival part two?", referring to the failed luxury music festival that was supposed to have been held in the Bahamas in 2017, but has been postponed indefinitely.

Local festivalgoer Luna Lim, 21, however, remains optimistic. The marketing executive has also attended all three editions of Ultra Singapore and says she intends "to keep the streak going and attend the fourth one this year, regardless of the venue".

"Despite the many rumours, I believe that Ultra's management will do its best to present yet another great festival in Singapore," says Ms Lim.

According to Ultra's organisers, last year's edition attracted 41,000 partygoers over two days, with headline acts such as DJ Snake and Nicky Romero. This was down from its peak of 50,000 attendees in 2016.

Ultra's Singapore edition debuted as a smaller-scale Road To Ultra event here in 2015, also at MBS' convention centre, as part of the popular Miami-based Ultra Music Festival's worldwide expansion.

Other recent international versions of Ultra have had last-minute changes, including Ultra China 2018 in Shanghai and Beijing.

The Shanghai edition, also an outdoor festival, was cancelled in September last year with a week to go. Events were moved to a series of clubs instead to make up for it.

The Beijing edition, on the other hand, was postponed twice from dates set in June and September last year.

However, it looks like the eighth edition of Ultra Korea, which will run this weekend from June 7 to 9, is proceeding as planned with the same headline acts for Singapore - namely Skrillex and Martin Garrix - as well as other DJ acts such as Underworld and Knife Party.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 05, 2019, with the headline 'Fate of Ultra Singapore up in the air'. Print Edition | Subscribe