Neon Lights Festival

Poets & dancers at Neon Lights music fest

Neon Lights, taking place next week, features not only bands and singers but also comedians and drag queens

Music-loving hipsters need not leave their children at home when they attend next weekend's Neon Lights, the latest outdoor alternative music festival on the local calendar.

Not only does it feature acclaimed indie music acts such as Damien Rice, Julia Holter, Mogwai, Mercury Rev and Shugo Tokumaru, it also has stand-up comedy and circus performances as well as children's workshops.

The event's managing director Declan Forde believes that there is demand for a festival he describes as "a family-friendly music and arts festival" featuring "a top-quality diverse music line-up and interactive fun-packed arts programmes".


He and the event's arts programme director Jennifer Jennings, who is also his wife, have organised other festivals around the world, including Electric Picnic in Ireland and Australia's Harvest Festival.

Taking place at six stages in Fort Canning Park, the two-day festival brings together a massive line-up of 39 international and local musicians, and 140 other performers including artists, poets, dancers, comedians and drag queens.

Two stages will be devoted to music acts, including disco legends Chic featuring Nile Rodgers and British shoegaze pioneers Ride; the remaining four each has a distinct arts programme - alternative entertainment, literary arts, visual and performing arts, or street culture.

The Irish couple, who declined to reveal how much it cost to organise the event, say they picked Singapore to stage Neon Lights after noticing a growing appetite for events here.

Mr Forde, 39, says: "Singaporeans have very diverse tastes, a sense of style and aesthetics.


  • Where: Fort Canning Green and Gate

    When: Nov 28 and 29, from 1pm

    Admission: From $150 for a single-day pass for adult, $90 for youth aged 12 to 17 and $25 for child aged two to 11. Free entry for children under two. (excludes booking fee)


"It seemed there are a lot of people here who would appreciate the type of music and arts festival we have successfully run in several other countries."

With no doubt in their minds that this is set to be an annual affair, Ms Jennings, 37, hopes that Neon Lights will carve out its own niche spot in the festival circuit here.

She says: "We hope that Singaporeans will speak about Neon Lights with pride to foreigners they meet in years to come."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 20, 2015, with the headline 'Poets & dancers at music fest'. Print Edition | Subscribe