Sultangate paves the way for more music events at Kampong Glam

Local Bohemian band The Lost Hat performing during the Sultangate music festival, which kicked off its second edition on Sept 7, 2018.
Local Bohemian band The Lost Hat performing during the Sultangate music festival, which kicked off its second edition on Sept 7, 2018.ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO

SINGAPORE - Music festival Sultangate, which kicked off its second edition at the Malay Heritage Centre on Friday (Sept 7), could pave the way for more live music events at Kampong Glam.

The festival, which features home-grown musicians playing eclectic genres including bohemian, ethnic, new age and spiritual music, made its debut last year (2017).

Events like Sultangate make the area even more lively, says guest of honour at the launch of the festival, MP Yaacob Ibrahim.

"I think the event adds to the vibrancy and attracts a more diverse crowd, people who come here not just for the food but for the music and the experience," says the former minister for communications and information.

The restaurants and cafes could have more live music, he suggests.

"It would be nice to go to one of the Mediterranean restaurants and while you have your meal, hear Mediterranean music not piped in from the Internet , but real live music."

The variety of music genres in Sultangate reflects Kampong Glam's diversity, he adds.


"If you look back into the history of Kampong Glam, it has always been a diverse place. It is in this place where people of different backgrounds and different races come together."

Having more live music events like Sultangate can attract more visitors to the area, added vice-chairman of One Kampong Glam (OKG) Muhammad Zaki Maarof.

OKG is the association that looks after the businesses in the Kampong Glam precinct.

"The visitors here will be keen to have something new. A music festival like Sultangate lets them experience something different in Kampong Glam."

Home-grown music acts performing at Sultangate on Friday include The Lost Hat, a band whose original works is inspired by gypsy music and Alwehdah, a group playing a hybrid of Samrah, or South Yemeni folk and modern Arabic music.

Fusion music group Veda9, led by festival founder Idrus Rashid, 57, is set to perform on Saturday (Sept 8) while new singers such as Sharliza Jelita will sing in a segment for budding talents on Sunday.

Sultangate will end on Sunday with a jam session for musicians organised by music app developer Jambro.

Besides music performances, the festival also includes a networking session, Barakah, for music practitioners as well as Kampong Glam business owners.

The festival opening also saw the launch of, an online portal aimed at the district's business community and members of the music scene.