ZoukOut takes a timeout

Last year’s edition of ZoukOut drew just 20,000 attendees.
Last year’s edition of ZoukOut drew just 20,000 attendees. PHOTO: ST FILE

The region's pioneering annual dance music festival will not have a 2019 edition in Singapore, its organisers say, after several years of falling attendance figures

It is official. After 18 years, annual beach dance music festival ZoukOut has announced it is "taking a break" this year and "will not have a 2019 edition in Singapore", according to organisers Zouk Group.

The region's pioneering music festival by the homegrown nightlife operator and lifestyle brand is typically held in December at Sentosa's Siloso Beach.

When asked if ZoukOut will be back in the future, chief executive of the Zouk Group Andrew Li, 36, told The Straits Times: "ZoukOut is an important part of our story and we will do everything we can to bring the event back in the future. However, we do not have any concrete plans to share at the moment."

"In the meantime, we will continue to bring in more exciting acts in the coming months, and channel our resources towards providing our guests with the best possible experiences at our outlets."

Zouk Group has been a subsidiary of cruise operator Genting Hong Kong since 2015.

ZoukOut's break comes amid a competitive music festival environment in the region, which usually sees mega dance music festivals like Djakarta Warehouse Project in Jakarta and 808 Festival in Bangkok taking place in December as well.

This year, the inaugural edition of locally produced dance music festival Legacy will be held at Siloso Beach, with headline acts Tiesto and Don Diablo, on Dec 6 and 7.

Last year's edition of ZoukOut - a one-day affair with headliners such as DVLM and Galantis - drew just 20,000 attendees.

ZoukOut is an important part of our story and we will do everything we can to bring the event back in the future.

CHIEF EXECUTIVE ANDREW LI OF ZOUK GROUP

The event was scaled down to one day after several years of falling attendance figures.

From 2012 to 2017, it ran as a two-day festival.

While attendance peaked at 50,000 festival goers in 2014, it fell to 45,000 in 2015, 41,000 in 2016 and 40,000 in 2017.

"As the festival climate evolves, we have to also progress alongside it," said Mr Li.

While ZoukOut will be put on hold for now, the Zouk Group has announced it will "be gearing up for several new projects and global expansion plans". These include projects within casino and hotel Resorts World Las Vegas, which is expected to launch in 2021, as well as launching new cruise ships.

This year, Zouk has already launched two new concepts in Resorts World Genting, including a new Zouk club, as well as Fuhu Restaurant and Bar in partnership with Hong Kong celebrity chef Alvin Leung.

As part of their food-and-beverage expansion plans, the group is also bringing American burger franchise Five Guys to Singapore, with the first outlet set to open in Plaza Singapura later this year.

As for whether ZoukOut could be moved to one of Zouk's other properties, such as Zouk Genting or even Zouk's cruise ships, Mr Li said: "We are open to exploring all possibilities at the moment. If the opportunity presents itself, we may bring ZoukOut back in a different format."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 28, 2019, with the headline 'ZoukOut takes a timeout'. Print Edition | Subscribe