Ultra 2016 Experience

Hey guys! So I thought I would try something different with this post. Instead of writing down my Ultra Music Festival experience in Singapore, I thought it would be better to let you experience it with me. So, I’ve made a little vlog. It’s my first time dabbling in video, so excuse any kinks and glitches.

Needless to say it was hot, sweaty and amazing. I was dead exhausted after the whole thing, but it was unforgettable.

Hope you guys enjoy this one!


Caffeinated Festivities

As the hype finally died down, I thought it would be a good time to post my thoughts on the Singapore Coffee Festival that happened a couple weeks back on 9 to 12 June. I personally bought a one day pass the instant I heard that this festival was happening. According to what I read, the Singapore Coffee Festival was supposed to be a gathering of both niche and mainstream coffee companies and cafes, to showcase their beans and brews.

The location was inside the F1 Pit Building. Though the air conditioning was much appreciated as it was completely packed with people, I had expected an outdoor, fair-like event. It didn’t feel like a festival, more like an exhibition. The different coffee brands had booths and it was incredibly hard to navigate due to overcrowding in such a small limited space. Half the time, all I saw were the backs of people’s heads as I shove through the herd of people to even catch a glance of the booths.

My height was a definite disadvantage here.

I will summarize my Singapore Coffee Festival experience into 5 main points.

1. Local brewers outweigh the international ones.

There were the usual suspects such as Common Man Roasters, Chye Seng Huat and a couple of familiar coffee places popping up. Some international booths too, such as the “Roasted in Japan” booth consisting of three Japanese coffee roasters, Indonesian coffee beans and some Aussie ones. However, most were local and the international booths are less attractive. Some just selling their beans and roast without the facility of a coffee maker.


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In that case, there isn’t a significant different between going to the actual cafes and going to the festival. The only advantage would to try out all the popular coffee brews in Singapore all at one go.

This brings be to my second point.

2. It’s almost impossible to try everything.

To be honest, I couldn’t try as much coffee as I would like because the lines for all the popular booths were insane. But it did drove me to pay attention to the emptier booths.

But other than that, you will find that most of your coffee fest experience is just you waiting in line to get your cuppa. For example, the “Roast in Japan” booth took me about 30 minutes to get my hands on a cup of hand drip coffee, costing me $7. Food booths were equally crowded. Particularly the third floor as we had to purchase tokens in order to pay for the food.


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3. The token system was a total rip off

The second level had an area where majority of the food stall are located at. Nestled in the middle of the crammed area is a sprinkling of tables and benches, random hammocks and a small stage where local acts were performing. The cafe food was made fresh, which a plus. However, the confined environment of the Pit Building meant that the entire floor will smell like a mixture of every single food you can think of. And it will stick to your hair and clothing, all day long.

Ventilation was definitely an issue here. And the token system. Basically for the food stalls in that level, we had to purchase tokens in order to purchase the food. The lines for the tokens were so long that you would want to bulk purchase these tokens, resulting in wasted tokens, if you don’t finish them up. And unless you buy the right amount of food and drinks, you will end up with small tokens you can’t use to purchase anything.

I don’t understand the reason for this completely separate system, other that to exploit us for more money. The other booths in the levels below accepted cash, no problem. Just the food stalls, funded by DBS had this ridiculous system.

That aside, the food was decent. Mostly cafe food, such as burgers, fries, pasta… The usual suspects. Everything had to be purchased, not at all at reduced prices. So expect steep cafe prices.


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4. Coffee was the saving grace

Despite all that, coffee managed to save the day. I didn’t get to try as many as I would want, considering that I had to pay for entry. Latte art was practically non-existent due to the mad rush for coffee and long lines. Yet the beans spoke for themselves.

Cold brews are all the rage it seems. People love the cool, apothecary style bottles that houses the smooth brews. Cold brews are made by steeping the coffee grounds in cold water for 24 hours or more. This makes the coffee smoother, less acidic and less bitter as well. I prefer mine with milk and a little sweetened. Though the one I had from Two Bakers in French Vanilla was way to sweet, there are some which are sold completely unsweetened.

My favourite is Huggs Coffee, especially their Latte Gula. It was bomb! Their beans are nutty and lightly sweetened with gula melaka, creating a coconut after taste that’s so different and lovely. Plus they were on of the very few booths that were giving out free coffee. A close second would be Chye Seng Huat’s brews that were bold and more acidic in flavour, but still very aromatic and smooth.





Overall, it was a good caffeine driven event. However, it was a bit of a waste of money to be honest. Most of the cafes featured are in Singapore and you can visit them at your own convenience, without the giant crowd. The freebies are cute, but not enough to warrant the amount of money your will be spending on the food and drinks. Personally, I feel like the prices should be slightly reduced for the event. Also, the location is not ideal at all, a nightmare for anyone with a fear of crowds.

I wouldn’t go for the one happening next year. But I’m glad I went for it this year to form my own opinions on this.


Book Fair was LIT.

As a book lover, I was super excited when I heard about the Singapore Art Book Fair happening at the Singapore Art Science Museum. It is basically a place for smaller publishing companies and independent artists to showcase and offer their work to the masses. What intrigued me was that I will be able to see books and other works that are not as mass produced as the books that we see in Kinokuniya or Popular.


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In a nutshell, this book fair is a huge gathering of hipsters and the art committee and Singapore. Both are obviously not mutually exclusive.

I decided to go on opening night. My thought process was that I will be able to see the entire range of what all the booths had to offer and certain exclusive books  or one-of-a-kind items won’t be gone.



Bad idea.


What was I even thinking? Looking back I wanted to shoot myself in the face for thinking this was a good idea. The opening night was incredibly packed. My assumption was that this fair will be held outdoors and there will be ample space to browse from booth to booth. Unfortunately the fair was indoors, on the 4th floor of the art science museum. And it was a tiny floor indeed. With the number of people that turned up, there was barely space to move, let alone to view the booth tables. Towards the end of the night, the Art Science Theatre had to call in security to do some crowd control. Rather elderly men and women clad in fluorescent orange shirts and gloves were manning the entrance like the door bitches to an exclusive club.

People who left the space to go out had a difficult time coming back into the building. My friend, Josh, was stuck outside because people were denied entry at about 9pm. Honestly, the space was a major concern.

I found myself pushed and shoved a lot. Also, I realised that the art committee in Singapore is very small. Everyone kind of knew everyone else. I found it tough to talk to the people mending the booth because they were mostly talking amongst themselves and catching up with each other. I felt like I was constantly interrupting them when I was inquiring about prices of certain zines or books. But that is expected on opening night as these booths probably invited a bunch of their friends to come and support them.




So in hind sight, I should’ve waited till the days after the opening night to visit the fair. Hence, I would suggest that the next time you go for the actual Singapore Art Book Fair (which I believe is a yearly event) and skip the opening night.

Despite the crammed experience, I thought that the booths were all interesting. Local publishing company, ‘Books Actually‘ was particularly popular with hoards of youths gathering around their booth, grabbing for their poetry novels on the table. Some are frequent customers looking for specific writers, which I thought is so amazing for the local art scene. Local youths looking for poetry by fellow locals fills my heart with joy.

The Singapore Art Book Fair also featured artists and writers from all over the world; Vietnam, Indonesia, China and Australia. Besides books, they were selling merchandise like badges, iron-on patches, pottery, accessories and art work. Thus,  can see why the place was crawling with hipsters. I should’ve dressed to blend in with the crowd more.




Another booth that was swarmed with people was ‘Magpie‘. Magpie is a local magazine distribution company that sells indie magazines from all over the world. Here, you won’t find Vogue or Men’s Health. She has a large collection of visually captivating magazines such as ‘B’ (a Korean magazine that dedicates each issue on the history of a Brand) and ‘Cereal’ (an independent travel and lifestyle magazine that gives Kinfolk a run for its money in terms of minimalist designs). All the magazines are slightly over priced, in my honest opinion. Most of them make for great coffee table books as they are so pleasing to the eye. However, lots of them feature more photos than actual articles to read.

Nevertheless, if you are a fan of design, the magazines are to die for! I, myself, bought one. An issue of ‘B’ magazine on Nars cosmetics, figures. It was $28, which is pretty steep for a magazine. But it was an ‘in-the-moment’ type of decision. Also there are good quality souvenir tote bags for $18 a pop. A perfect addition to a hipster wardrobe.



Overall, it was a good experience. Lots of interesting works to look at and if you are a sucker for aesthetic, you will feel like buying everything in sight. I wished that the location was a bit more open and that there were interesting stories I could extract from the vendors, but due to how popular the fair is, it’s pretty hard to have good one on one conversations. Still, I am happy to see that the arts scene in Singapore is buzzing with youth and excitement.

It truly gives me hope.


Lights. Camera. Instagram.

The simple days are gone where you can just take a grainy selfie with horrible lighting and post it on your MySpace or Facebook page. It’s all about aesthetic now. And even the average Instagram user will have a feed filled with good quality photos. It’s the digital generation and it’s all about the life that we portray online. People go cafe-hopping in search of the most “instagram” worthy or “Tumblr-like” interiors. Singaporeans are obsessed with finding new, cool places to Instagram. Which, despite its superficial intentions, is actually a great way to get Singaporeans to explore our island bit more.

As a homebody, I tend to get really lazy to leave the house. I usually prefer staying home, with a snack and Netflix. However, the photos that popped up on my Instagram explore page as well as the people I followed sparked an interest in me. I am, of course, referring to the i Light Marina Bay Light Art Festival that has been ongoing in Marina Bay Sands for about a month now.





The whole festival is about merging art and environmental science. The already spectacular Marina Bay Sands is now even more brightly lit with Art Installations all around the area, including the Float. There are several “stations” where people can look and even interact with the Light Installations. My curiosity finally got the better of me and I made the trip there to check out the scene.

The place is buzzing! On top of the actual Light Art Festival, there is also a carnival set up with very nostalgic childhood rides, such as carousels, slides and fair booths. There was also live music playing from “Pasarbella Goes to Town“, which is an outdoor food festival event with various stalls selling beer, snacks and unique international dishes. The stalls were littered in a  circle around a low stage where a live band was playing some acoustic versions of popular “Top 40” songs. The atmosphere is really lovely and it almost felt like I was transported elsewhere. But the looming city skyline confirms that we were in fact, still in Singapore.



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Back to the actual festival itself, the light installations each have a different story and there are guided tours you can go on. Otherwise, you can just read the placards beside each station that explain the artist and what each station is about.

The carnival separate from the installations and do offer rides like bumper cars and such. However, they were pretty overpriced. It’s good enough to just walk around and enjoy the “funfair” environment. And of course, take lots of pictures!





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The whole festival is a major gathering of snap-happy people. And I can definitely see why! The lights are stunning, especially against the city skyline. Furthermore, they are colourful and quite magical, something definitely out of the ordinary for Singapore. Even if you weren’t there to take cool photos to post on your Instagram feed, I feel that the festival itself is a great experience to be shared with friends and family. It’s a good place for a date too! There are bubbles floating everywhere from one of the stations, which instantly brings out the inner child in everyone. Musical motion sensors that make musical notes with each movement. Lights, food and the hustle and bustle of people.




The festival is free admission for all, another amazing perk.

Mind you, these photos were taken by a regular point and shoot, by me (aka an absolute NOOB at photography). Hence, it really doesn’t take much to take an amazing photo and create great memories. I also learnt quite bit about the environment and sustainable energy.







Perhaps a very belated post, but this is to urge all you lazy-bums like me to check out the iLight Marina Bay Light Art Festival that will be ending on 27th March.

It’s truly worth it. Not just for the potentially amazing photos you can take or the amount of “likes” you might get in your Instagram post, but more so to enjoy the actual art installations. Their clever use of light to create lovely images, reliving your youth, enjoying the outdoors and having a moment with your loved ones. It’s nice to have a different type of activity to enjoy, besides shopping around in Singapore.

Truly worth the effort! Lazy Person Approved!