Hotelier Shaneen de Livera, 25, said, “It’s my third ZoukOut and I keep coming back. Although I’m Sri Lankan and I live in Melbourne, I stop in Singapore every year, for the past 3 years, on my way back home, just for ZoukOut,” she added, “The people, the way the festival is run, the music, the DJs, the atmosphere and the beach, it all adds up.”
Multiple stages and tents were built to accommodate all 34 acts descending upon Siloso Beach in Sentosa, who were rostered at different times to work the crowd. Booths selling official merchandise, alcoholic drinks and food (“So we can keep partying,” said hotel sales coordinator Joyce Ko, 24, from Singapore) were also speckled throughout the area.
“I’m here for the experience. Everybody talks about it, it’s huge in Singapore,” said tertiary student Christina Müehlbauer, 24, who was visiting from Germany.
Australian duo NERVO took on the Moon Stage next, keeping the surging masses on their toes, with their hands in the air while simultaneously feeding off the energy of the crowd, appearing absolutely elated playing to their adoring fans.
Next up, Afrojack took to the decks with his confetti showers a little past midnight, partying it up with the audience throughout his set. Best known for “Take Over Control” in 2010, the amiable Dutch DJ and producer even invited some lucky females in the audience up on stage to party with him.
Hailing from Chicago, trio Krewella came hot on the heels of Afrojack, wowing partygoers with their melodic harmonizing on “Alive” and energetic on-stage antics, like jumping onto the DJ console, while their international fans raised flags they had brought from their home countries, staking their claim in the festival.
While all that electronic dance madness was going on at the Moon Stage, the Star Stage had its share of good ol’ partying with acts like British dubstep music producer, Benga, entertaining the other half of ZoukOut’s screaming fans.
“Changed The Way You Kiss Me” is a familiar earworm to partygoers 2 years ago, produced by singer-songwriter Example. The English looker was definitely the ladies’ man, inviting “all the ladies out there to put their hands up”.
DJ Ghetto took over from Example with his air-horned set, which he has made his signature from various TGIW (Thank God It’s Wednesday) nights in Zouk’s premises at Jiak Kim Street. His friends, consisting of Singaporean celebrity blogger Marxmae and Zouk’s very own Head of Business Development, Sofie Chandra, joined him on stage while he played tunes that were no doubt familiar to Singaporean clubbers.
As the lights dimmed and the last songs of the night faded out, mixed emotions could be seen from tired faces while attendees reluctantly exited the venue. Anticipation for the next day’s line-up of DJs was tempered by the sheer exhaustion from partying hard through the first night.
The increased amount of partygoers on the second day also meant that Siloso Beach became an explosion of colors as ravers strutted in their most eye-catching and outrageous costumes such as animal masks, floral headbands and wigs of every imaginable style and color.
Resident DJ at Zouk Singapore, DJ Adrian Wee played a set from 10 pm to 11.30 pm at the Stars Stage and said, “This is my third time at ZoukOut. It’s one of the best festivals that we have in Asia and even in the world.”
Zedd, who shot to fame with “Clarity”, took to the stage and kept the electronic dance music-loving crowd jumping and fist pumping with his latest single, “Stay The Night”, which featured Paramore’s Hayley Williams’ vocals.
A mainstay at international EDM festivals like Tomorrowland and Ultra Music Festival, French electro-house maestro Martin Solveig continued the electronic aural feast until it was Alesso’s turn to hit the decks.
Voted the 10th most popular DJ in the world according to DJ Mag in 2013, Dash Berlin took over from Alesso accompanied by much screaming. Apparently the DJ to enjoy in ZoukOut 2013, this veteran DJ threw light sticks and T-shirts into the crowd while dropping hits like “Better Half Of Me” and his remix of Christina Perri’s “Jar Of Hearts” while his various music videos played behind him on a giant screen.
“THIS is who I came to see. Him, Dash Berlin,” said Singaporean national serviceman Yazid Sazali, 24.
With your feet in the sand, music in your ears while the sun rises on your back, the magical moment of Man immersed in music was played out to full effect during Dash Berlin’s set, which kept the voracious masses dancing till sunrise. The amount of “heart hands” raised during his set also captured the unifying effect of music and the bond between a DJ and his/her fans.
As the sun rose and ZoukOut 2013 came to an end, gleeful and satisfied smiles settled on the exhausted faces of the attendees in arms with newly made friends as cheers of “till next year!” echoed throughout the beach.
Photos courtesy of Zouk Management