Everywhere I looked, there were excited faces, young and old, of different nationalities. But they all had one thing in common—everyone had that spring in their steps. It was the eve of Ultra Singapore 2018, and the throng of people, glow sticks and fluorescent wristbands, were in aid of the much-awaited Friday of June 15, thethird edition of Ultra Singapore 2018.
This two-day outdoor electronic dance music (EDM) event, part of the Ultra Music Festival, debuted in 2015, and ever since has been an event that not only Singaporeans but EDM fans from around the world await eagerly. A tiny confession, however—I was not an EDM enthusiast, at least not until I went to Ultra Singapore. Apart from an awkward party here and a restaurant there, I had never had any sort of affinity towards the genre. But I was willing to give it a chance as I headed towards Ultra Park at 1 Bayfront Avenue with my Singapore Tourism Board guide, Winnie.
At 4.30pm, at the traffic signal opposite Marina Bay Sands Hotel with hundreds of young people in the quirkiest of attires and make-up, I was dumbstruck at the enthusiasm. I walked towards the gate with the crowd, absent-mindedly bobbing my head to the tune that was blaring. A random stranger in a neon headband and white kimono looked at me and yelled “Yeaaaahhhh!” Okay, then.
The wait was long at the gate. The folks at Ultra Singapore take their security pretty seriously. Disappointed young people were even turned away because of a lack of government ID. It had started to drizzle, and my party spirit waned with every raindrop that landed on my face.
Inside, there were three stages with artists performing, and crowds moving to their beat. I spotted the stage where DJs Sunnery James and Ryan Marciano from Amsterdam enthralled the crowd. I walked around nodding to the music and high-fiving strangers. At another stage, the 20-something Singaporean DJ Myrne entertained the crowd with a slower tempo. And this was just the beginning of an evening with big names in the world of music. The line-up for the weekend included artists like Above & Beyond, Afrojack, DJ Snake and Nicky Romero, all ready to take music lovers to a different kind of high. No one cared about the drizzle anymore.
The first day went on till 10:30pm, after which we headed for dinner at Lau Pa Sat. Later, there was the Ultra After Party at Avry, the very happening avian-themed disco club. What a great way to end the day.
The next day was bigger and better. Now knowing what to expect, the crowd partied even harder to the beats. What a weekend!
As I absentmindedly played with my Ultra Singapore wristband, I caught myself looking forward to next year’s Ultra party.