Anberlin taking the stage at Baybeats 2009.
WHEN Anberlin rang off their last note at Baybeats 2009 last weekend, it didn’t take long for naysayers to start complaining – yet again. This time, it was that the sound wasn’t loud enough.
However, if what I heard was anything to go by, it wasn’t so much the volume level, but the mix that wasn’t up to par. Still, that’s all water under the bridge, innit? We should be happy that there is a Baybeats at all.
Why? Because, the rumour-mongers say, Baybeats won’t be back next year. Apparently, the residents around the area are already complaining it’s too noisy; with the integrated resort coming up next year just across the water, even a speakerphone might be too loud.
Do you think the construction site workers might think Baybeats is too loud?
Can you imagine if there was no Baybeats? I can’t.
Thankfully, neither can the good folk at the Esplanade. When we asked them about whether, if complaints continue, they would move the show indoors or rejig the Baybeats formula, they emphasised their support for keeping the festival as is. Here is an excerpt from the reply offered by Ye Junmin, programming officer, The Esplanade Co Ltd:
“As a key alternative music festival in Singapore and the region, Baybeats brings to audiences a fun, fresh and free-for-all weekend celebration of great music outdoors. While we have programmed bands to perform at our smaller indoor locations at the Observation Deck (library@esplanade) and Chillout Stage (Concourse) for different sounds and purposes, the nature of Baybeats, the audience it attracts and the type of sounds it showcases tend to work best in outdoor venues which cater to a larger crowd.
- Seah Weiwen’squieter concert – but still effective.
“Noise constraint is not an issue at Baybeats as the volume of the festival as well as all our other outdoor performances has always stayed within the recommended sound range stipulated by National Environment Agency (NEA) and this will continue to remain so.
“For Baybeats in particular, we’ve managed to maintain a comfortable sound level for both the artists and our audiences all these years. We understand that for some of our audiences, the louder this kind of music, the more highly charged the atmosphere will get, and they may have been disappointed with the sound levels; but we also have to be mindful of our new neighbours around the bay area.
- Charge of the Anberlin brigade.
“This year, to ensure that Esplanade remains a responsible neighbour, we worked with our artists to keep the sound levels within the permissible range while ensuring that their performance and the audience experience were not compromised.
“That being said, the fact remains that Esplanade is located in the heart of the civic district and the very buzz that attracts people to this area is also the verve and energy created by what takes place around the bay. Thus, people who choose to reside in the city will, from time to time, experience activity levels that reflect this buzz and energy.”
I couldn’t have put it better myself. Sometimes we need to shake things up a bit; and if you can’t do it at Baybeats, what then?
Thanks to The Esplanade for the Anberlin pictures.