BAYBEATS. Did you like it? Unfortunately, I could only catch like 20 per cent of the entire festival. I had to miss the first day because I was on a plane flying back from Norway. Having landed just minutes before Day 2 started, I only managed to catch the last five minutes of Run Neon Tiger’s set, Lunarin, Basement In My Loft, Elektone, Suchness (30 per cent) and Cosmic Armchair (30 per cent). And as for Day 3, I was so jet-lagged that when I woke up, it was already 11pm.
But I’ll tell you this: What I did see thrilled me more so than the entire festival last year that I DID manage to catch. Truth be told, I wasn’t expecting much this year. And after coming off two festivals with performances by Katy Perry, 30 Seconds To Mars, Smashing Pumpkins, Iggy Pop, M.I.A., LCD Soundsystem, Pavement, Miike Snow, Paul Weller, etc, I was rather “festivaled out”.
Tired after coming off the aeroplane, but Lunarin’s set quite engaged me. Sure, I wished bassist/singer Linda bantered a little more, but I must say I quite liked their performance. As for BIML, I thought they were taking things a little too seriously, when there came the incident involving a girl who was videoing their set and told to stop by the security, which followed with a little merry chase. That was the funniest bit for me. I also liked Elektone’s set at the Concourse, but someone please tell me why Suchness and Cosmic Armchair had to come on at the same time?
Here’s what the good folk at the Esplanade had to say about this year’s Baybeats:
“Despite the fact that Baybeats was held in the midst of the Youth Olympic Games (YOG), we had a good turnout of over 70,000 people over the three-day festival. Although there was a slight drop in audience attendance this year, it is understandable as the festival took place alongside the extensive YOG and YOG fringe activities which involved thousands of local youths in various levels of participation. However, it was heartening to spot some YOG participants amongst the crowd during Baybeats as well. We were glad that our audiences who came enjoyed themselves and we also achieved our programming objectives of presenting a line-up that is exciting and dynamic, which also pushed our audiences’ boundaries.
“A key goal of Baybeats is to keep things fresh and cutting-edge, and to stay relevant to our audiences’ and artists’ needs. This year, we wanted to introduce an even more diverse line-up of sounds, to expand our audiences’ palate with new experiences and acts. Several new elements were introduced to the festival, which included new genres such as New Rave (by Brazilian DJ duo Mixhell) and Electro Punk (by Canadian band Handsome Furs). By bringing in these new sounds to Singapore, we feel that we have managed to successfully challenge the audience this year. It’s always tricky trying something new but our audiences have proved to be sophisticated and mature in embracing these new sounds as the gigs were well attended with audiences asking for encores at the end of their sets.
“To engage our community so that more people can be part of the festival, Esplanade has been actively involving youths in the different activities for Baybeats. As compared to previous years where we only had a few Esplanade Youths – an initiative established in 2004 that seeks to encourage youth involvement in the arts – as our emcees, this year all our emcees engaged for the festival were made up of Esplanade Youths. Nine Esplanade Youths also formed the Baybeats Street Team to help spread the word about Baybeats 2010 by blogging or tweeting everything about the festival. In addition, students from Nanyang Polytechnic created the Baybeats Flashback Station video installation where they produced video clips of the festival in the past three years for the public to view at the Esplanade Concourse. After a month-long mentorship programme by local photographer Aloysius Lim, the six budding photographers, selected from over 50 submissions, had their first taste of photographing for Baybeats as well. Some of their works will be chosen to be exhibited at the Esplanade Community Wall during Baybeats next year.
“Adding more buzz to the exciting line-up of free performances, the Baybeats festival village was also expanded to feature more independent local craft-makers, designers, artists and independent music labels this year with its collaboration with reputable and popular local bazaar specialist Flea-tique! that is known for their fun and eclectic bazaars. This allowed regular followers of the Flea-tique! bazaars to also experience the spirit of Baybeats and Asian alternative music!
“Social networking mediums such as Facebook and Twitter are also essential in helping us spread the word and engage as many audiences in Singapore and the region as we can. The Twitter account set up earlier this year helped us keep in close contact with the public, taking into consideration their feedback, comments and suggestions. This was especially useful during the festival as the team kept fresh tabs on people’s comments as well as provided a “live” feed to our Twitter account so people can follow our text, photos and video tweets stream.”
That’s what the Esplanade had to say, but what about you? Leave a comment here.
And if you want better images I think Aloysius has some on his FB page?