Last night at Bugis+ Atrium, I attended the launch of the Singapore Street Festival 2018, a yearly community project founded in 2002 by Ms Annie Pek. This year’s theme was YOUTHNIVERSE, focusing on the multipotential global youth.
“Singapore Street Festival (SSF) is a yearly event offering the opportunity for youth to showcase their diverse talents, skills and capabilities in the performing arts, visual arts, popular lifestyle trends, fashion, urban sports, entrepreneurship, technology, health, environment and design.”
From 6.30 pm to 7.40 pm, the audience clapped and supported the young performers. It wasn’t just the talent that impressed me, it was also their age. There was a 5-year-old belly dancer and a 10-year-old multi-talented child. There were bboy dancers, singers, yo-yo champions, kendama performers, soccer players, and even a magician!
Honestly, I wasn’t expecting much when Agnes Tay at AT Marketing and PR Agency invited me. Call me slightly jaded but I have attended a few street festivals and they were either a mess or highly organised. I’m glad to say last night’s event was the latter.
The Singapore Street Festival 2018 was highly organised. Launched at the Atrium of Bugis+, it was perfectly situated to capture mall goers after office hours. The empty seats quickly filled up once the Minister of Parliament of Tanjong Pagar, Mr Melvin Yong, arrived. His arrival was low-key; I didn’t realise he had arrived until the MC’s voice boomed over the speakers.
Smiling but quiet, he didn’t have a phalanx of security surrounding him. He only had one staff that I identified, though he probably had another. But unlike politicians in some countries, he didn’t have a retinue of staff.
I haven’t had a lot of experience with Singapore politicians so I’m still on a wait and see position. This was my second time to brush against a Singapore politician. The first time was when I stood next to Mrs. Josephine Teo, the 2nd Minister for the Ministry of Manpower, during the IBM Think conference on Women Leadership.
Back to the Singapore Street Festival. There were definite potentials there, some raw talents, and some who were at the top of their game. The yo-yo champions were at the top of my list of must-see acts. “Who knew you could do so much with a yo-yo,” asked the MC and I nodded in agreement. I didn’t! Another one on my list was the The Roses, a 3-girl group of sisters, whose choreographed hip-hop dance had the audience clapping enthusiastically in the end.
The Lion City Bboys, who won last year’s BOTY SG, performed as a special performance during the launch. They represented Singapore to compete in the South Asia Finals in Thailand and in the Singapore, and at the Free Style Session Finals in United States.
When people say the young have no sense of direction or purpose, the Singapore Street Festival showed that that sentiment showed otherwise. They do. They simply need direction and encouragement. The acts showed how much people can do, young people especially, when they put their mind to it. The performance last night showed a great deal of preparation which required time, dedication, and passion.
I had so much fun filming them, I didn’t realise I had been standing for hours until I got home and felt my aching legs.
The Singapore Street Festival 2018 is until July 8, 2018. There are various competitions and activities lined up such as Street Art, Academy of Rock Performances, Street Football. Some of the annual competitions not to be missed are the Asia Global Belly Dance Competition, Singapore National Kendama Competition, D’J Party and the Singapore & Asia Pacific Yoyo Competition.
For more information on Singapore Street Festival 2018 check out the following:
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