The Singapore International Arts Festival is the continuation of the annual Singapore Arts Festival, first held in 1977 and organised by the National Arts Council. The Council commissioned Arts House Limited in 2014 to organise the ensuing festivities – it remains one of Singapore’s biggest celebrations of arts and culture, bringing together great local and overseas works and artists who seek to inspire, challenge, surprise and entertain.

For 3 weeks in May or June every year, the Singapore International Arts Festival aspires to be an international art event with a distinctly Asian identity. The fun usually kicks off with traditional village performances, where tribal and folk music, as well as dance from all over the world,  are complemented by the glorious colours and tastes of ethnic crafts and cuisine. The programme typically presents 80 performances by over 30 foreign and local groups.

Talented individuals and groups like Robert Wilson, Robert LePage, Trisha Brown Company, National Ballet of China, Taipei Dance Circle, Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, Opera Atelier, just to name a few, have graced the stage during the Singapore Arts Festival. Without ever forgetting tradition, a strong emphasis is placed on showcasing contemporary arts as we move together through the 21st century.

Each year sees new works from local artists. Some performing arts productions range from reimagining 16th-century Kun opera to productions focused on World War II intrigue and the lives of humanitarian aid workers today. All this helps to create the mood of festivity around the island, culminating in the climax of an outdoor arts spectacle. During each Festival, an aggregate total of over 300 activities is staged by some 2000 Singaporean and foreign artists, reaching an audience of about 218,000.

Performances are held at various venues in Singapore, including the Esplanade Theatre, Festival House, Victoria Theatre, and with the closing ceremonies held at The Shaw Foundation of Symphony. Tickets are available via online booking and at SISTIC Outlets, including malls, concert halls and arts centres that are spread throughout Singapore’s Downtown Core.

Singapore International Arts Festival

Location: 1 Old Parliament Lane Singapore 179429, Singapore

Phone: +65 6332 6900

Ari Gunadi | Compulsive Traveller