The Sentosa Buskers Festival 2013 took place this year during the September school holidays from 7 to 15 September. It featured international acts from countries such as Japan, Finland, Spain, France and Chile.
For this first time, Singapore was also represented with local buskers such as E-Alternatif, The J Show and The Amazing Alexander.
After a visit to the Sentosa Buskers Festival, held from Merlion Plaza to Siloso Beach, Little Day Out pondered what made it work and why it turned out to be a fun day out with the kids.
1. Thoughtful Timings
Performances started from 4.30 pm and ran till 10.30 pm. With these hours, audiences got to experience a changing performance backdrop as daylight slowly gave way to evening. These hours also made sense because it was possible to coincide a visit with dinner time and enjoy the performances before the kids became too cranky from tiredness or lack of sleep.
2. Entertainment is the Goal
The Sentosa Buskers Festival featured street entertainers like jugglers, marching bands and fire-eaters. Their goal was to entertain audiences and the performances are not too arty, making it easy for kids to relate to them.
3. Learn to Give
True to the street art, buskers at the Sentosa Buskers Festival asked for gratuity at the end of their performances. Having taken away something from someone, kids learnt they could give back something too, for the price of at least a coin.
4. Audience Participation
Rather than just being a bystander, you could even wind up being part of the act. We saw an eight-year-old boy get pulled into Javi Javichy’s show and the street entertainer expertly weaved the boy into the performance in a fun and interactive manner.
5. Workable Venues
Eight performance pitches (i.e. locations) had been laid out between the Merlion Plaza and Siloso Beach for the different acts to perform. Some, such the SOTS Pitch, are natural amphitheatres while others, such as the Merlion Pitch, are elevated locations. This made it easy for audiences to watch the performers without being packed in like sardines. Neighbouring pitches were not too far away from one another, making it easy for audiences to skirt from one act to the next.
6. Casual Atmosphere
Perhaps it is the beach or something else, but the atmosphere at the Sentosa Buskers Festival felt relaxed. The crowd, even the adults, seemed to have no qualms sitting down on the ground to let those behind get a better view of the acts.
7. Photo Opportunities
There were backdrops found throughout the grounds where families and kids could pose and take pictures to remember their visit to the Sentosa Buskers Festival. With life-sized cutouts of the Festival’s one-eyed orange mascot all over the place, the Festival had an integrated and cohesive feel throughout.
On the whole, we thought that the Sentosa Buskers Festival had great family entertainment value. Kudos to Sentosa for putting it together. We hope that next year’s Festival will be just as charming as this year’s and, even as the Festival evolves, it doesn’t end up taking itself too seriously and lose the fun factor.
The Sentosa Buskers Festival 2013 took place between 7 to 15 September 2013. Visit the Sentosa Buskers Festival website for more details.