Last week wasn’t the best of the weeks for Ultra Music Festival globally.
It all began with the speculation of the Ultra Singapore 2019 being called off as fans hadn’t seen any work being done to set up the stage at the lush green lawns of Bayfront Avenue even 4 days before the festival.
Well, the misery didn’t end there. One of the most awaited acts of the festival, Martin Garrix faced an unexpected ankle injury and had to pull out from all his upcoming shows. The least that fans expected was a replacement headliner. However, the organisers didn’t find any replacement for the world #1 DJ. To make things worse, the famous Ultra Worldwide stage was removed and the phase 3 line-up was absent.
On a side note, even Ultra Korea was a victim of Garrix’s injury, in addition to the last-minute cancellation of the highly anticipated Swedish House Mafia reunion set.
Well after all the scrambling, it was finally the festival weekend (June 8 and 9) and we were there to see what Ultra Singapore had in store for the festival-goers. On the bright side, we were really looking forward to escaping from the wet and humid weather of Singapore and get into an air-conditioned covered venue. After looking at the price of the drinks menu at the festival, we were not surprised when we encountered groups of attendees rushing in after chugging their drinks at the convenience store outside. For fans to not miss the early acts and enjoy cheap drinks, Ultra Singapore had announced a happy hour between 2-4pm, where they were offering 1 for 1 drinks. Everything said and done, the entry to the arena was seamless and the happy hour was impressive.
The first thing you notice after entering the venue is the absence of the majestic Ultra Stage that we’ve experienced over the past years. The change in venue marginally impacted the vibe of the festival. On the bright side, the experience was of a massive indoor night club hosting a music festival.
It was expected that an indoor venue would restrict the use of pyros and fireworks. However, the organizers maximized the resources available to them in the situation to keep up the production game.
For all the bubble tea fans, LiHo had a wide variety of drinks to offer along with some snacky eats such as chicken wings, truffle fries, and skewers.
We first headed to the Resistance stage for a house warm-up session with a set of talented house producers. The Resistance stage comprised of sets from Eats Everything B2B Josh Wink, Jamie Jones, and Hot Since 82 to name a few. This was a niche stage and was the camping spot for the festival-goers who were house music addicts and didn’t want to jump to the main stage anthems.
The local talents Myrne and Rave Republic entertained the early crowds with their energetic tunes. As the evening set in, the mainstage performances included sets from the talented STMPD RECORDS family comprising of Loopers, Seth Hills, CMC$, Brooks, Dyro and Matisse & Sadko. Finally, the saviors of Ultra Singapore were the headliners, Axwell, Kayzo, Knife Party, Porter Robinson, and Skrillex. If not for the music, this year’s Ultra Singapore would have been one of the most disappointing Ultra events.
Fans couldn’t have asked for the better end to the first day, with Axwell closing day 1 with his popular dance tunes as well as taking us on a nostalgic ride with the popular Swedish House Mafia tunes. He also dropped the remake of the remix of Antidote that Swedish House Mafia dropped during their reunion set at UMF 2018!
The second day was lit with Porter Robinson’s storytelling Japanese-animation set that gave us goosebumps. We couldn’t wait for him to drop the chilling tunes such as Shelter and Language to name a few.
When Skrillex got in to close the festival, he brought in a whole new level of energy with his never disappointing tunes and his lively character. Not to forget the mind-boggling remixes that he pulled from underneath his sleeves.
In conclusion, it was a bumpy ride that was sweetened by the brilliant sets from Axwell, Porter Robinson, and Skrillex. Kudos to the organizers for overcoming the unforeseen issues and turning the tables around.
All images courtesy: RUDGR