Hot! Zoukout 2018: One Day, One Stage, One Tribe

Zoukout 2018

CONTENT: Yiew Kai Jie

ZoukOut, Southeast Asia’s longest running dance music festival wrapped up its 18th edition at Siloso Beach Sentosa on 1st December, with a memorable run. The event saw a stellar cast of superstar DJ acts, roving performances and a massive gathering of up to 20,000 partygoers dancing the night away until daybreak the next day.

Driven by the aim of providing experiences beyond dancing to the ravings of EDM music, this year’s instalment introduced the festival’s first ever pop-up boutique dinner and the return of Zouk’s famous Mambo Jambo stage as part of the pre-Zoukout activities.

Kicking off the festival in a familiar fashion in spite of the rain, fans of the iconic Mambo Jambo series gathered at the AJ Hackett Sentosa grounds to flaunt their moves against old time classics by veteran DJs Tony Tay, Brendon P and Leonard. A pre-party intended to bridge the past with the present, the DJ duo of Lincey and The Dinosaur then took over with Total Recall, delivering a vocal range of pop pleasures from the late 90s-00s.

Burnt Ends

Concurrently, the ZoukOut Pop-Up Dinner was held in collaboration with celebrated Australian barbecue restaurant Burnt Ends, and Spanish-Mediterranean restaurant FOC Sentosa. The dinner was attended by guests including the main headliner DJs, KSHMR and Timmy Trumpet. Across three hours at the dazzling FOC Sentosa, guests got to dine on a plethora of dishes which included the Seafood Canelon, signature Vegetarian & Squid Ink Paella by FOC Sentosa, Beef Marmalade and Blackmore’s Striploin with Lobster Hollandaise by Burnt Ends.

Moving over to the main festival site, the early hours of the festival was led by fresh face Australian DJ Chivers, followed by a repertoire of resident DJs such as LeNERD, Che’Molly, Hong and Malaysia’s famed DJ duo, Goldfish & Blink. As the hours went by, international headliners took over the helm in the order of Jeffrey Sutorius, W&W, Galantis, Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike, and KSHMR. Maintaining the yearly tradition of closing the festival with resident DJs, the more devoted and hardcore crowd of energetic revellers partied on till 8am with the local duo of Ghetto and Nash D.

The biggest controversy that Zoukout had experienced this year was the decision to make the music festival a one day event which caused a bit of backlash from devout Zoukout fans. Additionally, the decision to cut down on the number of stages to just one main stage had its repercussions on the festival as many partygoers had nothing to do while waiting for the main headliner DJs to come up. Aside from the cutbacks, the stage itself was a bit of a letdown as the “singular eyeball” design did not make a lasting impression on us as compared with the previous year’s fiery dragon pyrotechnic display.

mambo jambo

The festival was not all doom and gloom through as the international headliners managed to salvage the festival with their heart-thumping music that had the crowd on its feet and dancing the night away. Among all of the international DJs, the one that made the largest impression on the crowd was the Australian trumpet welding DJ, Timmy Trumpet. His signature incorporation of the trumpet amazed the crowd and got the partygoers to chant for one final encore but was unfortunately drowned out by the much awaited DJ of the night, KSHMR.

Despite the cutbacks in terms of stages and days for the festival, this year’s Zoukout was significantly better then last year’s in terms of the general vibe and music. After the disappointing performance by the much-awaited DJ Marshmello in 2017, the performances from this year’s DJs has managed to somewhat redeem Zoukout from last year’s mediocre performances and moody atmosphere. While we can’t wait to see what Zoukout 2019 will bring, I think the Zoukout tribe will agree that the organizing committee should honor tradition as it has been for the past 18 years- by bringing back the two day festival, incorporating multiple stages for the partygoers so that they have something to jam to and keep the partying atmosphere on a high note while waiting for their favourite DJ to come up onto the main stage.

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