What is the role and meaning of a night festival in Singapore?
What does it mean to be a signature arts and cultural festival in the Bras Basah.Bugis precinct?
What is the future of night festivals in Singapore?
How will a night festival be able to continually offer meaningful and enriching experiences?
Should the Singapore Night Festival even continue to exist?
The Singapore Night Festival (SNF) is Singapore’s signature annual nocturnal festival that has been enlivening the Bras Basah.Bugis Precinct and enchanting audiences with exciting line-ups of arts, heritage and cultural experiences since 2008.
After a successful 12-year run, SNF will be undertaking a review in 2020. In particular, Covid-19 will be changing the way we live, work and play in unprecedented and unexpected ways. Structural changes will be required, along with the need to take stock, review and ensure that the festival will continue to enthrall and captivate the hearts of many with quality arts experiences.
This project is hence a timely envisioning and policy review study that will assess how SNF can be refined to better meet the needs of stakeholders and audiences, as well as to sharpen its identity and unique selling proposition so as to deepen engagement.
This website is meant to spark conversations on what the Singapore Night Festival is and could be, and enable a sense of ownership towards its future. The visitor is prompted to reflect upon what SNF means to them, learn more about SNF and participate in reshaping the future festival.
The opinions and views expressed on this website are those of the project team and do not reflect the position of the National Heritage Board. Any errors and omissions with the content of this report remain the responsibility of the project team.
All graphics featured are strictly meant for illustration purposes and are not to be understood as accurate representations. A creative re-interpretation approach was deliberately undertaken so as to inspire and spark possibilities.
This project is an action-learning research study and online engagement exercise led by Dr Hoe Su Fern, and conducted with an informal collective of seven arts and culture management (ACM) students from the Singapore Management University.
Meet the team and find out why this project is a meaningful experience to them:
Ronice Ho Shi Hui is a final year ACM student who aspires to channel her unusual love for admin into becoming an arts manager who will improve the local conditions for art making.
“SNF is extremely special to me because I have been involved in varying ways, from performing to being part of the early planning stages of Late Night Texting while interning at Centre 42. This project is another avenue to contribute, while also learning more about the challenges and trends affecting festival programming and stakeholder involvement.”
Victoria Wong Ya Ting is a second year ACM student with a passion for theatre. Beyond keeping this team in check as project manager, you may occasionally find her working backstage deepening her interest in production and stage management.
“Since I first attended SNF during my birthday in 2017, it has become a must-go event because of how the festival manages to transform everyday spaces through the arts, for people to gather and create new memories together. This project is a means to contribute to the local arts ecology and a step towards my growth as an arts management student.”
Nigel Joseph Lopez is a third-year ACM student who spends most of his time scouring for new music on the depths of the internet. He aspires to better promote experimental music by learning more about programming, public communications and festival management through this project.
“Every visit to SNF - particularly to the Armenian Street area - has always left a deep impression on me, due to the festival’s ability to re-energise familiar spaces through the arts and shift perspectives. This project is a unique opportunity to better understand the inner workings behind this iconic festival, particularly how to programme for diverse audiences.”
Nur Raidah is a third-year ACM student who is trying to watch as many films as possible during the circuit-breaker.
“This project is a great opportunity to learn about our local arts scene. SNF is an event always marked on my calendar and this chance to discover what goes on behind the scenes has been an insightful experience.”
Megan Hon is a third year ACM student who was a chef in her former life.
“Studying ACM and this project have changed my impression of festivals like SNF. In particular, researching the role of festivals in other cities have affirmed my belief in how SNF can become a platform to improve accessibility and engagement in the arts.”
Su Fang Shiuan is a final-year ACM student who has an avid interest in the film and media industries. She is challenging herself to improve her design and creative production skills by managing our social media communications.
“This project is an exceptional opportunity to go behind the scenes and strengthen my practical knowledge of the arts in Singapore. This project allows me to delve deeper into the nuts and bolts of the arts in Singapore, and has enabled me to learn more about the diverse stakeholders involved in shaping an iconic festival like SNF.”
Jeffrey Kang Jiwoo is a second year ACM student who is originally from South Korea and has a keen interest in the visual arts and curatorial practices.
“I’ve always been curious about what really goes on behind the arts scene, which led me to study arts management. As the first festival I attended after arriving in Singapore, SNF holds a special place in my heart. This project has been a unique opportunity to learn more about the local conditions of arts production, exchange and consumption."
Hoe Su Fern is an arts researcher, educator and coordinator who traverses artistic disciplines and mediums. She is currently Assistant Professor (tenure-track) and Lead Coordinator of the Arts and Culture Management Programme at SMU. She holds a PhD in Culture and Communication from The University of Melbourne. Her research areas include arts and cultural policy studies, urban cultural economies, placemaking and the conditions of cultural production. Her research is informed by her pursuit for practice-oriented and engaged arts research and her interest in enhancing research impact beyond academia, particularly through the power of the arts to catalyse dialogues and bridge differences. She is also an affiliate researcher with the Placemaking Economics Group at RMIT University, Australia and recently completed a Research Fellowship at Goldsmiths, University of London.
About the SMU Arts and Culture Management Programme
The Arts and Culture Management (ACM) Programme is based in the School of Social Sciences at Singapore Management University. It is a second major that provides an interdisciplinary blend of conceptual and skills-based learning to equip students with the foundational knowledge, critical awareness, managerial aptitude and strategic reflexivity for entry into the arts and creative industries. The hallmark strength of the Programme’s curriculum is its focus and close linkages to the Singapore arts and cultural practice and policy communities, and the practices and challenges of arts and cultural management in contemporary Southeast Asian societies.
The Programme is fortified by extracurricular programmes that offer students opportunities to work on real-life projects to develop professional skills to enhance their potential and employability as an arts/cultural manager. Apart from this project, the Programme will also be participating in the Singapore Heritage Festival 2020. The Programme also produces the Arts and Culture Matters Series, a responsive platform that convenes members of the arts and creative communities for robust, lively and collegiate discussion of issues and challenges related to the arts and cultural ecology in Singapore.