You're never short of a hot night out in Singapore. There's live music, theatre and adrenalin-pumping activities year-round, while at certain times of the year the Little Red Dot explodes into a flurry of car racing, cultural festivals and hot-ticket music events.
Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay is one of the brightest spots in Singapore's vibrant theatre and dance scene. Visiting Broadway musicals take to the stage at Marina Bay Sands, and local theatre groups such as Wild Rice and the Singapore Repertory Theatre regularly put up local plays as well as the occasional adaptation.
Sure, a lot of average Pinoy cover bands grace hotel bars, but an enthusiastic local music scene also thrives (to a point). Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay hosts regular free performances, and is the performing home of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra. Jazz lovers can get their fix at BluJaz Café, which holds regular jazz jams and other acts playing anything from blues to rockabilly.
Singapore is on the map for a growing number of international acts, with top-tier talent showcased at both the Singapore International Jazz Festival and the indie-music favourite St Jerome's Laneway Festival.
Also known by the Malay term wayang (performance), Chinese opera includes indoor performances and street opera, the latter usually staged during religious events such as the Hungry Ghost Festival. Although its popularity has decreased over time, the centuries-old tradition is kept alive by groups such as the Chinese Theatre Circle.
Singaporeans love to watch movies and, at around S$12.50 per ticket, it's great value. Multiplex cinemas abound, with many located in larger malls. Beyond them, the historic REX Cinemas runs Bollywood films, while the annual Singapore International Film Festival screens independent and art-house films. Singapore's cinemas are notoriously chilly, so remember to wear something warm inside.
Thrills & Spills
Need to Know
- Live-music venues: Usually open between 5pm and 6pm with acts starting at 8pm
- Concerts: Musical performances and stage productions tend to raise the curtain at 8pm
- Stadiums: Gates open approximately an hour before sporting matches begin
The Price of Entertainment
- A ticket to a local theatre production costs S$20–S$70.
- It's often free to watch home-grown bands at local venues; some places have a small cover charge.
- International music acts are expensive and tickets often cost S$150–S$350.
- Big-budget musical tickets cost S$65–S$200.
Airshow & Formula One
- Expect to pay through the nose during the Singapore Airshow in February and the Formula One season in September – hotel prices often triple.
- Single-day grandstand tickets to the F1 start at S$108, but if you're on a budget, you can get walkabout tickets from S$78.
Tickets and an events calendar can be found on the Sistic website (www.sistic.com.sg).