It’s that time of the year again for ZoukOut.
Back for the 13th round, this mega dance festival unites clubbers from across the region for two nights of pure dance rave on the beach.
Even though the festival is now a staple on the clubbing calendar, the hype for this year’s edition is no less spectacular.
We give you five reasons why you should head to Siloso Beach at Sentosa on 13 December.
In 2012, 40,000 people attended ZoukOut. Organisers are expecting 45,000 this year. Photo: Zouk
1. It's bigger, longer
It's hard to imagine that only 9,000 people attended this music festival when it started in 2000.
Last year, 40,000 people attended ZoukOut over two nights and the festival will only get bigger.
Timothy Chia, Zouk's head of marketing and events, said: "We're expecting anything from 40-45,000 people this year."
ZoukOut has become "an international affair", he added, with close to 40 per cent of overseas visitors taking part in the last few years. This year's theme is "Metamorphosis", and Chia said: "We want people to forget about their mundane nine-to-five lives and transform into party animals of the night."
Last year, the first night of the festival kicked off at 9pm and ended by 4am. ZoukOut 2013 will start an hour earlier at 8pm and end at 5am. The second day will remain a 12-hour dusk-to-dawn dance extravaganza, from 8pm to 8am.
Chia has also not ruled out taking the festival overseas. "That is certainly something we're considering. Once we find the right venue overseas and the right partners, that's definitely something we hope to make happen in the near future," he revealed.
2. Dance music gods abound
Clubbers flock to Sentosa religiously every December because the who’s who of dance music hold court here. Zouk flies in DJs and producers who easily get partygoers raising their hands (and beer) like rock stars at stadiums could.
Clockwise from top left: Benga, Nervo, Ferry Corsten and Danny Avila
Chia said the entertainment lineup this year "has also changed to reflect dance music trends worldwide". Some of the names include mainstream chart toppers such as Dutch DJ-producer Afrojack and Frenchman Martin Solveig, trance music icon Ferry Corsten, left-of-field upstarts such as dubstep artiste Benga and house music DJ Solomun. There is something for everyone at ZoukOut.
Other acts include Dutch trance DJ Dash Berlin, Detroit techno artiste Seth Troxler, American house DJ Lee Foss, Australian dance-pop duo Nervo, Los Angeles dubstep producer 12th Planet, Chicago electro trio Krewella, Swedish house DJ Otto Knows and fresh-faced EDM artiste Danny Avila.
Chia said: "With regard to the more accessible sounds on the main stage, I'm excited to see artistes like Nervo and Danny Avila because of their reputed stage energy and presence. On a more personal level, I'm extremely excited about Kolsch, Solomun and Lee Foss & Anabel Englund, because I love their productions and I've heard many a good thing about their DJ sets, especially Solomun's. I find that if the ZoukOut crowd is responsive enough, the ZoukOut artistes always bring their 'A-game'.
ZoukOut is not called "The Mother of Dance Music Festivals" for nothing. Building up the atmosphere will be Tokyo club Womb's lighting as well as visual specialists VJ Nakaichi, VJ Manami and Lighting Aiba, who will add a dash of panache to the DJs' sets.
3. Limited edition items for participants
Let’s not forget the merchandise for those who like their exclusive souvenirs. This year, ZoukOut collaborates with labels such as Havaianas, LeSportsac and Rip Curl for a limited range of products including flip-flops, t-shirts and bags for the collector in you.
4. You get to support homegrown heroes
Clockwise from top left: Gerald Ang, Marco Weibel, Gema and Maurice Simon
Singapore’s homegrown beat merchants are getting their time on the sand, as always. Localized Tent, a hot favourite, makes a comeback this year and the good folk at Zouk has curated a good balance of music with everything from deep house to dubstep from some of Singapore's finest non-Zouk resident acts.
This year, you can see Marco Weibel, Gerald Ang and Maurice Simon pushing their brand of house and techno, while William J will be dropping some dubstep. Electronica artiste Gema is also on the Localized lineup, as is DJ Amanda Ang.
Making appearances, too, will be Zouk residents Adrian Wee, Lincey, Hong, Jeremy Boon, Formative and Aldrin, so get ready to bop to house, electro, indie and everything in between.
5. Almost 20 hours of body-gazing
There are those who take this time of year to flaunt their gym-trained bodies, so you can be sure even if you do nothing but people-watch, you will have enough to talk about for weeks on end post-ZoukOut. Barely-there outfits that leave nothing to the imagination, and let's not forget Japanese dance troupe Cyberjapan who will also be strutting their stuff... now that's a show you don't want to miss.
ZoukOut 2013 | Date & Time: 13 Dec, 9pm–4am; 14 Dec, 8pm–8am | Venue: Siloso Beach, Sentosa | Tickets: $98, $108, $118 (13 Dec, advanced, standard and at the door); $108, $118, $128 (14 Dec, advanced, standard and at the door); $168 (two-day festival pass).