With the inaugural Timbre Rock & Roots music festival just around the corner, inSing.com catches up with Danny Loong, deputy managing director of Timbre, and Low Seow Yee, music and marketing manager, Timbre Music, to find out more about this new event.
Timbre Rock & Roots is a joint collaboration project between Timbre Music Pte Ltd and Bluesfest Pty Ltd, the organiser behind one of the world’s most prominent music festivals, East Coast Blues Festival in Byron Bay, Australia, also known as Bluesfest.
1. Why did you want to organise this festival?
DANNY LOONG: We feel that Timbre is ready with the next level in terms of live music events and while we will still continue to present lesser-known and even unknown niche artists for our smaller events, Singapore is ready for something different than the typical and conventional concerts and festivals featuring mainstream pop artists.
The experience we’ve had presenting lesser-known artists and still gathering a strong crowd, who sometimes don't even know who's performing, proves to us that there is an audience who wants to be part of this new live music experience.
LOW SEOW YEE: Both Bluesfest and Timbre are committed to this festival and we will plan for 2011 as soon as 2010 wraps!
2. What is the main theme or idea behind the fest?
DL: About seven years ago, I emailed (Bluesfest festival director) Peter Noble to perform with (my band) Ublues at Bluesfest and he replied, after buying our CD while holidaying here, that he would be keen for our band to perform.
We were the first ever band from Asia to perform at the festival and I finally met Peter at Bluesfest 2004. I was impressed by his sincerity and kindness when I discovered that the band was placed on the main stage alongside performances by (icons such as) James Brown.
Since then, we kept in touch and the idea of organising a festival in Singapore was mooted between us, and we (eventually decided) to organise this festival as a joint venture. Bluesfest is one of the world's best music festivals and the atmosphere is truly one of a kind.
This joint venture aims to create a festival equally exciting and entertaining. It caters to a growing Singapore audience, one that demands not just variety but also quality, and simply artists and bands with substance no matter the genre or style.
What's also truly exciting is the possibility of not just having the best International bands playing in Singapore but as well as the possibility of having our best Singapore bands play at Bluesfest in the future.
3. The festival has an impressive list of performers, including Gipsy Kinds, Buddy Guy and The Fray – was it easy to get them to attend?
LSY: We took into considerations their levels of musicianship and market demands. We also didn’t want to neglect good emerging acts such as OPSHOP or Gugun & Blues Shelter, so we decided to put them on the same stage along with the rest of the international acts. It’s hard to say who we are most pleased about booking (that's like choosing your favourite child!) but it’s a good mix we have on the table for the Singapore audiences. We are confident they will have a rockin' good time.
4. How do you see the local music scene, is there a growing audience for night-out events?
DL: Yes I think so, more and more Singaporeans have included the Live Music experience in their lives from our prospective given our observation of our increasing numbers for the last four-and-a-half years at Timbre, hence we believe that to be similar to attendance to night out outdoor shows.
LSY: There's nothing like being a pioneering audience to grow with the festival. We invite all to come on down and have a fabulous festival experience. Besides the electrifying performances, come soak in the festival atmosphere under the evening skies amongst the great F&B on offer and workshops that we have arranged.
5. Why did you choose the Marina Promenade for the venue?
LSY: Marina Promenade is a newer outdoor venue compared to say, Fort Canning Park. We wanted to bring about a refreshing music festival experience and having a novel venue helps. Marina Bay will be the city’s heartbeat in the near future and as a projected annual event, we want to be one of the pioneering stakeholders in the area.
Timbre Rock & Roots is on March 26-27, at the Marina Promenade. Read all about it in our preview guide here.