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Photograph: Izza Sofia
Photograph: Izza Sofia

An unforgettable ZoukOut 2022: Mini fires, sinking tents, heavy rain, and thumping beats

The crowd came dressed to impress though

Written by
Izza Sofia

Zoukout 2022, the annual beach rave, returned to Siloso Beach on Sentosa Island on December 2 and 3. With the theme The Futuristic City of Dreams, the dance music festival boasted a stellar line-up and a throng of indefatigable music lovers back to party.

Photograph: Izza Sofia
Photograph: Izza Sofia

Back in 2019, ZoukOut announced that it would be taking a little break. Then Covid-19 came and did its thing, turning the break into a three-year hiatus. But boy, it didn’t disappoint when it returned last weekend.

We had high hopes for the festival’s comeback this year. This was the first time that nightclub Zouk partnered with event promoters AEG Presents, the producers of Coachella. They expected up to 30,000 revellers over the two nights, promising a "journey that transcends time into a future of make-believe."

The fantasy began right off the bat with the awesome beach fashion. Sand and sweat notwithstanding, the crowd tapped their sartorial savvy and showed up in bikinis, tank tops, shorts, fishnets and Coachella-esque face gems. Of course, shirtless guys walking around like they were the main character were aplenty.


Photograph: Izza Sofia
Photograph: Izza Sofia

Crowds were busy getting hammered at the drop off point of Siloso Beach before entering the festival grounds. We joined the snaking queue at the general admission area, got past the tight security checks, and after 20 minutes, were finally in. The festival ground had roving dancers, art installations, all-important portable loos, a standalone Heineken playground, and a food village with stalls by local food and beverage outlets such as Two Men Bagel House and Zouk Group’s Here Kitty Kitty. 

The event went from strength to strength with great acts. The line-up saw trance DJ Tiësto, alongside dance pop DJ Gryffin, Shiba San and Singapore’s own Wukong. In the first of a few hiccups, DJ Tiësto’s performance saw a flame canister onstage catch on fire for a brief moment, but was swiftly put out. 

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A post shared by Tiësto (@tiesto)

The second night featured headliners Armin Van Buuren and Zedd alongside Andrew Rayel, Cash Cash and Singapore’s Jeremy Boon and Hong. The crowd, many in their 20s and 30s, danced in front of a massive, brightly lit stage that featured giant LED screens, smoke machines and trippy light shows. The crowd threw their hands in the air, raised their drinks, and sang to every word of their favourite songs by the DJs. We were surprised by Martin Garrix's appearance via a video call, and the crowd cheered when his face appeared on screen.

The next hiccup was a more watery affair. Part of the flooring at the VIP tent sank due to the heavy rains, and police and event crew had to usher patrons out of the tents and onto the beach grounds. Witnesses also noticed that a table had completely sunken into the sand. Unfortunately, it poured after Zedd’s set and partygoers had to evacuate the venue earlier than expected. 

Photograph: Izza Sofia
Photograph: Izza Sofia

Unless you had a room and allotted carpark at a nearby hotel, heading home from Sentosa was a nightmare. Battling thousands of people to get a cab was always going to be an unpleasant experience, and sure enough, many were seen walking out of Sentosa Island in the pouring rain in hopes of getting a ride at HarbourFront station. 

The whole ZoukOut experience was a tad messy this year, but hey, the delirium of sweat, sand, alcohol and thumping beats surely made for an unforgettable experience altogether. Sign us up for the next one. 


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