Agree to disagree: “Alternative parties and pop-ups offer an experience that’s completely different to a nightclub,” says Jake Camacho who DJs as Toppings at various sweatbox raves, including those of his party collective Ice Cream Sundays. “A good club is often a homing beacon for like-minded punters to get together and enjoy music. But pop-ups provide a more flexible format for organisers – as well as DJs – to experiment.”
But what sets these outdoor or themed alternatives apart from club nights? “There’s something about being in the open air and dancing under the moonlight that make people more sociable. The atmosphere is more casual and relaxed than at a bar or club,” says Jake.
Most of these roving events are either free or cost less than the cover charge at a nightclub, serving as an antidote to those bored by the latter. It also blurs the lines of socioeconomic division – you can’t tell who’s the big shot at these raves compared to the high-flyers by the reserved table at a nightclub.
Then, there’s the thrill of it all. Throughout the years, underground raves have been riding on cryptic word of mouth recommendations. Now, you RSVP and your phone buzzes with all the deets on the day itself.
Whether you’re looking to unwind to something different or on a quest to seek musical nirvana, you’re in for a unique experience. Follow these collectives for hush-hush affairs, outdoor parties and alternative pop-ups.
This party collective gets plenty of brownie points for throwing bi-monthly outdoor shindigs with boozy soft serves and pay-what-you-want entry at unconventional spots like National Gallery Singapore, and more recently, Haw Par Villa. “Haw Par Villa has so much untapped potential as a party venue. It’s brimming with character and there’s nowhere else quite like it in Singapore.” says Jake.
If underground parties – you know the ones that remain under wraps until the last possible minute – entice you, take note. This young collective holds events with cyber-rave sounds at off-beat locations like isolated grounds and dingy corners of industrial buildings.
Take your outdoor partying to new heights– specifically, carpark rooftops. Led by Vijay Singh (aka MC SWTLKR), the outdoor party series is full of kampong spirit with an energetic mix of funk, soul, house and disco atop buildings like the Golden Mile Tower.
The underground music label’s seasonal block party series Brew combines art, music and design. The organisers take their brews and beats seriously, so expect coffee, craft beers and comfy bites alongside energetic sets.
Besides inviting various DJs to spin house and techno at Headquarters and Tuff Club, The Council also hosts some of the sickest pop-up parties in Singapore including Plastik Dreams, Ice Factory Rave and Warehouse. Most of them come with limited entries and venues are kept mum until the day.
Dutty wine to the sounds of the Caribbean and beyond at various locations including Lime House and Kilo Lounge. It’s monthly Suka Suka Sunday-Sunset reggae sessions also comes with Jamaican jerk barbecue – irie!
These partyheads’ resume consists of treating youths and those young at heart to buzzin’ bangers at some of the biggest clubs and venues in the city. If you’re always on the prowl for a dazzlingly good time, follow Eatmepoptart’s series of parties where resident DJs Weelikeme and Kidg spin nostalgic guilty pleasures all night long.
Remember the days of MySpace, eyeliners and skinny jeans? Revel in nostalgia as you throw on your favourite band tee to a pop-up Emonightsg jamboree for all things alternative – noughties style. If your guilty pleasures include the likes of Fall Out Boy, My Chemical Romance and Sum 41, get ready to sing along (or rather scream) to throwback 90s and 00s alternative, ranging from indie and grunge to pop-punk and emo.