Live music venues Bugis
Photograph: Daniel Iskandar

We partied at two live music venues in Bugis+ – here's why we'd go back again and again

Concert-like experiences and open mic nights

Time Out Singapore in partnership with Bugis+

As millennials, we've hit up enough nightclubs and dive bars that our main prerogative is to be home before midnight. But our most recent night out has us changing our tune: it was a whirlwind of on-stage karaoke, live DJ sets, and expertly crafted drinks. We might be over noisy pubs and dingy clubs but hey, these live music joints in Bugis+ have us hooked – we're ready to party again.

A night out in Bugis

Truly a concert-like experience

First order of business: reviving ourselves with good food, and even better live entertainment. We went to The Inn Livehouse on the seventh floor of Bugis+ (#07-07), a live music venue that's known for bands with great stage presence. Here, live music starts from 7.30pm till late (from 8.30pm onwards on Sundays).

Open mic nights – the spotlight's on us

But beyond the nostalgic songs, what made our evening was the open mic sessions during the band’s break periods. Did we rise to the challenge? We certainly did. While waiting for the next set, one of our colleagues bravely stepped up amidst our cheers and applause. No worries if your singing voice doesn't match up to the pros since the crowd here is amicable and will cheer you on regardless.

You don't have to be fluent in Mandarin either – you can take the floor with any song of your choice, no matter what language. While far from a typical siam diu (Thai disco), The Inn Livehouse also offers a lineup of Thai songs on Mondays.

Bottoms up! It's drinks galore

Our spur-of-the-moment karaoke session called for yet another round of drinks. We just made the cut for happy hour (6pm to 8pm), and celebrated with a Carlsberg tower ($75). After 8pm though, drinks are still affordable with a beer tower starting at $85, cocktails at $22, and champagne at $198. To wash our drinks down, we paired it with some heartier food options: they do a satisfying chilli ban mee ($20) topped with baby abalone, braised mushrooms, and minced pork.

VIP vibes and bar bites

The night was still young so we headed over next door to HaveFun Live Show on the seventh floor of Bugis+ (#07-01) – the place to be for live entertainment that spans over a massive 10,000 square feet. It's just a few doors down from The Inn Livehouse. They're known to have a lineup of talented performers from regional artistes, belting out crowd-favourite Mandopop, Cantopop, and even Kpop tunes. With strobe lighting and unmatched energy, it almost felt like we had entered the gilded doors of an exclusive club in Shanghai. 

Peckish once again, we ordered a range of bar bites off the menu. A snack platter (from $22.80) hits the sweet spot, with spicy grilled chicken wings, chargrilled sausages, sweet potato fries, and popcorn chicken.

At HaveFun Live Show, they schedule concerts and have live DJs daily. Think back to your last standout concert, and this experience would be close to match. The atmosphere was truly electrifying. Everything from the cutting-edge sound system sourced from Europe to the performers’ sheer talent got us exchanging impressed looks – there were even special effects using dry ice and fake snow. There’s also a commanding T-stage, with over 8,000 dazzling lights.

Keep in mind that we went down on a weekday and even then, it was still so popular that it was packed like sardines. Since they might not always accept walk-ins, we highly recommend making an online booking here.

Late-night munchies

Despite stuffing our faces with tasty food the entire night, partying at such high-energy venues really takes it out of you. We made our way to Haidilao (#04-10) for supper – it's so convenient that you can just take the lift down to the fourth floor. This particular branch opens till 6am, perfect for all the late-night munchies you might get after partying. We popped by after 10pm too, so we enjoyed a 20 percent discount on all dishes (valid from Sundays to Thursdays). 

If you're there at more regular dining hours though, you can also make the most of the other promos, such as the $39.90 Double Combo or $69.90 Double Combo. These sets make a satisfying meal for a group of four friends, and are valid on weekdays from 10.30am to 5pm. With various dining promos with Bugis+, our late-night hotpot feast was made all the more worth it. 

The staff also told us that we can present our Haidilao receipt to any of the HaveFun Karaoke outlets for an hour of free karaoke. Having had such a blast this night out, we'll be heading back to the Bugis+ outlet that's just downstairs at level 3.

Partying at Bugis+

It turns out that Bugis+ is indeed a choice spot for live entertainment after all. While the millennials in us are typically yearning for an early night and Netflix marathons, having experienced both The Inn Livehouse and HaveFun Live Show showed us how important it is to get out every once in a while. Ending off the night with a satisfying hotpot was also a delicious finale. Bugis+ for our next night out? Definitely. 

Plan your next night out at Bugis+.

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