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Tomorrowland Around The World
Foto: Cortesía Time Out New York / Wikimedia Commons / wiiilokan

The best things to do in Singapore in July

Save the date for the most exciting concerts, festivals and comic conventions streamed live online this month

By Cam Khalid
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Now that we're in Phase 2 of Singapore's reopening plans, things are starting to look up. You can now dine at restaurants with a small group of friends, shop at your favourite stores, hit the gym for that much-needed sweat sesh, and regain some sense of normalcy. However, physical events still remain cancelled or postponed. But that doesn't mean you can't get your arts and culture fix.

Annual festivals such as the Singapore Heritage Festival, Festival of Women: N.O.W, and StoryFest are not letting the circuit breaker restrictions dampen their spirits, and are making the digital switch to stay connected. Colossal international events such as Tomorrowland and the San Diego Comic-Con are also opening their virtual doors for fans around the world including Singapore without having them jet off across the continents. Sounds great? Here are the best online events to keep you busy at home this month of July.

RECOMMENDED: What you can and cannot do in Singapore during Phase 2

Online events

The Book of Mothers, Festival of Women: N.O.W. 2020
Photograph: The Book of Mothers/Crispian Chan

Festival of Women: N.O.W.

Theatre Singapore City,

Singapore has no shortage of girl bosses, so break away from the male-centric programmes for a festival that celebrates women creators, thinkers and change-makers – Festival of Women: N.O.W (short for No Ordinary Work). Since its successful debut in 2019, its 2020 return sees a digital second edition which features an anchor exhibition, live-streamed performances, a digitalised competition, aurality projects, video narratives, conversations, and workshops – all accessible online.  As its name suggests, the virtual interdisciplinary festival spotlights the diverse narratives of women from various backgrounds while celebrating alliances and solidarity between women through everything from performing arts to visual arts and workshops to talks.

Hans Graf, Singapore Symphony Orchestra
Photograph: Singapore Symphony Orchestra

SSO 2020/21 Season Opening Concert

Music Classical and opera Singapore City,

Fill your homes with the majestic sounds of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, as the classical music ensemble opens its 2020/21 season with an online concert on 11 July – the same day that was initially scheduled for its physical stage performance at the Victoria Concert Hall. The concert is set to stream live on the newly launched Sistic Live platform at 7.30pm, kicking off with a digital premiere of Hans Graf conducting the SSO in Tchaikovsky’s Sixth Symphony, filmed live at the Esplanade Concert Hall at the start of this year. This is then followed by an exclusive home recording of the second movement from Bach's Double Violin Concerto with two star violinists Karen Gomyo and Chloe Chua.

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StoryFest Online
Photograph: The Arts House

StoryFest Online

Things to do Literary events Singapore City,

Let your imagination run wild at StoryFest Online, as the annual festival takes over the virtual world with all your favourite timeless tales. Known for celebrating the various styles, repertoire and cultural arts from Singapore and around the world through live storytelling, the digital version features stories brought to life through the oral tradition instead. Gather the fam and cosy up for a range of stories from the ancient annals of The Sejarah Melayu to the archetype of the shapeshifting fox, and from the lush jungles of the Indonesian peninsula to the scorching deserts of Persia. And let the kids fall in love with the adventures of Peter Rabbit, Little Red Hen, and the Teddy Bears that were once loved by you.

Jacob Collier
Photograph: Dyan Jong

Jacob Collier Workshop

Music Singapore City,

Jazz wunderkind Jacob Collier is no stranger to the Singapore International Festival of Arts (SIFA), having had performed two sold-out shows in the 2018 edition of the festival. Returning in the virtual form via SIFA v2.020, the Grammy Award-winning multi-hyphenated musician – multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger and singer – is conducting an online music workshop on July 29. The hour-long workshop promises to be an exhilarating session with the freewheeling musical spirit in Jacob's home studio – an ace behind-the-scenes for music fans to get a peek at creating music from home. Follow him through a world of melody where he reveals his recipe for making great tunes that span genre, time, and place. Plus, watch him perform a song or two, talk about creativity in music, share his artistic journey, and answer all your burning questions.

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Tomorrowland Around The World
Photograph: Tomorrowland

Tomorrowland Around the World

Music Music festivals Singapore City,

Tomorrowland Around the World brings the digital version of the electronic dance music blowout – complete with EDM giants, 3D design, gaming and special effects – to the cyberspace. Similar to the real deal, the festival features eight different stages in total, set ablaze by the speaker-pumping bangers from the biggest names in EDM as well as the usual Tomorrowland bang – fireworks and laser shows included. Look out for this year's iconic Mainstage which embodies the theme of 2020: The Reflection of Love – Chapter 1. There are also various interactive experiences including inspirational webinars, games, and workshops related to lifestyle, food, fashion, and the Tomorrowland Foundation to take part.

San Diego Comic Con
Photograph: Shutterstock/Lauren Elisabeth

Comic-Con@Home

Things to do Singapore City,

The world's largest comic convention is making a digital switch this year with Comic-Con@Home for all to geek out – no badge required. While the full list of panels and A-listers attending have not been confirmed yet, it promises exclusive panels and presentations on upcoming comics, gaming, television, film, and a wide variety of topics from publishers, studios, and more. Additionally, the digital event also includes an Exhibit Hall complete with popular exhibitors offering specials, promotions, and the usual limited-edition items that are exclusive to the convention, the iconic Masquerade Ball, gaming and other activities in which fans can participate from their homes.

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The Haunted, Whose House is This?
Photograph: Saodat Ismailova

Whose House is This?: New Cinema of Central Asia

Film Singapore City,

While theatres remain closed for now including the Oldham Theatre, tune into Asian Film Archive's (AFA) online showcase of Whose House is This?: New Cinema of Central Asia from June 19 to July 16. As part of AFA's new initiative Rewired, the online screening spotlights the boldest of Central Asian cinema from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan. All nine films explore the contestations and renegotiations of space and ownership that take place within their respective societies, over issues of culture, gender, nationhood, and identity.

Late Spring, ArtScience on Screen
Photograph: Marina Bay Sands

ArtScience on Screen

Film Singapore City,

The ArtScience Museum is debuting its flagship programme ArtScience on Screen online with a new series of micro-commissioned films by some of Singapore’s most prominent and promising creators. Available on the museum's official website as well as social media platforms, the first two micro-commissions Late Spring by Lei Yuan Bin and How Can I Tell I Miss You by Eva Tang are set to premiere on 24 June and in the month of July respectively, while $alary Day by Madhavan Ram is running from now until July 10. Each film has a running time of less than five minutes, and was put together using the resources each filmmaker had on hand during the circuit breaker.

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Akira Virtual Exhibition
Photograph: Buro UFHO/The Unusual Network

Akira Virtual Exhibition

Art Singapore City,

Calling all fans of Akira – get ready to be transported to an industrial complex set in 2020 Neo-Tokyo that is dedicated to the iconic 1988 post-apocalyptic cyberpunk anime. Curated by The Unusual Network and produced by Metamo Industries, the interactive online 3D art exhibition engages the senses with stunning visuals including 14 masterpieces by artists from Singapore, Japan, and the Philippines, and a specially designed soundscape that elevates the art-viewing experience.

The Arts House
Photograph: Shutterstock

Write From Home Workshops

Art Singapore City,

After the successful debut of Write From Home Workshops in May, The Arts House is back with a second edition this July, with new additions – Chinese and Malay writing workshops. Combat writer's block by learning how to find your voice – or rather, words – and shape them into works of literary art. Join some of the city's prominent writers and learn how to translate challenging situations into powerful writing, injecting humour into your writing, and embracing your emotions through words.

What you can do during Phase 2

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