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Singapore International Festival Of Arts, Singapore Overview

Immerse yourself in the world of theatre, music, dance and visual arts while watching the best of the best perform on the stage. The carnivalesque Singapore International Festival of Arts joins hands with the incredibly talented artists once a year to present a number of performances worth remembering. Singapore always has something interesting to offer, and in this case, too, it has not disappointed. Festivals in this contemporary city are not always about religious practices. They are about coming together and appreciating talent, about being mesmerized by the performers, about plunging yourself into the world of extraordinary skill.

With fun and frolic as its backdrop, the Singapore International Festival of Arts (SIFA) is a grand event which people look forward to, every year. Formerly known as the Singapore Arts Festival, this lavish event is organised and managed by the Arts House Limited, and funded by the National Arts Council. It is greatly responsible for inspiring the myriad audience to ignite their imagination and think with an open mind.

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How Did It All Begin?

Inaugurated in 1977, the SIFA commenced as an event to celebrate and popularise local talent from Singapore’s diverse communities. After 2012, it was suspended for a short while before returning in 2014 under the guidance of Ong Keng Sen, the festival Director. It was he who renamed the lively event from Singapore Arts Festival to the Singapore International Festival of Arts. From 2018, management of the gorgeous festival has been taken over by Gaurav Kripalani, the new Festival Director. Over the last few decades, the SIFA has played a significant role in enhancing and improving the cultural life and the artistic practices in the Lion City.

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How is the Singapore International Festival of Arts Celebrated?

With a plethora of different kinds of shows, the Singapore International Festival of Arts is not just about pomp and pomposity but also about being more aware of the spectacular art culture in Singapore as well as other regions around the world. Often considered to be the heartbeat of the SIFA, the Arts House is transformed into the Festival House every year during the festival period. The cosy, intimate spaces are utilised as a venue to host entertaining book clubs, informative artist talk shows, captivating reading rooms, and splendid exhibitions that take place during the festival. It motivates the audience to reflect upon the themes of the SIFA.

Here, people exchange their views, discuss the festival theme, gorge on some scrumptious food, and actively take part in the lively festival buzz. From rustic street dances to formal Ballets, from thrilling public film screenings to dramatic theatre performances, the SIFA offers a platform for those marvellous shows that are usually not seen being performed every other weekend.

Singapore International Festival of Arts, Singapore Arts House
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What Makes the Singapore International Festival of Arts Special?

Every year, the management committee of the SIFA comes up with idiosyncratic themes, and the performances are based upon them. In 2008, for instance, the theme was 'Water', and the inaugurating and closing acts were performed on water. Likewise, for 2017, the theme was 'Enchantment', which aimed to bring back the unexpected in our regular, monotonous lives. This year, the SIFA paid a particular tribute to music.

For 2019, the life and legacy of Stamford Raffles, the founder of Singapore, may be unveiled through a melodious musical. In addition to the main festival, the SIFA has also taken over an initiative for public engagement known as the O.P.E.N, which stands for Open, Participate, Enrich, Negotiate. This is a pre-festival of ideas in which the artists belonging to Singapore come together and host exhibitions, dances, theatre performances and musicals.

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Singapore International Festival of Arts Dates

Every year, the dates of the Singapore International Festival of Arts keep changing. In 2018, the SIFA commenced its wonderful journey on the 26th of April and came to a halt on the 12th of May. Next year, the glorious festival is set to begin on the 17th of May, and its finale will be held on the 2nd of June.

The timings of each event vary, and so do the prices of tickets. Every show is held at a different time and comes with a different ticketing price. A few of these shows require you to register yourself beforehand to avoid last-minute chaos.

Location of Singapore International Festival of Arts

The resplendent Singapore International Festival of Arts is held at multiple locations every year. From Esplanade Park to the Bedok Reservoir, the site keeps getting updated each year. A few of the venues are located at obscure places which are usually not accessible to people. Hence, this spectacular festival is not only an entire world which showcases amazing talent, but it is also an opportunity for you to explore the concealed gems of Singapore.

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Before You Go, Keep These in Mind

  • You can either purchase tickets online from www.sifa.sg or book them in person from any authorised SISTIC ticketing agent.

  • Purchasing tickets at the door is solely subject to availability. Hence, the pre-booking of the tickets is strongly recommended.

  • For most of the programmes, the front rows are reserved for students, and the tickets come at a lower price to ascertain that they can afford to see these performances.

  • Photography and videography are not permitted unless stated otherwise.

  • Arriving late for a show is firmly discouraged. Ideally, the audience should be seated at least fifteen minutes before the show commences. The latecomers are only admitted during a suitable break, the timing of which varies from one show to the other. In some performances, the latecomers may only be allowed inside after the first interval begins. This policy is maintained mainly to respect the talented performers as well as the other members of the audience.
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The Singapore International Festival of Arts is an outstanding event which hosts memorable, jaw-dropping performances that will blow your mind. This annual festival draws in a large group of people from near and far. People from all over the world come down to attend this festival which hosts a smorgasbord of events for one and all. So, if you are a lover of the arts or are simply looking for a good time, there is hardly anything better than the Singapore International Festival of Arts.

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