Home Culture Neon Lights Festival 2016: A Recap
Neon Lights Festival 2016: A Recap

Neon Lights Festival 2016: A Recap


Now, we reminisce about that dream weekend that only existed in a true music fan’s reverie.

Okay, I exaggerate.

If you’re reading this, you could either be a festival attendee scouring the troughs of the Internet for virtual memorabilia to ail your withdrawal symptoms, or a non-festival attendee who is bitterly clicking any or all links with the title Neon Lights Festival 2016 to rub more salt onto that FOMO wound. Just doing some generalisations on my end.

Either way, one simply cannot disagree that Neon Light’s 2016 lineup for just their sophomore year here in Singapore is rather remarkable. Scratch that, it’s pretty sick. Very sick. I mean, Sigur Rós, Neon Indian, Yuna and Foals headlining the 2-day music festival? Not to mention, Crystal Castles, Chairlift, SBTRKT, Shura, Blood Orange, George Clinton and- oh, why bother? The list will go on and include the entire lineup anyway.

Indeed, kudos to the organisers of the festival for putting together an eclectic mix of art and music acts, both internationally and locally. It almost qualifies as the be all end all of the ‘indie’ (again, generalisations) millennial’s dream line-up that not only acknowledges giant, music veterans, but also embraces the new and underground.


But personally, this festival was one of nostalgia for me. For instance, anyone remember the times you addictively sang ‘I got bruises on my knees for you…’ under your breath to Chairlift’s catchy tune? Or the aural catharsis that was (ex-member) Alice Glass of Crystal Castles? Or the bus rides spent looking pensively out the window listening to Sigur Rós’ Valtari? Oh, and seasoned festival-goers will definitely remember dancing out to Total Life Forever-period Foals in the pouring rain back at Laneway Festival’11 over at the precious enclave of Fort Canning Park. Safe to say, most of the artistes belonged, in a sense, to specific moods and phases of my life.

These contexts might be different between us, but I’m certain the feeling is a collective one. We grew up with these artistes. There is a certain fondness whenever we revisit their old albums on iTunes/Spotify and take a feel trip down memory lane.

Or, in this case, when they decide to visit us on this tiny island and we go apeshit-hyped over it.

And, I suppose, that was why we were all gathered there the past weekend.

So without further ado, here are some of the Day 2 highlights of the festival that are worth keeping in your memory space for a little while longer, in no particular order.

1. Sigur Rós 

Ahh.. We have had a taste of Jónsi’s honey vocals back in 2012 when the band held their first show at the very same location. Complete with the complex but strangely mellifluous Icelandic language, closing act Sigur Rós was definitely a heart-wrenching one. The crowd was captivated at a poignant standstill.

2. Yuna

A ‘different kind of modern woman’ indeed! The queen delivered a heartfelt, fun performance laden with elegant moves and velvety lyricism.

3. Blood Orange 

Just the right mix of R&B and chillwave, and a bit of groovy dancing, Dev Hynes is responsible for the tears of a couple bawling their eyes out at the front of the stage. Blood Orange must’ve made their night. And mine too, maybe.

4. George Clinton & Parliament 

What a fun bunch! This was one of the more uplifting and funkadelic performances of the day. Not to mention, seeing the legend George Clinton himself in person, and in action, is something else altogether.

5. Sloshy Mud that made the festival grounds not so ground-like


Blame it on the heavy downpour of Day 1. If people were complaining about it on the first day, wait till the second where there was a foul stench about the air and people were watching their feet more than the stage. Every once in awhile you’d see people slipping and falling down from the corner of your eye. Guess this qualifies as a highlight.

All in all, we can’t wait to see how Neon Lights will top this line-up next year, if that’s even possible. In the meantime, Laneway Festival 2017, anybody?

Click here to catch up on Day 1 highlights.

Or watch our experience at Neon Lights below:

Vanessa Freeflowy human being with a love for writing


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