Lords of the dance

Lords of the dance
Party-goers attending ZoukOut, an annual dance festival at Siloso Beach, Sentosa.

ZoukOut is 13 this year: If it were human, it would officially be a teenager - but free of any of the gawkiness or growing pains that plague adolescents.

The annual outdoor rave-fest returns next weekend, and about 45,000 revellers are expected to turn up over two nights at Sentosa's Siloso beach.

Having grown to become one of the top dance music festivals in the region, the event still draws tens of thousands of music fans each year, with its consistently stellar line-up of world- class DJs.

This year, Dutch house DJ Afrojack (photo), Swedish electro-house and progressive house DJ Alesso and Chicago electro group Krewella are among its top draws.

Other notable acts at the festival - held on Dec 13 and 14, from dusk till dawn - are rising Russian- German music producer and DJ Zedd, English rapper and singer- songwriter Example and Spanish young gun DJ Danny Avila.

And, fittingly for a coming-of-age of sorts, the festival is being allowed to stay up a whole hour more.

This year's partying hours will start at 8pm and extended until 5am on the first day, as opposed to 4am in past editions.

The second day will remain a 12-hour party, from 8pm to 8am.

Mr Timothy Chia, 32, Zouk's head of marketing and events, says that the festival has stayed relevant after so many years, despite competition from other dance music festivals in the region, because of good research.

He and his team make sure that "we don't just benchmark ourselves against what's happening in Singapore but also around the world", he adds.

In the past year, the Zouk team has travelled to renowned global dance music festivals such as Burning Man festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada and Ultra Music Festival Miami and Seoul, South Korea, to keep abreast of music trends and the party scene.

Mr Chia says they are "definitely raising the bar this year" by using state- of-the-art special effects, including pyrotechnics, laser light shows, confetti bursts and streamers at the two main stages.

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