Mosaic's last hurrah

Mosaic's last hurrah
The Mosaic Music Festival will play its swansong with acts such as John McLaughlin And The 4th Dimension (above), Neko Case and Paolo Fresu And Omar Sosa.

The Singapore gig calendar just got a little less colourful. Next year's Mosaic Music Festival will be the 10th edition - and also the last.

But the established brand of concerts organised by the Esplanade will live on in other forms, says the arts centre.

The 10-day festival, to be held from March 7 to 16 next year, is noted for its eclectic mix of acclaimed acts from genres ranging from indie and jazz to world and electronic music.

Next year's event will feature international acts such as Grammy-nominated American singer- songwriter Neko Case, who performs at Esplanade Concert Hall on March 16; British fusion jazz act John McLaughlin and The 4th Dimension at the same venue on March 11; and joint gigs by Cuban pianist and composer Omar Sosa and Italian trumpeter Paolo Fresu at the Esplanade Recital Studio on March 13.

The organisers emphasise that the Mosaic brand lives on though, as the venue will continue to present gigs under the name throughout the year.

Says the Esplanade's assistant director of programming, Mr Clarence Yap: "It's important to note that we are not ending Mosaic. While the Mosaic Music Festival will see its final edition in its current format, Mosaic, as a platform to present music at its artistic best in an acoustically appropriate environment, will continue. Mosaic and our music programmes can take many forms, hence its name."

Ending the festival in its current form gives the organisers a chance to review Mosaic, he adds, and to explore new ways of contributing to the music scene without being hindered by commercial interests.

The Esplanade has been staging year-round gigs under its Mosaic series since 2003 and launched the first 10-day festival in 2005.

The decision to stop the festival has nothing to do with recent reports of the Esplanade's drop in box- office revenue in the past financial year, says Mr Yap. According to its annual report, the takings dropped from $7.45 million for the financial year ending March last year to $4.35 million in the one ending March this year.

He points to the growing number of concerts and festivals presenting non-mainstream music in the local concert scene today, a far cry from when Mosaic music festival started in 2005.

New multi-act gigs that have appeared in the last few years include the annual Laneway festival, which will stage its fourth edition at Gardens by the Bay on Jan 25, as well as newcomers Camp Symmetry at the same venue last month.

Another, Hostess Club Weekender, is set to debut at Fort Canning Park on Feb 22.

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