Music festival goers treated to live music on bus

Music festival goers treated to live music on bus

She says she tends to "fly around" when she's on public transport.

Musician Chew Wei Shan, 24, admits she has a poor sense of balance when it comes to moving vehicles.

But the pint-sized musician, who is one half of local electronic duo .gif, pulled off crowd-pleasing ½-hour sets on four different buses en route to Kuala Lumpur. She also did another four sets on the trip back to Singapore this weekend.

These buses were to take passengers from Singapore to Genting Highlands for creative arts and music festival Urbanscapes.

But online music entertainment and gig finder Bandwagon decided to hold a mini "festival" in the bus, which they called the Bandwagon bus. The programme, which had local musicians perform on board, also had impromptu open mic sessions and giveaways. It was the brainchild of Bandwagon founder Clarence Chan, 28.

.gif was one of the four local acts that was roped in. The others were Pleasantry, Gentle Bones and Inch Chua.

Before setting off, Miss Chew told The New Paper that she was initially daunted about performing on the bus.

The stage - the smallest .gif have ever been on - was confined to the front of the bus, with a wooden platform built by the Bandwagon team placed along the aisle of the 40-seater coach.

"We had to cut down on a lot of our equipment to just a laptop, an iPad and a small set of keys.

"I'm just worried about the equipment flying. There isn't space for my keyboard. We're going to use lots of duct tape to make sure (the equipment) doesn't fly (when the bus moves)," Miss Chew said with a laugh.

PERFORMING

Contrary to Miss Chew's worries, Mr Joel Tan, who goes by the performing moniker Gentle Bones, was not too worried.

The 20-year-old sang and played the guitar, with violin accompaniment by Josh Wei, 18.

Said Mr Tan before the show: "I don't think there'll be any damage (to the instruments) as long as the driver drives carefully."

The bus ride was smooth for most of the seven-hour journey (including toilet breaks), except for a few sudden brakes which caught the musicians unprepared.

But they quickly composed themselves and went on with their sets.

Not that the passengers seemed to mind. They merely laughed and continued holding up their phones to take photos or record.

When it was the passengers' turn to take to the stage in an impromptu open mic session, some gamely took up the challenge, belting out familiar hits like Oasis' Wonderwall and Britney Spears' ...Baby One More Time.

There was also a designated host on each bus to keep up the festival atmosphere, introduce the bands and conduct the giveaways, as well as brief passengers on the logistical parts of the trip.

One of the hosts, Aarika Lee, 31, said she is a fan of the Bandwagon's bus concept.

"They're taking the concept of a party bus, a music festival and a road trip to the next level," she said.

For safety reasons, the entertainment ended when the buses started the winding road up Genting Highlands.

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