60 acts for biggest free music festival

The upcoming Music Matters Live With HP, which starts from May 21, will be the largest free music festival to be held here yet.

More than 60 up-and-coming acts from 18 countries are set to perform over four nights at various venues within Clarke Quay as well as at venues in town run by local F&B chain Timbre Music Group.

This year's fourth edition of the annual festival has a line-up that includes Taiwanese rapper MC Hotdog, British indie band The Boxer Rebellion and South Korean rock band Asian Chairshot.

There will also be a special Singapore showcase featuring performances by home-grown talents such as pop/soul singer Gareth Fernandez, alternative rock band sub:shaman, folk/pop singer Gentle Bones, pop singer Ming Bridges and third Singapore Idol winner Sezairi Sezali.

Last year's edition included local pop-folk band The Sam Willows, whose frontman Benjamin Kheng, 23, says: "Music Matters put our very own Singaporean acts right up there with some amazing international groups, hopefully showing that homegrown talent can indeed stand up with the rest of the world. We had immense fun chatting and making friends with other groups, namely Scotland's Fluorescent Hearts, and we still tweet each other from time to time."

Last year's edition of the music festival, which was held over three nights, featured 58 bands and attracted a combined audience of 10,000.

Most of the shows will also be broadcast live over YouTube.

The music festival is part of All That Matters, a music, social media and digital entertainment industry event that features speeches, workshops and panel discussions, and the larger event takes place this year from May 20 to 25.

All That Matters is an international event that aims to bring together business executives, up and coming musicians, entertainment personalities and fans, and is endorsed by the Singapore Tourism Board and Infocomm Development Authority.

Passes to the industry conferences and events start from US$249 (S$312) for a one-day pass and go up to US$1,350 for a five-day VIP pass.

Last year's keynote speakers included American music manager Johnny Wright, the man behind pop stars such as Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake.

This year, major industry figures such as the chairman and chief executive officer of Universal Music Group International, Max Hole, and pop singers Akon and Apl.de.ap from The Black Eyed Peas are expected to appear and speak at the event, most of which will be held at the Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore.

A large component of All That Matters this year is the second edition of YouTube FanFest with HP. Held at *Scape on May 24 and 25, the event brings together popular YouTube personalities from around the world.

They include Jenna Marbles, who has more than 13 million subscribers worldwide, and Ryan Higa, who counts 12 million followers. Both are from the United States.

Home-grown personalities who run popular YouTube channels such as 987FM radio deejay Dee Kosh, comedy quintet Tree Potatoes and Ah Boys To Men star and hip-hop artist Tosh Rock will also make appearances.

Unlike Music Matters Live with HP, the three separate YouTube FanFest with HP events are ticketed and cost from $78 a show.

Marbles and other personalities such as local blogger Xiaxue appear on the afternoon show on May 24, while Tree Potatoes and American YouTuber Bethany Mota are among the names appearing on the same day's sold-out evening show. The show on May 25 includes Higa and local rapper ShiGGa Shay.

Speaking at a press conference yesterday, co-founder and chief executive officer of organisers Branded Ltd, Mr Jasper Donat, said that the live performances by the global acts at the music festival give music fans here a chance to discover new music.

"They are all coming here to be discovered by the music industry, and not just learn but also to perform to a music-crazy Singaporean crowd."

This article was published on April 30 in The Straits Times.

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