Top bands for indie fest

SINGAPORE - Acclaimed indie bands from around the world who have never played here before will be featured at the new local indie music festival Camp Symmetry.

These include Texas post-rock band Explosions In The Sky, Danish prog-indie outfit Mew and Californian lo-fi rockers Best Coast.

Camp Symmetry, which could cost up to $1 million to produce, will be held on Nov 2 at Gardens by the Bay. Ten acts will perform over 12 hours. Other acts in the line-up are English indie rock trio The Cribs, American singer-songwriter William Fitzsimmons and American indie band Ra Ra Riot.

Potentially, it could be a rival to Laneway, another major indie music festival that holds its fourth edition in Singapore at the same venue on Jan 24.

Laneway, which started in Australia, pulled in 10,000 fans at Gardens By The Bay in January.

Symmetry Entertainment's managing director Tim Kek, 21, says Camp Symmetry will be the company's biggest production, with a budget that "ranges between $500,000 and $1 million".

Founded in June last year by Mr Kek and Ms Jean Hui Ng, also 21, the home-grown Symmetry has grown to be a nine- man company. It has organised gigs for electronic acts such as American garage quartet The Drums, Canadian band Stars and British act Gold Panda. These were held at smaller venues such as Kallang Theatre and Home Club, and drew between 100 and 1,300 concertgoers.

"Organising a big festival with a good line-up has always been our dream," Mr Kek says. "We started contacting bands last November so this festival will be a year in the making."

The Symmetry guys have roped in partners and sponsors, including fashion label Fred Perry, broadcaster MTV as well as music streaming company Spotify.

They are confident about the acts they have picked. Mr Kek says that he and his team, who are huge fans of acts such as Mew and Fitzsimmons, went through a "proper curation process" in deciding the line-up.

"We did not just pick any bands that were available just to fill up spots in the line-up. We wanted to have a good mix that would cater to everyone. So Brit rock fans will have The Cribs, we have Explosions In The Sky for post-rock fans and we have William Fitzsimmons for folk music fans."

He is expecting a turnout of 5,000 for the festival and he is confident fans from neighbouring countries will also come for the festival.

He adds: "In the case of Explosions In The Sky, we made a deal with their agents that Singapore will be the only regional show they will be playing here, so we hope to draw their fans from neighbouring countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia."

The quartet, who are headlining the festival, are known for their moody and dynamic instrumentals which have been used as soundtracks for Hollywood flicks such as dramas Friday Night Lights (2004) and The Kite Runner (2007), and television shows such as CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

Fellow headliners Mew are a 19-year-old band, which mix elements of shoegaze, progressive rock and lush singing in their music.

Kek says that Camp Symmetry is not meant to rival the St Jerome's Laneway Festival franchise which, since its first Singapore edition in 2011, has grown to become the largest indie music event here in terms of the line-up and audience size.

"I don't see Camp Symmetry as competing with Laneway. I think the Singapore concert scene is vibrant enough for more than one festival. There are enough music lovers to go around."

Book it


Where: Gardens by the Bay

When: Nov 2, from noon to 12 midnight

Admission: $125 for early birds, $145 for standard tickets, $350 for VIP tickets. Tickets will cost $160 at the door. Go to

Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to for more stories.