ZoukOut 2015

Posted on December 22, 2015

Images: Zouk Singapore.

If you’ve spent any amount of time in Singapore over the last decade or so, there’s one thing you know for sure when it comes to ZoukOut – it never rains! That is, until the 2015 installment when the heavens opened throughout the two-day event, maybe the clubbing gods were shedding a tear as Lincoln Cheng, the driving force behind the world famous club brand and festival, was finally passing the baton and stepping down.

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Lincoln has carried that baton with class and dignity for as long as we can remember, showing an unquenchable ambition to put his beloved Zouk and ZoukOut on the global map, something he achieved and then some. The line up for the latest ZoukOut festival was testament to that as thousands packed Siloso Beach, oblivious to the adverse weather, to catch the likes of DJ Snake, Kaskade, Tiesto, Dixon, Paul Oakenfold, Axwell Ingrosso, Jamie Jones and Deep Dish, to name only a fraction of the international talent on show. It was a fitting finale to one of the most distinguished clubbing careers of anyone anywhere in clubland and a benchmark of what can be expected in the future as the phenomenon continues.

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Two stages – the Moon and the Star – hosted some of the best DJ’s from multiple genres, from the depths of house with DJ Tennis and Dixon to the tip of peak time euphoria from Tiesto and Armin van Buuren, the line up had something for everyone. Seasoned ZoukOut revelers descended the day before and occupied the numerous rooms of the various resort hotels. For those travelling by car, shuttle taxi or monorail, planning was needed as the island can become a bottleneck when thousands descend at once. Both days kicked off at 8pm and while Day one finished at 5am, day two offered a stamina challenge for the masses with the music continuing to 8am! The crowd was almost intact from start to finish on both days, proving once again that Singapore knows how to party! For those that prefer their beats on a more underground tip with a distinct lack of monumental breakdowns, the Moon Stage was the place to be, while the Star stage offered some of the masters of the hands-in-the-air moment, offering a more main stage festival vibe.

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The highlights of day one were many and varied as each DJ delivered a potential headline grabbing performance, from the non stop throbbing basslines, swirling synths and countless drops of the Moon Stage, where Kaskade made a huge impression, DJ Snake was almost tempted to peek over his shades to witness the mayhem he was creating and Tiesto delivered a master-class on playing to a huge outdoor crowd. It was the Star stage that did it for us however, not just the amazing range of tracks from Cats On Crack, Zushan, DJ Tennis, Dixon and Paul Kalkbrenner but the poignant moment when global clubbing icon Paul Oakenfold, closing the arena, brought Lincoln into the booth and the crowd reacted. It was one of those memorable moments that these grand affairs have the habit of producing and for those that have witnessed the meteoric rise of Zouk as an international brand a deserving tribute from the man responsible.

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Day two saw the weather pretty much repeat itself, with a bright start giving way to some driving rain but it only served to fuel the amazing atmosphere further. Standing on a beach in Singapore in shorts and a vest in the pouring rain is a completely different experience than raving in a muddy field in the UK! There was also the addition of the Kaleidoscope Arena, hosted by Lush 99.5FM. The second day offered as much of a dilemma as the first with world-class performers occupying the booth at every turn. Zouk resident Aldrin had the home support early on in the Moon Stage, where Oliver Heldens, Nervo, R3hab and Armin van Buuren also starred. Axwell & Ingrosso’s ‘Don’t You Worry Child’ offered the biggest karaoke of the two days as thousands sang in unison at the chorus prompting universal phone video action and more than a few goosebumps. Highlight of the Star stage for us was the chance to catch Deep Dish, reunited after several successful solo years, Sharam and Dubfire looked to be right back into the old routine of delivering floor shaking basslines and rocking the crowd in front of them. Jamie Jones, Visionquest and Claude Vonstroke delivered outstanding musical journeys in their own right as ZoukOut once again exceeded expectations.

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ZoukOut may have changed ownership but has been built is more than capable of standing the test of time, plans are underway for a club relocation in the new year and the team is already setting its sights on ZoukOut 2016 and once again bringing the cream of international talent to the beach in Singapore.

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