The Singapore outdoor dance festival, ZoukOut, was its usual triumphant success at the end of 2013. The two-day event, which runs annually on Sentosa Beach, has been attracting crowds of enthusiastic revelers for many years.
Zouk has been instrumental in introducing a whole new audience to house music. Amongst the numerous and often bewildering sub-genres of dance culture, house was not widely appreciated in Singapore. What the original wave of DJ's did was to blend house music with more recognizable chart hits from the 1970s and 1980s during a ‘retro' themed night at the Zouk club every Wednesday. This quickly took off, and once the Zouk DJ's had their audience's attention, they began throwing in all sorts of dance variations.
Less of a club and more of a phenomenon, Zouk itself is actually comprised of three houses, as well as the world-renowned beach party. The three clubs are actually interconnected. Zouk, the 'elder statesman' of the trio, has been welcoming clubbers since 1991. It is known for its vast dancefloor and state of the art sound and lights system. For those wanting a less frenetic atmosphere, the Velvet Underground has been catering for chilled-out partygoers since 1994. This is held in a lounge, playing quieter and more laid-back soul music. The third house is future, which has been providing more specialized and avant-garde rhythms since 1996, noticeably trip-hop and broken beats.
Named after the Creole word for party, Zouk has won the Singapore Tourist Board ‘Best Nightspot Experience' award no fewer than six times between 1997 and 2007. As well as this accolade, the highly influential DJ Magazine voted Zouk the club as tenth on a global top-100 three times: in 2006, 2007 and then again in 2010.
But it is the ZukOut beach party that has really been attracting attention. Tens of thousands of enthusiastic partygoers gather at Senotosa Beach to relish the unforgettable atmosphere. Held every year in Singapore since 2000, ZoukOut is one of the largest festivals of its kind on the continent. The range of prestigious DJ's who have performed here include some of the biggest names doing the circuit: Masters at Work, Richie Hawkin, Sven Vath, Peter Kruder, Paul Van Dyck, James Lavelle and the English club legends Stereo MC's. The biggest crowd that the event has attracted has been 2008's phenomenal record of 26,000.
During 2010's Grand Prix season, Zouk ran a special event to commemorate the racing competition, featuring two of the current hottest DJ's, the Canadian Tiga, and the Frenchman Martin Solveig.