Art + Design

Inside Singapore’s District M, the first-ever Marina Central Festival

Feel the rhythm


By Marissa Chin

Inside Singapore’s District M, the first-ever Marina Central Festival

On 6 and 7 October 2023, Singapore’s Marina Central district roared to life for the inaugural launch of a spectacular two-day music festival to celebrate the community’s vibrant and creative spirit. Known as District M, the groundbreaking event was a collaboration between four major shopping malls which are Marina Square, Suntec City, Millenia Walk and South Beach. As these destinations are popular amongst locals and tourists filled with bustling activities, the festival aimed to break away from conventional festival norms by offering a more immersive and inclusive experience that was free for all to enjoy.

Under the theme of “Feel the Rhythm”, District M captured the pulse of the Lion City through its exciting collaboration with local and international talents that best reflect Singapore’s thriving landscape as a destination for entertainment, business and leisure. Rather than having the festival in one main area as most do, District M spanned across four zones in the respective malls, each offering a prominent performance stage alongside several activations and vendors to take visitors on an auditory and sensory adventure. 

We had the opportunity to visit District M in Singapore over the weekend. If you didn’t get to experience it, don’t worry as we recount some of the biggest highlights from the festival ahead so you know what to expect next year and not miss out!


An acoustic retreat


Located on The Deck at Marina Square, audiences got to enjoy a serene acoustic stage on the outdoor area whilst facing the sublime Marina Bay view. Considered a hidden gem amongst tourists as it is one of Marina Central’s lesser-known scenic spots, District M hosted an array of live performances by local acts such as Charlie Lim, Daniel Sid, Marian Carmel and most excitingly, Australian-Filipino singer Grentperez, in which they performed their popular songs acoustic-style. Apart from enjoying music with the gentle breeze in a relaxing environment, there was also a drip coffee workshop and a cocktail bar.


READ: Stripped Back with Lullaboy—The hopeful romantic from Singapore


Vibrant vibes 

Ever seen a DJ drop their beats from an RV? Millenia Walk was filled with dynamic energy as local and international DJs performed their high-octane sets from a camper-like van at the Park and Dine area. Much to the delight of festival-goers, the lineup included the likes of DJ Shota from Japan and Singapore’s KoFlow, and KidG among others. Apart from that, visitors could also take part in a DIY essential oils workshop, flash jagua ink tattoos and more.


Melodic theatre

As a music festival, District M has also made the intentional choice of showcasing different genres of music, including classical music. Audiences who preferred more relaxing tunes indulged in an intimate theatrical setting at South Beach’s Fountain Stage. There, the enchantment of the mall’s Fountain Plaza came to life as Singaporean musicians such as Corrine May, Jonathan Shin, Bards of Neverland and Litmus Jazz Ensemble came together to play classical tunes and soothing jazz numbers. Furthermore, patrons could also peruse literature from local pop-up bookstore Chio Books and partake in tarot card readings.


Sonic soiree

The beats continued down to Suntec Plaza where the street-level Music Piazza came to life to the rhythm of pop music and infectious indie anthems. Facing the Fountain of Wealth and accompanied by a giant District M logo installation, the popular shopping mall offered plenty of memorable photography spots for audiences. The scintillating lineup included up-and-coming Singaporean artists such as Shye, Dru Chen, Oh My Meiting and Sezairi.


For more thrilling live performances to attend, head here.

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