With the end of the year fast approaching, Singapore’s iconic Marina Bay precinct is getting ready to welcome 2023 with a series of highly-anticipated programmes and activities, including spectacular light projections created by students from local educational institutions, and the long-awaited return of the countdown fireworks — the first since the COVID-19 pandemic. From foodies to music enthusiasts; from families in search of free activities to thrill-seekers, there’s something for everyone this year. Presented by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), the Marina Bay Singapore Countdown 2023 invites everyone to usher in the new year together.
Light projection shows to usher in the new year with hope and gratitude
In partnership with the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre (NVPC) and Giving.sg, Marina Bay Singapore Countdown 2023 will present Share the Moment, a series of light projection shows on the facades of The Fullerton Hotel Singapore and the Merlion, from 26 to 31 December. This year’s theme titled “City of Good” features 14 never-before-seen original creations by students from 6 local educational institutions. As we welcome a new year with renewed hope, the light projections aim to celebrate acts of giving both big and small, and inspire everyone to continue giving their best for others and communities in need.
The students took inspiration from stories of the President’s Volunteerism & Philanthropy Awards (PVPA) 2022 nominees – a diverse range of individuals, leaders and organisations recognised for their acts of giving to the community – to create their artworks.
One such artwork, which will be projected on the façade of the Merlion, took inspiration from community initiatives by food services company Sodexo and North Division Girl Guides’ partnership with Sree Narayana Mission (Singapore), and captures Singapore’s kampong spirit in HDB flats by depicting volunteers giving out food packs to low-income families, and a Girl Guide helping an elderly woman.
Ngee Ann Polytechnic student Sheryl Loh Hui Shan’s artwork depicts Singapore’s kampong spirit through community acts of kindness in HDB estates.
Another meaningful artwork is inspired by the National Library Board and how it promotes reading and learning. It pays tribute to public libraries by depicting the abundance of learning resources, and how they provide all of us with access to knowledge for personal growth and development.
This piece by Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts student Samantha Joyceline pays tribute to the role of Singapore’s libraries in encouraging the public to nurture a love for learning.
Over at The Fullerton Hotel Singapore, a myriad of kaleidoscopic colours similarly await. One such artwork is inspired by DBS’s Adopt-A-Hawker Centre initiative, which supported the livelihoods of hawkers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. It depicts the spread of love through food, and highlights the diversity of Singapore’s hawker culture through the use of vibrant colours.
This piece from Lasalle College of The Arts student Nguyen Ngoc Minh Quyen depicts the spread of love through a wide variety of food, and highlights the diversity of Singapore’s hawker culture.
Another poignant artwork took inspiration from Grant Pereira, a passionate environmental advocate, as well as the Children’s Cancer Foundation, a social service agency that provides children with cancer and their families with much needed support. In this piece, the artist combines both sources of inspiration by illustrating children with flowers for hair, flourishing in a beautiful garden like the ones that Grant Pereira has dedicated his time to cultivating.
This artwork by Emilie Krestianto from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts depicts children in a beautiful wonderland, reflecting how the Children’s Cancer Foundation has supported and enabled them to flourish amid adversities.
Catch the light projection shows from 8pm to 10.30pm from 26 to 30 December, and from 8pm to 11.45pm on New Year’s Eve (31 December). Shows run every 15 minutes.
Light installations at the Marina Bay waterfront promenade
In addition, light installations will be on display nightly from 19 to 31 December along the waterfront promenade adjacent to Marina Boulevard. Presented in collaboration with local philanthropic organisation The Majurity Trust, Brightening Lives 2023 features light installations such as fairy light tunnels and trees festooned with meteor drip lights that are perfect for Instagram shots. These light installations aim to add festive cheer to the Bay, and also signify our collective commitment to offer time and resources to better the lives of people around us who are in need.
Exciting programmes and activities leading up to New Year’s Eve
There are also plenty of other activities happening in Marina Bay through the month of December, so you can soak in the festive atmosphere even before New Year’s Eve.
Since 1 December, the Bayfront Event Space has transformed into a sprawling outdoor carnival with The Great Bay Fiesta, organised by The Show Master, a new entertainment arm of Uncle Ringo. Open daily until 1 January 2023, the Fiesta offers an exciting line-up of activities, such as The Great Cirque des Cascades, an internationally-acclaimed circus featuring thrilling performances and The Great World Carnival, a nostalgic old-school carnival featuring games and rides for the young and young-at-heart.
For a more relaxed vibe, visitors can swing by After Hours @ The Lawn, presented by Marina Bay Alliance. Set on the grassy expanse right outside Downtown MRT Station, the chill-out zone will offer light entertainment and F&B options on 30 and 31 December. On New Year’s Eve, visitors here will also be treated to a good view of the fireworks.
Over at The Promontory on New Year’s Eve, music lovers and fans of popular artistes can soak in the festive mood at Let’s Celebrate 2023, Mediacorp’s annual live countdown show. With Malaysian vocal powerhouse Shila Amzah performing the headlining act, the star-studded line-up will also include Richie Koh, Yung Raja, ALYPH, Glenn Yong, Desmond Ng and more. Partygoers can also look forward to exciting activities including live DJ spinning sets, games, food and drinks, as well as prizes to be won.
On New Year’s Eve, visitors can also discover up-and-coming artists from our shores that they should have on repeat in 2023 at Come Together: The Next Wave, held at the Esplanade Outdoor Theatre and Esplanade Concourse. Get the freshest sounds handpicked by the finest ears in the industry, including Dean Augustine (Cross Ratio Entertainment), Leonard Soosay (Snakeweed Studios) and singer-songwriter Linying, in collaboration with Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay.
Last but not least, STAR ISLAND, a multi-sensory fireworks musical extravaganza, will return to The Float at Marina Bay on New Year’s Eve. Expect an 80-minute show featuring artisanal fireworks, dazzling performances, pyrotechnics and other state-of-the-art light and sound technologies. This year’s show will be choreographed to an immersive soundtrack, featuring a new storyline titled “LIFE — Beyond the Time”. For the first time, the STAR ISLAND experience will also extend to the Marina Bay Sands Event Plaza with a special prequel activation from 25 to 30 December, where visitors can enjoy free family-friendly activities and catch a glimpse of what the main show on New Year’s Eve has to offer.
The countdown to 2023 will culminate in a 7-minute-long fireworks display at the stroke of midnight on 31 December. Visitors will be able to catch the spectacular fireworks display from around the Bay and usher in the New Year with family and friends. Members of the public can also catch the livestream of the midnight fireworks on URA’s Facebook page.
Public safety remains a priority
To prevent overcrowding on New Year’s Eve, the number of people entering and leaving key areas around the Bay and in surrounding districts will be regulated. Certain exits of MRT stations in the Marina Bay area may be closed and the crowd will be diverted to other areas. Members of the public are advised to follow the instructions of the security personnel and police officers on duty.
The public is also reminded not to engage in activities that may annoy or compromise the safety of others. They can refer to the Marina Bay Singapore Facebook page for timely updates on the crowd situation on New Year’s Eve, and plan their routes and activities accordingly.