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River Nights Festival 2016

Asian Civilisations Museum 21 Oct 2016 - 29 Oct 2016 7pm till late (21 & 22 Oct, 28 & 29 Oct) Free admission National Arts Council, Japan Foundation, SCAPE
River Nights 2016

River Nights is back for the third year, and the third time’s a charm! Join us on 21, 22, 28 & 29 October, from 7pm till late.

River Nights celebrates the Singapore River’s changing identity through the years – from vital trading artery in the colonial past to the current magnet for locals and visitors, drawn to its history and the colourful nightlife after sunset.

The theme this year is "Phantasmagoria". Programs on both sides of the river, across Empress Place and Boat Quay, will inspire and delight in these nights of magic. In an era of sensorial saturation, suffused with virtual and hyper reality, Phantasmagoria inspires new exploration and play on the ambiguity of space, time, and motion. The Singapore River at night presents a perfect canvas of “bright lights, big city”.

Hashtag us at #acmsg and #RiverNights. 

Programmes are subject to change.

Festival Schedule

Download the festival guide for more information.


percussion drums live music river festival
All Things Percussion by Nanyang Philharmonic Percussion Ensemble & Siva Mayam Urumi Melam
21 & 22 October, 7.30pm
28 & 29 October, 7pm
Empress Lawn

Experience the sound of percussive instruments under the stars. Their exciting rhythms and invigorating beats will make your heart go thump, thump, thump.

silences t.h.e. dance company singapore river festival
Silences We Are Familiar With by T.H.E Dance Company
21 & 22 October, 8.30pm
Empress Lawn

Inspired by personal reflections on love and life, Kuik Swee Boon presents a fresh take on his Esplanade ​da:ns ​Festival 2012 commission, a poignant exploration of the ceaseless need for humans to love and be loved. Weaving dance, sound and poetry, ​Silences ​is a haunting statement on the complexities of human emotion.

koflow deejay drums percussion river festival live music edm river festival 
DJ & Electric Drums by Koflow & Mohamed Noor
21 & 22 October, 10.30pm
Empress Lawn

Let DJ Koflow, with his trademark musical scratching, and percussionist Mohamed Noor take you to a rave new world of EDM.

soundscape river sound live poetry spoken words chinese strings river festival  
Soundscape: The River by Mike Chiang & Christine Sham
21 & 22 October, 9.30pm
28 & 29 October, 10.30pm
Empress Lawn

Sound Advice from L-Acoustics

This immersive musical artwork binds seemingly disparate elements of poetry, spoken words, dance, Peking opera, drum beats, Chinese strings, and the didgeridoo into an inspiring statement that explores the ephemeral beauty of sound.

yugen noh japan play 3d river festival 

Yugen: The Hidden Beauty of Japan by Amon Miyamoto & Shutaro Oku
28 & 29 October, 8 & 9.30pm
ACM Green

Premiering at River Nights is an original theatrical experience under the stars that melds Noh, an age-old Japanese theatre form, and 21st century 3D scenography. This visually rich performance affords glimpses of the profound beauty of nature with Noh actors performing the extraordinary lions' dance Shakkyo and the celestial maiden's dance Hagoromo.

Limited seats available, first-come, first-served. Seats open 30 minutes before each session.

Noh Theatre Workshop
29 October, 2pm
Ngee Ann Auditorium, Asian Civilisations Museum
Free. Please register with by 28 October.

Join in this demo-lecture led by Professor Keiichiro Tsuchiya (Meiji University, Tokyo) for an introductory insight into the origins and aesthetics of Noh Theatre; and learn vocal techniques from distinguished performers from the Kanze School of Noh. No prior experience needed.

umbrella project pilobolus led light mass dance river festival
Umbrella Project by Pilobolus & MIT's Distributed Robotics Laboratory
28 & 29 October, 8.45pm
Empress Lawn

This performance involves 100s of participants lighting up the night sky with colour-changing umbrellas via hand-controls fabricated by MIT. Shown in real-time on a bird's-eye-view projection, we promise a stunning, colourful, and spectacular sight.

scape confessions live music outdoor river festival
*SCAPE Confessions
28 & 29 October, 6.30, 7.30, 8.30pm
River Promenade

A selection of music performances from up-and-coming local acts from *SCAPE Confessions. Chill out to the tunes of The Facade, Marcus and LEW on Friday, and Emerald Street, Fillory and Jaime on Saturday!


elephant light display river festival 

The Elephant
Til 29 October, 7 to 11pm
ACM Green

The elephant is an important motif in Asian art. Come and search for this majestic creature inside ACM and around Empress Place.

arch light display river festival   

Wonder Wander Lights by Sharon Goh & Luis Lee
Til 29 October, 7 to 11pm
ACM Green

This light-based installation, made of bamboo and LED lights, invites dreamy wonder while you wander through a 15-meter-long tunnel of lights.

parol christmas lantern philippines light display river festival 

Til 29 October, 7 to 11pm
River Promenade

This tall lantern, called a parol, draws from the Filipino Christmas tradition of hanging star-shaped lanterns in windows from September to December. They are traditionally made of bamboo and a range of different materials, but this one is made of fibreglass.



Tours & Screenings

Monuments by Moonlight

Presented by the Preservation of Sites and Monuments division of the National Heritage Board.

Join us on our signature tour series Monuments by Moonlight at River Nights 2016! Embark on 30-minute tours conducted by volunteer guides to experience Singapore’s National Monuments and see them in a different light. Visit three spectacular buildings and hear stories of their unique transformations – the former Empress Place Building’s layered transformation, the secrets behind that of Victoria Theatre and Victoria Concert Hall’s latest restoration and the waves of changes experienced by the former Fullerton Building. 

Limited spaces available, on first-come, first-served basis.

empress place building tours monument river nights festival
Former Empress Place Building: Layers
Date: 22 & 28 October
Time: 7pm, 8pm, 9pm & 10pm
Duration: 30 minutes
Meeting point: Main Lobby, Asian Civilisations Museum

Beginning its life as an ordinary government office, the former Empress Place Building has been transformed into a vibrant cultural hub for all ages. The layers of its physical transformation are captured in the fabric of the building. Take part in this tour as we uncover each layer of this historic building.

victoria theatre concert hall monument tour river nights festival
Photo courtesy of The Esplanade Co Ltd

Victoria Theatre & Victoria Concert Hall: Secrets
Date: 22, 28 & 29 October
Time: 7pm & 8pm
Duration: 30 minutes
Meeting point: Main Atrium of VTVCH

Sparkling new from its recent facelift in 2014, Victoria Theatre & Victoria Concert Hall is now the jewel of the Empress Place area but not all is what it appears to be. The newest looking wing of the monument is actually the oldest part of the complex which started its life as single building. Come along on this tour to uncover the secrets behind the ingenious transformation of this monument.

fullerton hotel building monument tours river nights festival
Former Fullerton Building: Waves of Change
Date: 22, 28 & 29 October
Time: 8pm & 9pm
Duration: 30 minutes
Meeting point: Cavenagh Bridge (Empress Place side)

From a rocky promontory, to a coastal fort, to a bustling commercial area, and finally to the grand hotel it is today, the site of the former Fullerton Building has undergone several waves of monumental changes. Join us on the rooftop of one of the tallest building in Singapore then to learn about the transformation of this site.


singapore japan sj50 film festival
SJ50 Film Festival
Date: 21, 22 & 28 October
Time: 7 to 11pm

Catch a selection of over 40 short films by young filmmakers from Singapore and Japan, to celebrate 50 years of diplomatic relations and cultural exchange between both countries.

Click here for registration details and film schedule.

World Premier Yugen 3D NOH Play



Noh Theatre Workshop
29 October, 2pm
Ngee Ann Auditorium, Asian Civilisations Museum
Free. Please register with by 28 October.

Join in this demo-lecture led by Professor Keiichiro Tsuchiya (Meiji University, Tokyo) for an introductory insight into the origins and aesthetics of Noh Theatre; and learn vocal techniques from distinguished performers from the Kanze School of Noh. No prior experience needed.

Programme subject to change.