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(Clockwise from top left) Look forward to live concerts by Olivia Ong, Nathan Hartono, Charlie Lim and Dick Lee as part of “PopLore”, which celebrates Esplanade’s 20th anniversary. Photo: Esplanade - Theatres On The Bay, Tan Yan Long

A Year Of Local Music To Mark Esplanade's 20th Anniversary

We miss live music so, so much. It's high time we bring it back in a big way - just like Esplanade has done with "Poplore".

To celebrating its 20th anniversary, Singapore's most iconic arts venue will be hosting a year-long exploration of our storied and vibrant popular music scene from the 1960s to the present and beyond.

And it's not just concerts. There will also be an exhibition, podcast series, videos and more. Whether you're looking for a dose of nostalgia or want to enjoy the best contemporary and rising musical talents our country has to offer, the programming caters to a wide spectrum of musical tastes.

Personally, as a music lover and independent artist, it's heartening to see the local music scene reunite and renew our sense of community post-pandemic. Here are some of the programmes we're looking forward to:

A year of live concerts

The main highlight is the series of 10 live concerts peppered throughout the year. Celebrating the best in English, Chinese, Malay and Tamily music, the series features a roster of luminaries past and present in the Singapore music scene.

Headlining acts include veterans such as Dick Lee, Jeremy Monteiro, Marcus Chin and Najip Ali, as well as younger artists including Charlie Lim, Fauzie Laily, Izzathy Halil, Nathan Hartono, Olivia Ong, Shabir and The Freshman.

Podcast series on Singapore pop

We love a good podcast as well as a fascinating, cultural deep-dive. "PopLore: Stories of Singapore Pop" is a seven-episode podcast series that's a winner on both fronts. Learn about the myriad influences, and the highs and lows of Singapore popular music across cultures, subcultures and time periods.

The series features insights from over 25 industry figures including veteran broadcaster Brian Richmond, singer Rahimah Rahim, singer-songwriter Dick Lee, and musician-producer Joe Ng of The Padres. Sit under the learning tree, folks, and prepare to gain some wisdom.

Year-long music exhibition

Esplanade, Substation and The Arts House. What do these venues have in common? Well, other than a place to lepak at after school, they're also home to some of the most iconic music venues in Singapore. "Home Grooves" is a year-long exhibition that uncovers the history and evolution of these venues through the decades, from the 1960s to the present.

Esplanade will launch a public call in March 2022 to crowdsource for memorabilia and memories relating to popular live music venues of yesteryear that can be showcased in the exhibition. So it's time to dust off those ticket stubs and contribute your piece of local music history to a celebratory cause.

For more information on "PopLore" and the full list of live concerts, click here.

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