Artbox 2024 First Look – We Review The Best Things To Do & What To Spend On At This Year’s Edition

Artbox Avenue 2024 at Singapore Expo

It’s no secret that Singaporeans love weekend market-inspired festivals such as Chatuchak and Pasar Malams. Artbox Avenue 2024 – originally from Bangkok – has made a comeback, taking place across 2 weekends in 2024, 26th-28th January and 2nd-4th February.

This year, it’s 50% bigger than Artbox 2023, featuring 2 new spaces with lots more photo ops and games. Apart from the usual food stalls and retail section, there are also plenty of ways to stay entertained such as live bands, KTV booths, and even a chess club. And the best part is that it’s now indoors at the Singapore Expo, so it goes on rain or shine.

Pose against IG-worthy shipping containers at Central Avenue

Okay, let’s talk about all the IG-worthy spots first. A new addition this year is Central Avenue, which features stacked shipping containers with whimsical features such as supersized traffic lights, graffiti art, and colourful neon signs. 

There are also vibrant murals scattered around the hall, designed by artists from across Southeast Asia. Many of them have QR codes to extend the experience beyond the physical art into digital art, so keep a lookout for those.

Even the interiors of the containers have been overhauled. Instead of seeing a dark, dank space, visitors will be pleasantly greeted by their lively interior, perfect for the ‘Gram. 

Don’t forget to check out the AI Photobooth for a free soft copy of your own AI avatar. If you want to keep a hard copy as a memento, the print will cost you $5. However, the organisers have mentioned that they will be giving out a limited number of coupons for visitors to get their printed copy for free on each day of the festival.

Indulge in retail therapy like apparel, accessories & beauty products

When you’re done taking shots, head over to the retail zone for some shopping. Here, you’ll find 181 retail stores – about a third of which are from overseas. The rows have been segregated according to country, so you’ll find local brands in the middle, brands from Thailand on the left of the entrance, and brands from Korea on the far right.

One can easily spend 2 hours going through the shopping district where retailers are showcasing clothes, bags, jewellery, and cutesy trinkets. The handmade knick-knacks by independent makers are the ones worth checking out.

One of our favourite experiences was over at K Avenue where Stall 66 has
Hanbok rentals for just $10. You’ll get to take pics with the traditional costume and go home with a complimentary Polaroid which they will take of you.

There’s also a Korean grocery store selling snacks, collagen drinks, and skincare products such as
Kombucha Toner ($34.90).

Check out Stalls 127 and 86 in the Mahanakhon zone for clothes from Thailand, starting at
$15, including printed co-ord sets. Stall 135 has tufted keychains (from $17) and unique mirrors ($48-$67) if you’re looking for some new home decor.

Fashionistas will be able to get their hands on poofy bags, crochet beanies, and crossbody straps featuring Popmart figurines. Body art lovers can also find
Jagua tattoo artists and temporary tattoos on-site.

Pawrents, there’s plenty for you too. Stall 121 offers pet capes ($12-$30) for dogs and cats, while Stall 57 has the most adorable cat charms ($10), postcards ($4), and stickers ($2).

You may also notice gachapon machines at many of the stalls. With some minimum spending, these retailers will let you have a go at it where you can get discounts on their workshops or your next purchase.

Enjoy street food & drinks from 97 stalls

Those wanting to quell their rumbling bellies can also choose from various cuisines such as Western, Japanese, Korean, Taiwanese, and Thai. For those looking at Muslim-friendly options, simply check out the last 2 rows of food stalls in the far right corner.

Of course, you’ll find the usual suspects found at every market festival – Loco Loco, Big Big Fries, Ramly, and At Tea. Other familiar names include I Love Taimei, Mia Tavola, Kind Kones, and Whiskdom.

But there are also plenty of new names serving delicious grub at pretty reasonable prices. Highlights for us included:

  • Mala Tang ($8-$15) from Mala In A Cup (Stall 241)
  • Mentaiko Fries ($7) from Pergh!Chicks (Stall 232)
  • Soft Shell Crab Taco ($10) from Home of Sushi (Stall 197)
  • Original Classic Thick Toast ($5.80) from Hou Lah Taiwan Thick Toast (Stall 239)
  • Grilled Butter Scallops (3 for $12) from Red Tuckshop (Stall 218)
  • Passionfruit Lemon Punched Tea ($5) from Punched Juice (Stall 291)

Pro tip: If the tables around the Flavour Boulevard are full, there are more in front of the Chang Beer truck, near the Taiwanese food truck, as well as in front of the performance stage. You can also bring your food into the KTV booths or walk around with your snacks while browsing the retail shops.

Head over to Arcade Alley & Open Plaza for more entertainment

Relieve fond childhood memories with the wide range of retro arcade games available at Arcade Alley. Featuring machines by
TAP (The Arcade People), you’ve got the usual favourites like air hockey, bike racing, basketball, and darts. 

Besides wowing bae with your impressive skills, you can also stand a chance to win attractive prizes at the claw machines.

Hopscotch of Pain.

Speaking of challenges, a variety of local ones are also available. Those wanting to relive more carefree childhood days can join the National Water Bottle Tornado Challenge, while pest haters among us can fearlessly smack roaches at the National Piak Cockroach Championship. The winners for each event get to walk away with $888 in cold, hard cash. 

Anyone with guts and a high pain threshold can try the Hopscotch of Pain – an obstacle course where participants will have to hop on 1 leg across an acupuncture mat-covered beam.

For a more chilled time, head to the Open Plaza where gamers can bond over the wide selection of Nintendo Switch and VR games for free. Yeah, you read that right. Visitors can play a limited number of games without forking out any extra cash. 

If you’d like to continue, you’ll just need to top up $10/hour for Switch and $30/hour for the VR games.

The free activities extend to the Teo Heng KTV session which has been set up in 2 containers. Each group will get to sing 1 song for free in the cosy booths. We expect this to be quite popular, so be prepared for long queues.

Something you shouldn’t miss is the opportunity to learn from a Grandmaster. Hosted by
Aliwal Chess Club, this experience lets visitors put forth their big brain energy as they play the familiar board game with a twist. At the same time, participants will get to pick up tips and tricks from the Grandmasters.

Those wanting hands-on activities can also attend the creative workshops, where they get to try their hand at customising items such as tees and sneakers.

Live performances happen 3 times each evening – 6pm-6.45pm, 7.45pm-8.30pm, and 9pm-9.45pm. Both local and regional bands will be belting out tunes to keep the atmosphere electric. 

Pro tip: There’s a huge seating area with tables right in front of the Artbox Stage, so grab your food just before each set, quickly chope a seat, and you’ll get to enjoy live entertainment while having your meal.

When you need to take a break, there are numerous seating areas to be found around the event space. Firstly, you’ve got the deck chairs and bean bag chairs at the “Rest Up” section, then there are floor recliners near the NINE.N booth, and finally, there are wooden steps in the Open Plaza.

Wear comfy shoes to check out Artbox Avenue 2024

With its Instagrammable photo ops, yummy grub, fun games, and huge retail area, it’s little wonder that we flock to Artbox every year. Not to mention, music lovers will also get to watch local and overseas performers take over the stage or have a go at being a songbird at one of Teo Heng’s KTV containers. 

It’s guaranteed that there’ll be a lot of walking about, so wear comfy shoes and gather your buddies to head down for the event.

Get your tickets for Artbox Avenue 2024

$7 on Fridays | $8 on Saturdays & Sundays

Other events you can look forward to this year:

Photography by Huiwen Chan.

Event Information
Artbox Avenue 2024
Singapore Expo Hall 2,
1 Expo Drive,
Singapore 486150
26 Jan - 04 Feb 2024
12:00 am - 11:00 pm
Mattias Tan and Aditi Kashyap

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