The Float@Marina Bay
The Float@Marina Bay (AKA Marina Bay Floating Platform), located on the waters of the Marina Reservoir, is the world's largest floating stage.
This stage is known for holding some of the biggest events in Singapore and the world, such as the 2010 Summer Youth Olympics opening and closing ceremony.
I was previously an avid fan of the NDP parades. I used to be a regular participant in online and newspaper contests that offered NDP tickets as a prize. The goodie bags that differed yearly along with it's contents fuelled my interest and curiosity towards NDP parades per year. Unfortunately, my interests weaned a little when I attempted to witness a parade on the floating stadium. The flight of steps towards the summit doesn't seem to cease. Horrendous. Finally, we reached our seats and were greeted by a spectacular display of Singapore's iconic skyline and performances. Unfortunately, I was rather reluctant to conquer those flight of steps there the following years. I'd rather watch the performance from the comfort of an air conditioned room and padded sofa.
Additionally, the YOG festivals there were so breathtaking till the NDP parades that followed suit seemed lacklustre. Especially the parade last year. Had there been no flag being billowed outside the HDB window panes, I may actually forget to tune in to the parade. The venue was at the float again and the amount of surprises and things that could be conducted there seemed to be diminishing. It's beginning to be a bore! If it isn't one already.
With all that being said, work needs to be done on the sound and acoustics of the stage if the venue is to be a truly world class performance venue. On the few occasions that I was there, I notice that the sound system was somewhat inferior to some of the outdoor stadium concerts that I’ve attended overseas.
Personally though, i do not have very good experience while attending events at The Float. The main grouse was that the seats are too far away from the stage if its on the floating platform. The bridges and the road in front of the seating gallery makes the stage even further away. Which is the reason why i feel the venue is not suitable for a concert. Unless you are in the mosh pit, one can hardly see the stage and the performers, instead you may have to glue your eyes to the LED screens that are always put up and to me, that is not exactly watching the performance live!
I personally can't wait for the Sports Hub to be completed so that all the big concerts can finally shift back there.
The best event it had ever hosted was the Singapore Grand Prix. I had grandstand tickets and being able to see the cars up close was a fantastic experience with the noise and all.
It was much easier to see what was happening at the other end of the stage even when I was seated at the far end: tons better than one of my NDP experiences in the Padang where I was seated behind the stage and I was completely blocked from seeing some of the performances :( I look forward to seeing more concerts/parades held at the Floating Platform!
P.S. For those who get seasick, I can attest that you definitely won't get seasick by being on the platform because it does not move whatsoever!
I attended the SM Town Concert last month and the seats were really, really far from the stage. I could barely make out if the performers were moving when they were at the main stage. If not for the binos, I could well have spent my whole time looking at the screen.
Thanks to the set-up of the venue, fans seating further back were able to enjoy quite a number of performances on the front stage. As it is outdoors, the atmosphere was also fantastic and when the venue was close to full capacity, I got absorbed into the energy of the crowd. It got even better when it started to rain as everybody gamely took out their gear and cheered even louder.
The concert is an experience I won't forget, given the seating capacity and outdoor setting. However, the distance from the stage is a negative point and we can't do much about that.
Equipped with sophisticated equipment and up-to-date technology, the Float is a perfect place for holding many high-key performances, promising a spectacular evening for spectators.
If you ever chanced to explore the backstage area or the space underneath the huge stands on a random day, be prepared for a free preview, especially the National Day Parade, when the military performance troupe are out in full force. Their usual sites of costume fitting and move perfection are usually there, in full view of the street. Providing your timing is right of course.
The way the float is build allows all the spectators to get a sight of the performance. Even if you are seating at the dark blue/green areas, you will still get a rather panoramic view of the stage. What's even more exciting is that when it rains especially with the unpredictable weather, the whole atmosphere becomes even much more livelier! I can never forget cheering and shivering in the rain at my SMTOWN concert.
However, there is no shelter at the float which makes it troublesome to repair and manage the stage setup. And some may find it bothersome to put on their raincoat in the rain.
I personally feel that the float is nothing special. However, it is the location that actually matters as it is built with a bird eye's view of Singapore.
However, as the float is situated away from the shelters, the wether greatly affects the progress the progress of the performances or events held in the platform. The events may be subject to a sudden change in the weather, example a downpour that may disrupt the activities and spoil the performance or affect the mood of the audiences. Other than that, the float is generally one of the great places for the performances and concerts to be held at.