Started in 2012, the Sunshine Nation umbrella has swiftly come to be associated with innovative concepts, good people and classy music.
Whether they're throwing yacht parties around the remote Andaman Islands, holding large scale music festivals at Fort Canning, organizing massive block parties on the streets of Boat Quay, hosting grand balls in upscale bars, or treating select guests to intimate soirées within a villa - attendees are always guaranteed a friendly and unique experience during their buzzworthy events.
In a short four years, the young event and travel brand has grown from a plucky upstart to a relative juggernaut within Singapore's nightlife community. From The Sail Spin to Garden Beats, Sunshine Nation has built up a loyal customer base from the ground up thanks to their carefully considered lifestyle ventures and dedication to building an emotional connection with their audience.
While most other event promoters tend to live or die based on the star-power of the acts they book, Sunshine Nation has instead fostered their own orbiting community. More than just good times and great musical acts, Sunshine Nation events leave a long-lasting impression because of the friends made and experiences shared. It truly is about people, and in turn, their patrons trust them implicitly.
We recently talked to their Director of Marketing Alexander Linnerth and their Director of Operations & Events Bernhard Schwarz to learn more about the dawn of Sunshine Nation and their radiant philosophy.
Hi Alex and Bernhard! For those who are unfamiliar, could you introduce yourselves to our readers?
Well, we are two Austrian entrepreneurs who founded the Sunshine Nation, an event and travel company that focuses on bringing unique music and lifestyle concepts to Southeast Asia.
So take us back to the beginning, how did Sunshine Nation first begin?
Around four years ago when we first moved to Singapore, we recognized a gap in the market for social and travel concepts that would bring like-minded people together. We both have a great love for music too so we wanted to find a way to marry those elements; music, travel, events and to provide fresh experiences for people who share our passion.
What were your goals and aspirations with company back then?
Our goal has always been to bring innovative concepts to Singapore and Southeast Asia, and to grow our own community of people who we can share our experiences with. We were inspired by concepts like Yacht Week and festivals such as Primavera (Barcelona), Lighthouse Festival (Croatia) and Wilderness (UK) just to name a few.
Getting into events and promotion in Singapore is a tough gig. What were some of the challenges you faced early on?
It took a lot of hard work growing a loyal community. We are incredibly fortunate that we now have a supportive following who share our enthusiasm whenever we come up with a new idea. That said, we work relentlessly in order to maintain that loyalty and fulfilling our said community’s’ expectations.
One of the biggest things on the Sunshine Nation calendar these days is Garden Beats. How did that festival come about?
Garden Beats has been a natural progression from the regular music event series we have held over the past year. We wanted to create a festival that would celebrate amazing music, food and friendship in a beautiful setting. In a nut shell that is Garden Beats!
Garden Beats 2016 just wrapped up a few weeks ago, and it looked like a major success. What were your takeaways as organizers?
The success of Garden Beats really proved to us that there is a demand for a new form of festival; one where social interactions and the love for music are enjoyed in equal measures. We loved every minute of planning for this and were delighted by the outcome and look forward to working on the next big project!
Music-wise, what has been your philosophy with the DJs and live performers you’ve booked for Sunshine Nation?
We don’t shy from admitting that our focus is mainly based on electronic music (strictly no EDM).
We have a lot of close ties to music agencies in Europe and in particular Berlin so it has been a privilege for us to host some really incredible artists at our events so far and some pretty exciting projects in the pipe which we are looking forward to sharing with everyone… watch this space!
Looking back, what have been some of the best or most memorable events Sunshine Nation has put on?
There have been so many events which we have loved. Our travel concepts were very special. We started the Sunshine Nation with our first concept The Sail Spin; sailing the remote and private islands of the Andaman sea with up to 15 yachts was a once of a kind experience which I will never forget.
There were also some performances like Klingande’s debut in Singapore or HVOB’s open air performance at Circular Road that were pretty magical!
For those who are new to Sunshine Nation. What can they expect from your parties?
Sunshine Nation events can be summed up as good music, unique concepts and energy you must have experienced yourself.
What are your plans for the rest of 2016 and beyond?
2016 is quite an exciting year for us with a lot of interesting events. Already the next two months are very exciting:
In April we are hosting a special of our Studio Electronique series at CATO. Three events featuring Dirty Döring (GER), Krono (FRA) as well as Nico Pusch (GER). These nights are all about good music.
Furthermore we welcome Art Department on the 23rd of April at the Main Room at Zouk. That will be a very big night.
In May we are hosting this years Electro Ball – a night full of extravaganza and mesmerizing performances. We will pay an homage to Shanghai in the 1920’s at the Black Swan.
At the end of May we will welcome Wankelmut as well as several other international artists for a sunset session at Singapore’s most impressive rooftop. You will most likely know some of Wankelmuts songs like 'One Day' or 'My Head Is A Jungle' and I’m really looking forward to his performance.
Furthermore we are working on the next edition of Garden Beats as well as some new projects in the second half of 2016 - so stay tuned!