It could only mean one thing when our wristbands ran out mid-The Sam Willows’ performance – that more people than we expected turned up to our humble annual event, the annual Bandwagon: The Music Market Edition 2014. With more than 600 attendees and several members of the press from 98.7 FM, LUSH 99.5, JUICE, NYLON, CATALOG, Esquire and more on the headcount, the cosy and iconic Hard Rock Café was packed to the rafters with music revellers and good vibes. Surrounded by the historic walls and paraphernalia of rockstars old and new, the venue played host to eight homegrown bands, 20 pop-up stores, art activities, a photo gallery, vinyl shopping, film screening, video games, Somersby ciders among other things – if you intended to stick around for a while, we hope you had plenty to do and explore!
Whether you had left your mark on our Doodle Wall or stuffed yourself silly with the delectable tarts from both our food stands, we also kept everyone busy. And if you had paid attention to our wonderful and entertaining host Weish - who actually was a performer at the last BTMM in 2013 – the second floor of Hard Rock Café contained a plethora of fun and excitement, starting first with the range of pop-up stores. On tap was the refreshing Citizen Pop that dispensed homemade goodness in the form of soda to wash down the many tarts we had noshed on from Egg3 and Lola’s Cafe; the Rhubarb – Raspberry – Vanilla was definitely one of our favourite flavours. And we all had the sweet ciders of Somersby to wash it all down with, a perfect beverage accompaniment that kept us refreshed throughout the day's activities.
Magpie was our resident magazine stand at BTMM, dishing out the best titles in indie mags - word has it that our boss Clarence spent $55 on magazines alone. Our friends at Canopus Distro and SK Fong held the fort sensationally on everything music and band merch, waving them proudly as the bands played on at the first floor. Jewellery, garbs, old-school toys and even poetry were the other things many of you parted money with.
For some air-conditioned action and time out from the market hustle and bustle, The Recharge Room was a peaceful sanctuary made even more tranquil with Heima, the Sigur Ros documentary being screened and our photo gallery showcase. We also witnessed several brutal battles being fought on Street Fighter IV, with our photographers Nor Asyraf and Rueven Tan as the main culprits.
Of course, we’re all about live music and we curated a pretty solid ensemble of our choice acts that delivered remarkably throughout The Music Market. Representing our favorite folk collective The Diarists, we had the pleasure of The Awks and Jaime Wong welcoming the increasing amount of attendees filling up the venue with charmingly introspective acoustic sets. Turning the music up in volume and pace was Intriguant with his band of similarly talented musicians, introducing a cool digital disposition to the show and impressing everyone unfamiliar with his work.
Cashew Chemists seemed and sounded perfectly in tune playing at Hard Rock Cafe, delivering their snappy guitar licks and good old rock ‘n’ roll sensibilities as the crowd danced closer to the stage. Gareth Fernandez and The Sam Willows drew in a massive amount of pop music lovers to the floor, with everybody in attendance absolutely loving every minute of their good vibes, terrific showmanship and catchy sing-along hooks.
As evening fell upon Orchard Road, the melodies at The Music Market took on a heavier, darker turn with the exclusive fusion between the emotive rock of Two Seas and the intricate soundscapes of Sphaeras. Together, the seven musicians totally shattered everyone’s expectations with a tightly woven sonic spectacle that displayed the best of both bands, resulting in what must be one of the most brilliant shows we’ve seen the whole year. The show wouldn’t be complete without us hosting local music icons as headliners - A Vacant Affair. With legendary guitars adorning the walls above the stage, the fiery quintet upheld the 'hard rock' in Hard Rock Cafe that night, being at the top of their game as they roared through familiar classics and premiering new ones that sounded all too flawless as our Music Market drew to a close.
We really couldn't have done it without the help of everyone involved: Somersby for the sweet ciders that everyone enjoyed (and wiped out in sales), Hard Rock Cafe Singapore for entrusting us with their remarkable venue and playing a huge part in staging these local talents, Ebenex for all the top-notch audio equipment and services, JUICE for their adorable tote bags, Peatix Singapore for their generous assistance with ticketing, Weish for being an outstanding event host, all the sublime pop-up store vendors on the second floor, and of course our awesomely talented music lineup for putting on amazing performances all around.
We honestly can't wait to bring #BTMM back again sometime in the future - we're hoping to make it bigger and better every new edition! Thank you to all who came, commented, shared, or told a friend about Bandwagon: The Music Market. Keep it tight folks.