Funk, jazz and indie rock will fill the air at the Marina Bay Cruise Centre when home-grown musicians take to the stage at the Singapore Coffee Festival 2017.

Singer-songwriters Inch Chua, Tim De Cotta and indie rock group StopGap will perform on August 5, while singer-songwriters Ffion, Jawn Chan and Lewis Loh will perform on August 6.

Organised by The Straits Times (ST) and presented by DBS Bank, the coffee festival features more than 60 exhibitors, including coffee purveyors, equipment distributors and cafes, as well as workshops, talks and live entertainment.

The first day of the festival has been set aside for trade and media. The remaining days have been divided into two sessions – brunch, from 10 am to 3.30 pm; and sundown, from 4.30 pm to 10 pm.

The musicians will start performing at 6pm at the Sunset Wharf against the backdrop of the Singapore skyline. The latter is also the setting for an outdoor BBQ, complete with tents, fans and food such as bone-in beef short ribs from Symmetry; Angus steak and fries from Garcons and chilli crab pasta from Hyde & Co.

Singer-songwriter Jawn Chan writes songs inspired by people in his life. (Photo: The Straits Times)

Folk singer Jawn Chan, 27, performed last year at the inaugural festival and recalls it being very crowded with a happy atmosphere. “I had no idea there were so many coffee fans in Singapore,” he says. “Plus, coffee and music just go well together, it’s quite a match made in heaven.”

He hopes to bring a “coffee house vibe” to the festival with his set, which will see him accompanied by musicians playing the double bass, violin and mandolin.

Also performing at the festival for the second time is Tim De Cotta. The 31-year-old singer released his debut album The Warrior in March and will be performing songs from it. He will be accompanied by guitarist Redwan Hamzah and drummer Anson Koh. Inspired by funk, soul, hip-hop and jazz, he says he will be performing without a setlist because “it’s more fun and organic that way”.

“I’m looking forward to reaching out to a new crowd and being inspired by the sights, smells and sounds.” The gigs will feature audio and technical equipment and support by production company Unearthed Productions.

Indie rock group StopGap is another band you can look forward to catching at this year’s Singapore Coffee Festival. (Photo: StopGap)

To add to the festive atmosphere, a fireworks display has been planned for Friday and Saturday at 8.45 pm. The five-minute display, presented by Mapletree Investments, can be viewed from the oceanfront Sunset Wharf at the Marina Bay Cruise Centre. This is part of a string of activities lined up for the sundown sessions of the festival, to make full use of the venue’s scenic setting, with activities taking place along the wharf with the Singapore skyline as a backdrop.

Other than the live acts and caffeine fix, this year’s festival will also feature workshops, the annual Singapore AeroPress Championships and Barter Market, where over 25 vendors will offer wares in exchange for anything but cash.

Another highlight is a series of casual chats, called Coffee with the Boss, with corporate leaders. For example, DBS’ regional head of group research Timothy Wong will talk about his personal investment forays with ST Business editor Lee Su Shyan and give financial tips.

For the Barter Market, so far 26 vendors have signed up, including Institute of Technical Education lecturer Terence Lau, 39, who will be offering barber services in exchange for durians, drinks or “tips and tricks on how to roast coffee at home”.

Singapore Coffee Festival runs from August 4 to 6 at Marina Bay Cruise Centre. Visit for more information.

Text: Elisabeth Gwee/The Straits Times / Featured Image: Pixabay

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