Hello everyone! It’s me again.
For all those who did not get enough of cosplay and Japanese subculture during SOY’ C, fret not ’cause I will be providing coverage for SakuraFes! SakuraFes was a new event oriented to raise funds for the Japanese earthquake and tsunami victims. It was held at the Singapore Flyer and boasted of a 3 days long event with an array of booths, stage activities and even a yagura. Judging from it’s itinerary, it really did look superb and extensive. You may take a look at their programmes at their official website.
Before I checked out the event, I had the impression that it’s like a natsumatsuri kind of event rather than the conventional cosplay and Anime/Manga event. Yagura + games stalls + F&B stalls + yukata did not seem like the making of a cosplay event. As I thought that a change of atmosphere could be an eye opener, I decided to head down on Saturday (Day 2).
When I reached Singapore Flyer at around 1 pm, I was disappointed by the scale of the event, for it was so small I could fit the entire floor into a single picture. Plus, there were practically no one in sight except a couple of tourists and the organisers manning their booths. With a nagging suspicion that I had been cheated of a good Saturday afternoon, I decided to walk around the booths and the Flyer in hope that it won’t be a disappointment after all. Meanwhile I took some photos here and there:
Eventually, after an approximately 1.5 hours long wait, some cosplayers started streaming in along with some rather professional looking photographers with their array of equipments. They started shooting at the area beside the sea, and in order not to miss the good poses, I joined them enthusiastically. The beautiful scenery and spacious land was ever so inspiring, hence I am pretty sure the reap (in terms of pictures of cosplayers) for this event will be much better. More coming in the Cosplayers post!
At around 3 pm the crowd peaked, and cosplayers were everywhere, drawing people away from the event booths. Turns out that contrary to their programmes, SakuraFes was more inclined towards the J subculture side after all. I was rather excited by the crowd and hence, I started to go on a spamming spree to snap as many pictures as I can before proceeding to the stage area for the Cosplay Semi-final Round, which in my opinion is the main highlight for the day.
And here are 2 semi-finalists I manage to catch before the competition (More coming up):
After which, I met with a few friends, whom I persuaded to come, for dinner. Unfortunately, by the time we returned the Group Dance/ JPOP & J Rock band had finished their performance. We moved over to the yagura stage for Sunao’s and Ritsuko’s performances, which was a pretty enlightening experience since it was our first time seeing a yagura performance. They sang some pretty conventional songs: Magnet, Just be Friends, Black Rock Shooter, Megu Megu Fire Endless Night and Lily Lily Burning Night, plus some anime songs like Lion and God Knows. It was a misfortune that the battery of my camera ran dry at the climax of the day, so I pretty much failed to catch the entire dance. Day 2 closes with that, but in the end SakuraFes left me asking for more, so I decided to go back the next day.
Day 3 was more unsatisfactory in terms of crowd compared to day 2, probably due to Easter. There weren’t much cosplayers even by 3 pm, but nevertheless it was still worth the trip since my sole intention was to watch the cosplay Finals. I managed to secure an optimal location for the shots and videos this time round and the results were pretty decent, so I will probably be putting the videos up on youtube soon. I had quite a bit of fun since it was last day, and I left after the release of results, which concludes my entire experience in SakuraFes.
Moral of the story: Don’t go to an event early unless you are sure the stage activities and booths can entertain you.
And that concludes Sakura Festival for me. Keep an eye out for Cosplayers and Stage coverage very soon~