Singapore River Festival 2023 Launch & Light Up on Bridges (Video)

Singapore River Festival 2023 | Light Up on Bridges
Singapore River Festival 2023 | Light Up on Bridges

From now till Oct 1, AR fun, performances, good food, and wellness activities await at Singapore River Festival 2023.

2023’s Singapore River Festival (SRF 2023) has started! Held physically for the first time since 2019, the banks of Singapore’s most iconic and important river will be alive with lights, performances, and games till Oct 1. All in celebration of the river’s heritage that is so much a part of Singapore’s history.

The three quays (Robertson, Clarke, and Boat) alongside the river will be the centres of celebrations, while three historical bridges have received makeovers as part of the Light Up on Bridges programme.

Most exciting of all, Augmented Reality (AR) takes centrestage for this year’s festival! You can partake in the quirky Saba’s Time Quest and enjoy artsy augmented reality effects and games. All you need is the TikTok app on your phone.

Singapore River Festival 2023 Augmented Reality
Iconic Singapore River landmarks re-imagined with AR. If you’re a content creator, this is a great opportunity for some eye-catching uploads!
Flame of the Forest @ SRF 2023
Singaporean world music band Flame of the Forest performed three lovely arrangements of classic hits before the official opening.
Singapore River Festival 2023 Opening Ceremony
The official opening was by the representatives of Singapore River One (the organiser), Urban Redevelopment Authority, and BytePlus. BytePlus is the brains behind the AR adventures. (Photo by organiser)
Bornfire Performance at Clarke Quay Central
Fiery performance by Bornfire over at Clarke Quay Central later in the evening. This is but one of the many performances scheduled by the month. (Photo by organiser)

Come Sep 29, Clarke Quay Central will be the venue for an awesome cosplay matsuri too! Details here.

Check the official page or my previous announcement post for SRF 2023 programmes and activities!

Light Up on Bridges. An Illumination Inspired by the Dreams of Singaporeans

Light Up on Bridges is the key illumination event for Singapore River Festival 2023, with three historical bridges lit up and decorated for the festival. These bridges are:

Cavenagh Bridge (Future Progression): Singapore’s oldest bridge has been adorned with brilliant, mesmerising lights, transforming it into a symbol of resilience and progression.

Read Bridge (Lively Ensemble): A canopy decorated with colourful motifs and symbols celebrates Read Bridge’s history as a place of entertainment in the 1960s. Read Bridge will also be the venue for several SRF 2023 performances.

Alkaff Bridge (Garden City): With its vibrant artwork by the late Pacita Abad atmospherically illuminated, Alkaff Bridge represents a radiant flower garden at night. Garden City is, of course, also one of Singapore’s most famous epithets.


To be clear, when I visited the festival on opening night, every bridge spanning the river from Robertson Quay to Anderson Bridge was illuminated, although the ones outside of the above three didn’t have special installations.

If you don’t mind an evening walk of about 2 km, it’s quite enjoyable to walk from Robertson Quay to Anderson Bridge. Other than the bridge illuminations, there would be programmes and performances to check out. You could, of course, also join Saba the Otter in his quest for Solaris Crystals. By the way, the Otter will be at it till Nov 7. He has LOTS of crystals to find!

Alternatively, go on a bumboat or riverboat cruise! Now, I know this sounds very touristy if you’re Singaporean but trust me, it’s a wholly different experience enjoying the illuminations from the middle of the Singapore River than from then banks.

I went on the cruise and it was unexpectedly uplifting, and not just because of the constant breeze. Somehow, viewing the quays and Singapore’s skyscrapers from the middle of the river made it doubly emphatic just how much we have developed as a metropolis. It’s also like a refresher course in Singaporean history.

Singapore River Festival 2023 | Read Bridge
Read Bridge certainly has a pub-like, retro 1960s feel with all these neon-lit symbols.
Alkaff Bridge | Light Up on Bridges
Okay, you can’t really see it from my pic; apologies! But the railings of Alkaff Bridge were encircled with fairy lights to create that magic garden sensation and you walk across it.
Alkaff Bridge | Light Up on Bridges
A closer look at Alkaff Bridge. See those illuminated “flowers” along the railing?
Cavenagh Bridge - Future Progression
The brilliant, and I mean BRILLIANT, lights at Cavenagh Bridge were quite tough to photograph. So I have to rely on this picture from the organiser.
Cavenagh Bridge | Light Up on Bridges
I don’t know why but up close, Cavenagh Bridge’s Future Progression illumination reminded me of … Blue Beetle.
Elgin Bridge in Singapore at Night
Elgin Bridge was atmospherically illuminated in blue even though it’s not part of Light Up on Bridges.
Ord Bridge Singapore
Further upriver, Ord Bridge is awash in red.
SRF 2023 Illumination
Another look at Read Bridge. I guess this historical 1889 bridge could be considered the heart of this year’s River Festival?

Singapore River Festival 2023 ends on Oct 1. However, Saba the Otter will be hunting for crystals till Nov 7. Go help him!

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Singapore River Festival 2023 | Light Up on Bridges (Video)
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Singapore River Festival 2023 | Light Up on Bridges (Video)
Singapore River Festival 2023 features AR games, performances, good food, and the “Light Up on Bridges” illumination at three historical bridges.

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