Established in 2010, i Light Marina Bay was conceptualised by Singapore’s Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) both as a ‘place-making’ event for the Marina Bay precinct, and to raise awareness about sustainability. This year’s festival featured 25 sustainable light art installations that transformed the Marina Bay waterfront into a kaleidoscopic display of light, colour and shadow.

Creativity

To promote environmentally-responsible behaviour, brand activation agency Pico created the event theme ‘In the Priase of Shadows’ and briefed participating artists to incorporate the use of recyclable materials and energy-efficient lighting technologies in their art pieces. 

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As well as an education programme, artistic performances and outdoor dining options, the event also included a ‘Switch Off, Turn Up’ campaign that encouraged 73 buildings in the area (a 40 per cent increase on 2015) to switch off non-essential lighting and turn down air-conditioning.

Event sponsors, such as Philips and OSRAM, were able to leverage the event to showcase new technologies through co-created artworks and events. 

Keen to improve brand recall, Philips worked with Pico to curate a lighting symposium where artists, architects and interior designers could share their perspectives on light and shadow. The brand also supported a one-for-one light bulb exchange programme at Marina Bay where the public could exchange their incandescent light bulbs for energy saving LED bulbs.

OSRAM, on the other hand, sponsored a light art installation to engage with corporate clients.


Challenges

The Pico team worked closely with URA, providing full event management services from conceptual support and artist management, to sponsorship solicitation and activation, and marketing and PR.

Before bump-in, the team worked behind the scenes to acquire several official permits needed to stage the event and provided a well-timed manpower ‘surge’ to ensure the smooth set-up of the light installations. However, subject to wear-and-tear with exposure to the elements and intense human traffic, continuous maintenance of the installations was required throughout the three-week-long festival.


Public safety provided another hurdle, especially given the project’s location in Singapore’s busy financial district. Event set-up and tear-down had to be executed within tight timeframes and while foot and road traffic was minimal, leaving little room for error. Close management supervision was key to ensuring deadlines were met without compromising quality or safety best practices. 

Pico Singapore general manager, Barnabas Chia, says the homegrown event has far surpassed the agency’s expectations. “The overwhelming support received from brands, Marina Bay stakeholders, government agencies, NGOs, various community groups, and event partners has been heartening,” Chia says.


Snapshot

Event i Light Marina Bay 2016
Where Marina Bay precinct
Who Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and Pico
How many 700,000
When 4-27 March 2016