By Melissa Tan, newsroom intern
LOOKING to party into the wee hours during the Formula One race weekend later this month?
If you have loads of cash to burn, you can consider Megadance Singapore.
Entry to this party costs between $100 and $250, depending on various early-bird discounts. That's just for admission.
Those preferring the VIP lounge area will have to fork out between $500 and $800 per ticket. Organised by India-based company Blackjag Consulting, Megadance Singapore will be held on 27Sep at Suntec Convention Centre Hall 602.
It kicks off at 10pm, right after the qualifying race, and ends at 6am.
The international DJ lineup includes Simone Anes from Germany, Riri Rachman from Indonesia, and Dan Marciano and Master H from Paris. They will be spinning house, tribal and trance beats.
Two local DJs, Has Nor and Shidy Moss, will also be manning the decks.
Although details are scant, Blackjag's spokesman, Ms Samyukta Raman, revealed that Megadance Singapore is the first indoor shindig for the company, which organises European-style beach raves in Goa, India, similar to those you find at Ibiza.
She expects about 4,000 partygoers, most of whom will probably be tourists who will be here to watch the world's first night race, at the gig, 'which will be different in its appeal and theme'.
But local clubbers The New Paper spoke to said the hefty price tag is a definite turn-off.
Ms Angela Chew, a 19-year-old student, said: 'Cover charge is usually $30 at most. And for the most expensive DJs, the maximum is $100.'
She said that she and her friends 'won't go for sure, because when you go to a club you have to pay for cover and drinks, and people would rather spend more on drinks'.
Keeping it exclusive
In an e-mail response, Ms Raman said that the price was meant to keep the party exclusive.
'It ensures that you will be rubbing shoulders with only the hardcore and who's who in the clubbing scene across the region.'
According to Ms Raman, Megadance parties in India charge between 500 and 2,000 rupees ($16 to $65) a ticket.
So why the disparity?
She explained that the absolute price varies across countries to keep the party exclusive in each location. And Blackjag is 'very confident that the standard and scale of Megadance Singapore justify its price'.
Megadance Singapore costs almost $1 million to put together, mainly due to the DJ lineup and a special laser light show from Laserworld, a Germany-based company.
Clubbers who turn up will be paying purely for the experience - there will be no free drinks, finger food or swag bags included in the ticket price.
'Food is not a major part of this party. The music, ambience and drinks are. However, clubbers will not go hungry,' Ms Raman explained.
When contacted, local club operators either had not heard of Megadance Singapore or were mostly sceptical of its appeal to Singaporeans.
Mr Andrew Ing, chief operating officer of St James Power Station, said: 'In other countries, maybe these sort of prices are acceptable, but not here.'
Ms Celeste Chong, marketing director and co-owner of The Butter Factory, said that she had never heard of the DJs.
She added: 'It is very pricey, but since this is the first time for Singapore and there is so much hype around the F1 race, I guess some might be willing to pay.'
But Ms Chong noted that the big spenders would probably be tourists.
Her sentiments were echoed by Attica's marketing manager, Ms Amanda Ng, who said that the price was less of a deciding factor than 'whether the acts are good enough to garner clubbers' attention'.
But graphic design student Nicole Hug, 19, is willing to give Megadance Singapore a shot.
Said The New Paper New Face contestant, who moved here in 2000 from Switzerland: 'A couple of them do sound familiar, especially Dan Marciano. I'd have to look up their music first though before I'd spend $100 to see them, but it sparked my interest. Plus they are house DJs, the kind of music I'm into myself.'
However, IT executive Mick Lim was more hesitant as he hadn't heard of the DJs.
The 30-year-old, who clubs once a month, said: 'I don't know how many people here will be interested in an F1-themed party. Even if you had Tiesto (voted the world's No1 DJ), I probably would not pay that much.'
This article was first published in The New Paper on Sep 4, 2008.
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