Timothy Chia: The Man Behind Zoukout
Hailing as the Southeast Asian mecca of clubbing, Zouk nightclub is the leader in electronic music in the region. I talked to Timothy Chia, Head of Marketing & Events about his work behind the scenes in putting together the largest outdoor music festival in the region.
OTB: How has Zoukout evolved over the years?
Tim: ZoukOut has grown exponentially to become the biggest outdoor dance music party in South-East Asia. In its first year in 2000, it attracted 9,000 people. Since then, it has expanded to become a 2 day festival, attracting a record 41,000 people over 2 nights last year. Over the years, the festival line-up, set-up, pyrotechnics, special FX, production and fringe activities as well as on ground activation and presence by our long-term partners has become larger and more sophisticated with every year.
OTB:What is the side of Zoukout that the public never sees?
Tim: The amount of behind-the-scenes planning and work by the entire Zouk organizing team that goes on to make the festival run like clockwork. We start planning ZoukOut from as early as February each year and come December, there’re a lot of running people in the office running on adrenaline.
OTB:I was so happy to discover Veganburg, which I am now a very frequent customer ever since Zoukout in 2010. We see many brands working with Zoukout. Have there been any that just didn’t work out? And, what have you learned in working with sponsorship partnerships?
Tim: Our sponsorships as well as F&B team works tirelessly to attract new partners and to retain existing partners. With any big event, there will always be partnerships that might not come to fruition but that is part and parcel of festival planning and we are always grateful for the partnerships that do come to fruition and for our loyal partners who have stayed with us for years and contributed in their own ways to making the festival even better for the punters.
OTB: Can you tell me the craziest thing you’ve ever seen at Zoukout?
Tim: For reasons beyond my comprehension, I’ve seen the punters bring inflatable toys and/or weird toys like killer whales and wearable horse heads to every ZoukOut I’ve worked at.
OTB: Can you share with me he craziest thing you’ve ever seen backstage?
Tim: There’s always at least one very drunk person backstage every year who will try to get on stage and pretend to be a DJ or a dancer. Needless to say, we always remove them gently.
OTB: Thank you, Tim, for your time.
Now I want to hear from you, what is the craziest thing you’ve ever seen at a festival?
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