The Final Touch: Countdown 2013 Technical Rehearsal

Marina Bay 2012

You have seen how these wishing spheres were installed and set afloat on the Marina Reservoir, but like paint strokes on a canvas, the lights give meaning and bring these spheres to life creating a visual spectacle. I’m lucky to be given the opportunity to witness the technical rehearsal just a day before New Year’s Eve. I was told preparation took place as early as the middle of the year and the people that work to bring you this annual visual art installation had to stay up till late on certain days ensuring everything goes as planned.

Control CentreThe nerve centre, in this case the Technical Control Centre set atop the Esplanade Rooftop oversees the entire lighting and sound works for the wishing spheres. Given the aerial vantage, the lighting and sound crew are given the opportunity to master and perfect the ‘visual art installation’.

Control Centre

I was greeted by Mr George Panait, Head of Lighting for the wishing spheres. In his 4th year designing the concept behind the visual arts display, he mentioned that the entire wishing spheres lighting is kept subtle and pleasing on the eyes through attractive mise-en-scene. The myriad of colours used depicts the multiculturalism nature of Singapore. What’s cool is that not only is he controlling the lights lined-up along the Esplanade Waterfront, but also the Marina Bay Sands ‘scallop’ lights (those you see on top of the Shoppes), this definitely enhances the visual spectacle. It is not a light show as mentioned and even though it’s separate from the celebrity performances on the Float, it definitely unites people from all walks of life around Marina Bay to come together to behold in its beauty as an entirety as we welcome 2013.


On the sound control is Mr Dino who ensures harmony between the lights, sound and fireworks keeping them in sync. Assisting him is a dashboard of state of the art systems set to trigger accordingly with a push of a button.


The technical control centre provides an amazing aerial view of the reservoir. In the event of bad weather, the show will still go on with lights and sounds dimmed down but the fireworks will still go on.

GPS Timing

Here I’m waiting for the technical rehearsal to commence at 11.30pm that lasts to midnight. Synchronization is paramount, timing and cue is crucial for a smooth transition and coordination especially when the countdown is broadcast live across the island. The clock is in sync with all the events happening around Marina Bay including MediaCorp radio station.

Marina Bay

The illuminated spheres and light projections look stunning from afar.

Marina Bay 2

You can catch the fireworks all around Marina Bay and do remember to tune in to radio Symphony 92.4FM to enjoy the musical score by Cultural Medallion winner, musician and composer, Mr Iskandar Ismail accompanying the fireworks.

Marina Bay 3

During the fireworks, the spheres will be illuminated in a deep blue giving the fireworks all the attention and limelight.

Countdown 2013

Countdown 2013 is just a few hours away! I’ll be at the Float with the rest of the party revellers! Where will you be to usher in the New Year? Plan ahead or refer to my quick guide if you’re heading out downtown. Before the clock strikes 12 and networks get jammed, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you a Happy New Year and have a blessed 2013!

Sneak Peek Video

Related articles: Celebrate 2013: Marina Bay Singapore Countdown | Wishing Spheres Project: Gratitude | An Exclusive Treat: Wishing Spheres Installation | OSIM: Small in size but BIG ON PLEASURE | Quick guide to Marina Bay Singapore Countdown 2013 | Ushering 2013: Marina Bay Singapore Countdown

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