Enraged crowds spent $53.47 for flop Singapore Lantern Festival & left disappointed, no guaranteed refund

Years ago, I wrote my well wishes on a sky lantern in Shifen, Taiwan, watched it light up at the base, then released it into the air— it was a lovely experience! The organisers, Asian Couture and Boutique wanted to create something similar, and so Singapore Lantern Festival was launched on 21 Feb 2024 at Palawan Green at Sentosa.

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sky lantern festival flop - lantern event
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Since Nov 2023, Eventbrite, a global self-service ticketing platform, had featured numerous photos of lanterns ascending into the night sky to advertise the event. I think this played a role in raising people’s expectations.

A few weeks ago, I also caught wind of the festival being advertised on the radio station Kiss 92 while riding in my partner’s car. The DJ mentioned that the sky lanterns were intended to float approximately 60 metres above the ground, tethered to strings anchored to the grass patch.

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Costing S$53.47, it was an event marketed to be filled with fun, positivity and great memories to last a lifetime. Unfortunately, it turned out to be quite the opposite.

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TikTok user, sheryllim80 shared that she was informed that the lanterns couldn’t be lighted up due to the SCDF’s permit not being approved. She had spotted just a single small orange banner stating that the event had been delayed. Only a select few were informed, as just a handful of staff members circulated to spread the news.
Meanwhile, the line for lantern collection continued, with many not knowing about the changes in the event. But anger erupted among attendees when they found out that the organisers had switched to LED candles instead.
Netizens reported that security staff cited safety concerns, explaining that real candles posed too great a fire risk, especially with children present.
The public were also informed that no refund will be given if they had already collected the lantern and LED light, adding to the discontent.
Tiktok user, sheryllim80 was told by the staff to submit the refund request on Eventbrite, but they couldn’t guarantee a full refund— a very bad experience, indeed!
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Instagram user, @onericeplease had also shared that the food stalls were like non-existent. In the end, what was supposed to be a somewhat breathtaking event of lanterns floating 60 metres above ground at 7.30pm turned out to be a laid-back session on the grass.

Some attendees tried to make the most of the festival by writing wishes on lanterns and throwing the lanterns in the air whilst listening to lacklustre music performances.

After watching several videos and reading about the widespread dissatisfaction online, I’m relieved that I didn’t attend the event.

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