Shilin Night Market’s Singapore pop-up is, and I must say, a unique concept. Food, games and shopping all in one big area – that’s about music to any Singaporean’s ears. Despite this, it’s tough to say that I truly enjoyed my experience there.
My main issue lies with the lack of crowd control present at more popular areas of the event. Though hordes of people that turned up, the queues to enter the event were very well-organised, and surprisingly fast. It’s unfortunate that this same standard could not be maintained inside the event itself.
That, and as a general, sweeping statement: Singaporeans love food, and queuing is our national sport. It’s for this reason that the food area of Shilin Night Market was exceptionally crowded, for the entire 2 hours or so that I was there at the event. Every other shop that was open had a snaking queue of at least 10 people, and that’s not even taking into consideration the gigantic queue to customise your own Gongcha drink.
I understand that space is a constraint, especially when most of the event’s food booths were so small, and managed by 5 people at most. I just can’t help but wish that the rows of smaller food stalls were given more space to accommodate the number of people queuing.
Then again, I have to say that the other areas of the event were far more peaceful. There were a couple of stalls selling canned or bottled drinks on the other side of the event, that were far less crowded. There were lots of seats in the vicinity of the “eating” and “shopping” sectors of the event as well, which did help to accommodate visitors who wanted to sit and rest, or to eat and drink their long-awaited treats.
Overall, my experience may not necessarily be reflective of how the event might have been on the days after I visited. Regardless, kudos to the event organisers and the people who brought the event here! Should they organise an event like this once more, perhaps they could consider allocating wider walkways around the food areas.