You’ve seen their parties around, and perhaps, you’ve even been to some of them. Sunshine Nation is the company behind some of Singapore’s most interesting events, including Electro Ball and the upcoming Garden Beats Festival. We catch up with one of their co-founders, the suave eye candy Bernhard Schwarz, to talk about his style, the original concept behind Sunshine Nation, and where it’s headed this year.
You’re from Austria. Do you think you look like a typical Austrian?
I wouldn’t be able to describe a typical Austrian, but I guess I do like a ‘typical’ Central and Eastern European.
Describe your style for us.
My style is quite straight forward: jeans, tee shirts, and Adidas Originals. I like motorbikes, especially café racers, and Gibson guitars.
Tell us about your usual day.
My work day is actually not too dissimilar from one in the typical corporate structure. Our entire team is in by 9am and my day is packed with either client meetings or working on projects. Sunshine Nation consists of several arms – in additional to our own events, we also run an agency that is specialised in curating unique experiences for brands. So both my business partner Alex and myself are juggling quite a lot of projects at the same time. Trying to squeeze in time for a lot of sport definitely helps to keep my sanity!
What made you want to start putting on parties?
The initial idea of Sunshine Nation was to start an event travel agency. Therefore, our first concepts were all based around Southeast Asia, and we started to throw a few parties to raise awareness for our trips, as well as grow our community within Singapore. Our focus has now shifted quite substantially to large-scale events like the Garden Beats festival or brand activations with and for our corporate clients.
How does Sunshine Nation bring something else to the table?
I think our biggest strength has always been the ability to bring fresh concepts and execute them in the most creative way. As a team, we try to push our own boundaries every year to grow and offer bigger and better experiences for our community.
What do you think about the party scene in Singapore these days?
I can’t say I follow the clubbing scene in Singapore that much anymore. I guess at a certain age you simply party less. We are however spoilt for choice when it comes to dining in Singapore, though my regular hangout is our own restaurant, Don Ho, which offers a relaxed setting for dining and socialising. In terms of partying, there are way more pop-ups, mainly curated by collectives like Ice Cream Sundays and Fat Fish Familia, which brings great diversity in music and nightlife to the city. Thanks to the great work of independent promoters like Collective Minds and Moonbeats, there are also a lot more quality live acts coming to town.
Where do you see it going in 2019? Any forseeable challenges?
For us, our eyes and focus are firmly fixed on our next instalment of Garden Beats Festival, which will feature the biggest line up we’ve ever had. We’ve raised the scale in production, making it bigger and hopefully better than ever before. We’re also working on a few new concepts and collaborations that we are very excited about, and we will reveal more in the coming months!
Who do you really want to book for your events this year?
If I could dream for a moment, it would be which acts we could bring as headliners for future editions of Garden Beats! Two of my favourite live acts are Arcade Fire and LCD Soundsystem. To debut either of those acts in Singapore would be a dream come true.
What are you listening to at the moment?
My music taste varies dramatically on my mood on any given day! Pink Floyd and Fleetwood Mac are repeat favourites, but currently I’m also listening to Vulfpeck as well as Bob Moses, and HVOB records – their new single 2nd World is one of their best yet!