We are at that point in the lockdown where we’re so normalised to virtual sessions that screen fatigue has kicked in. Imagine, then, how much more difficult it must be for children — who are used to playing in the outdoors — to sit in one place, focus on a screen for hours and abide by the manners of Zoom workshops. So, when the makers of WindMill Festival, an outdoor fair for children usually held at the Jio Garden in BKC, were planning how to replicate the experience online, they were clear about one thing: kids have to be able to participate, rather than just watch events online. “There’s a certain degree of saturation that people are experiencing in online sessions, and we didn’t want the festival to be a Zoom content event. To shift the touch-and-feel experience online, we mapped the Jio Garden into a 3D funtown that kids can navigate,” shares Janak Vora, CEO, Event Capital, which conceptualised the fest with Tribe Asia. After about two months of work on it, the virtual funtown is finally set to come alive in the fifth edition of the fair this weekend.
Vora tells us that participants of the WindMill Festival: Virtual Funtown can expect an open world gaming-like experience. “It’s not exactly a game, but once they sign up, the child enters the 3D funtown where it’s up to them to decide where they want to go — the school, the interactive zoo, the bank, the performance area, flea market, or play a quiz, or make a comic book, etc. We’ve partnered with a food aggregator so people can order food, too,” he explains. The life-like digital world will also give kids a glimpse of Singapore’s Madame Tussauds museum, Sentosa Island and Gardens by the Bay, a chance to hop on Imagica’s Nitro ride, or play around in an e-photo booth, among other experiences. He adds that in the process of planning their day at the virtual fest, the young ones will also end up learning about money as every time they log in, they have to first go to the funtown’s bank to collect virtual coins and manage their finances.
Children participate in a previous edition of the festival
Apart from this, there will be over 24 workshops curated for children in the zero to three, four to seven, and eight to 14 age groups. These include sessions on book-folding, mindfulness with mandalas, storytelling with dragons of Japan, music and dance, tactical kickboxing, different kinds of art and craft techniques, coding, junk jamming, animation and even space. “Every day, between 7 to 8.30 pm, there will be different performances and shows, with magicians and stand-up comedians, among others, joining in,” Vora adds. Recollecting how kids and parents tend to spend over six to seven hours having fun at the three-day festival, Vora concludes, “We wanted to mirror that feeling, which is why kids are at the epicentre of all the activities in the digital world. They can even create their own digital avatar. We just hope they have fun.”
On September 11, 12 and 13
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Cost Rs 199 onwards
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