It was night when the stars dazzled Phnom Penh to welcome 2018 with all the glitz and glamour in a New Year countdown organised by NagaWorld on Sunday.
Tens of thousands of revelers, both locals and tourists, let their hair down and enjoyed countdown concerts in two spectacular events, one held inside the NABA Theatre at Naga2 and the other outside at Hun Sen Park.
Tourism Minister Thong Khon graced the event as guest of honour along with other dignitaries and invited guests.
Revelers were first treated to a special New Year Music Party at the brand new NABA Theatre at Naga2, which seats 2,000 in a Broadway-like setting with laser lights and a state-of-the-art sound system.
NABA’s debut show on New Year’s Eve featured popular Cambodian singers Meng Keo Pichenda, Meas Soksophea and Tep Boprek. Free tickets for this highly-anticipated event were snapped up by members of the public within a day of their release.
The 90-minute concert showcased the journey of Cambodian music over the past three decades, with each singer performing a selection of their best-known songs to reflect their respective eras. The concert was even made more special with 3D-mapping of archive footage of Cambodia projected on the walls of NABA Theatre using state-of-the-art video projection technology, the first of its kind in the kingdom.
The finale by Tep Boprek featured the hip-hop singer and her backup dancers in an epic Naga dance onstage, all superbly choreographed.
With the crowd already hyped up to welcome the New Year, excitement continued to soar as the celebrations shifted to the open-air Countdown Concert at Hun Sen Park, hosted by popular TV emcees Hin Channiroth and Chea Vannarith and featuring another dazzling line up of Cambodian music stars – Sous Visa, Kmeng Khmer and leading artist Preap Sovath – as well as NagaWorld’s talented entertainers, including musicians, singers, dancers and street performers.
The euphoria reached a crescendo at midnight with all acts gathered onstage to enjoy the thrilling countdown with the thronging masses, accompanied by awesome pyrotechnics. The newest LED screens covering the Naga2 towers then brightened the skyline of Phnom Penh with a spectacular digital fireworks display to welcome the New Year in style.