Busking restrictions have been eased at Orchard Road during the festive season, after they were first imposed on 14 Nov due to concerns over crowding.
Now, buskers can perform at four locations, down from the eight initially barred between 7pm-10pm on several Fridays and Saturdays in December.
The latest development comes after an engagement session between the National Arts Council (NAC), the police, and buskers in the community.
However, Christmas Eve crowding remains a concern for the police, so there’ll still be restrictions from 7pm-10pm that day.
Various stakeholders have agreed to put in more measures for crowd control, police said. During the engagement, the buskers also agreed to work with the authorities to ensure public safety.
As such, buskers can now perform at any time throughout the day in December at the following locations:
However, buskers can’t perform from 7pm-10pm at these locations on Christmas Eve.
The locations are still available for booking until 7pm.
These four locations, however, are still unavailable for booking after 7pm on Fridays and Saturdays from 9-31 Dec:
Busking will also be restricted at five locations in the Marina Bay area on New Year’s Eve (31 Dec), police said.
The Orchard Road area is expected to be extremely crowded in December, the police said in a statement on Tuesday.
As it is, even without busking, the police are very concerned about the situation there on Christmas Eve and are working with stakeholders on various measures.
There may be a big risk of crowding at the exits during an emergency, triggering a stampede, and buskers’ presence may exacerbate the situation.
Appropriate crowd control measures need to be put in place, and we seek the understanding and cooperation of all stakeholders participating in, or involved in the organisation of, the year-end festivities.
NAC said it would pause busking if crowding poses a significant risk to the public.
Gerard Peters, a student and busker, told MS News: “I was really looking forward to busking at Orchard Road during the festive period,” the 23-year-old said. “I think it really brings out the Christmas spirit.”
It is his first year as a busker, so he thinks it’s good that they found a balance between keeping people safe and allowing busking to continue.
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Featured image adapted from Singapore City Walks on YouTube.
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