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LTA starts 3-month pilot programme for busking at MRT stations

Look out for music from buskers at these five MRT stations: Eunos, Bukit Batok, Jurong East, Raffles Place and City Hall. 

SINGAPORE: Don't be surprised if you happen to see a busker playing at MRT platforms near you - it's part of a three-month pilot programme that started today, initiated by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) in partnership with the National Arts Council (NAC) and SMRT.

Over the next three months, buskers will be allowed to perform at five MRT stations - Eunos, Bukit Batok, Jurong East, Raffles Place and City Hall. LTA says the aim of the programme is to add vibrancy to the stations, and provide an additional platform for budding performers to showcase their talents. 

LTA says buskers will be allowed to perform every weekday from 7.30am to 11.30am at Eunos, Bukit Batok and Jurong East MRT stations. They can also perform from 5.30pm to 9.30pm at Raffles Place and City Hall MRT stations. During weekends and public holidays, they are permitted to perform from 10am to 9pm at all five trial stations.

Buskers selected for the trial scheme are endorsed under the NAC's Busking Scheme. They are issued a Letter of Endorsement, after successful audition conducted by the council. This Letter allows buskers to perform in public while being exempted from public entertainment licensing. Unauthorised buskers will be instructed to leave the railway premises.

Currently, five buskers are involved in this pilot programme.For now, their performances will only involve musical instruments without any sound amplification devices, so that volume levels will not be excessively high.

The move to implement this pilot programme came after a two-day trial in late May this year. LTA says its officers will be at the five selected stations to monitor public feedback.  

Busker Daniel Beng believes it will take some time for people to get used to the idea, but he says the the initial reactions, in his experience, have been positive. “I believe there are people who enjoy the music and they hang around and listen a bit and actually forego their train ride to enjoy the music,” he said. “So I think it's a wonderful start."

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