Marina Bay Sands theatre to reopen on Dec 18 with live concert featuring Benjamin Kheng, other local artistes

Marina Bay Sands theatre to reopen on Dec 18 with live concert featuring Benjamin Kheng, other local artistes

MBS concert performers
Benjamin Kheng of the Sam Willows, Aisyah Aziz, Charlie Lim and Narelle. (Photos: Marina Bay Sands) 

SINGAPORE: A two-night live concert featuring Sam Willows' Benjamin Kheng and other Singaporean artistes will be held at the Sands Theatre at Marina Bay Sands (MBS) on Dec 18 and 19, with up to 500 people allowed to attend each night.

This is the first performance at the Sands Theatre since it was closed in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The two-day pilot concert will also be Singapore's largest live music event since the "circuit breaker", said MBS in a press release.

Concert-goers will have to take COVID-19 tests, which will be provided free of charge.

The Back to Live concert is also headlined by Singapore Idol winner Sezairi Sezali and singer-songwriter Charlie Lim, with special guest appearances by local performers Narelle, KEYANA, Aisyah Aziz, THELIONCITYBOY and Linying.

MBS concert performers 2
Local performers KEYANA, Sezairi Sezali, Linying and THELIONCITYBOY. (Photos: MBS) 

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COVID-19 TESTING REQUIRED

Back To Live is part of the Ministry of Health’s pilot for pre-event testing. 

Ticket holders will need a valid negative antigen rapid test (ART) for entry and will be required to comply with safe management measures.

Antigen tests can return results within half an hour, compared with polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests which take at least a day. PCR tests are currently considered the “definitive test” for confirming COVID-19 cases.

MBS is partnering with AEG and Collective Minds for the concert. Additional information can be found at www.collectiveminds.asia.

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Mr Paul Town, senior vice president of Resort Operations at Marina Bay Sands, said: “This event is a great step towards the gradual return of live entertainment in Singapore, and we are privileged to have been the only venue chosen for an event of this nature. 

"As we reopen our entertainment venues in a responsible manner, we hope to instil confidence to welcome back concert-goers as they experience the best performances in this renewed environment.”

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NO INTERMINGLING

Concert attendees will be split up into zones of up to 50 people. These zones will be admitted into the theatre at staggered timings to prevent intermingling.

Groups within each zone will be seated 1m apart and zones will be separated with a 3m distance.

Marina Bay Sands will also deploy safe distancing ambassadors, and all attendees will need to do SafeEntry check-in via the TraceTogether app or token.

The overall density of people in enclosed areas will also be limited and infection control measures will be implemented before and after each event, MBS said.

The integrated resort said that it has stepped up the frequency of cleaning and disinfection of all common areas and high-touch surfaces, and all seats in the theatre are sprayed with disinfectant on a regular basis. 

Tickets for the Back to Live concert are priced at S$55 per day or S$98 for a two-day pass (excluding ticketing fee), and are available for purchase via www.collectiveminds.asia and www.marinabaysands.com/ticketing.

"The outcome of such pilots will be critical to our ongoing efforts to allow events of a larger scale to resume in a safe and sustainable manner,” said Ms Jean Ng, executive director for Attractions, Entertainment & Tourism Concept Development for the Singapore Tourism Board.

Other events in Singapore that have been carried out as pilots since the COVID-19 outbreak include ONE Championship fights as well as business conferences such as the Singapore International Energy Week with up to 250 attendees. 

The Singapore Symphony Orchestra (SSO) will also hold live concerts at the Esplanade on Dec 15 and 16.

The Christmas fundraising event on Dec 15 will be limited to 250 people. Pre-event testing is not required for the Dec 15 concert, according to the SSO website.

The Dec 16 concert will be limited to 400 people, with mandatory COVID-19 testing.

SSO CEO Chng Hak-Peng said the orchestra was allowed to perform for a smaller audience of 250 with no need for pre-event testing on Dec 15, while keeping the testing requirement for the second concert. 

"We were keen to offer our patrons this option, while also continuing to participate in the pilot trial for mandatory pre-event testing – something we regard as our duty as the national orchestra," he said.

Free ART testing will be available at Esplanade from 5.30pm on Dec 16 and at a list of designated clinics. Tests must be taken within the 24 hours before the end of the concert. 

If a provisional positive result is returned, guests will be required to undergo a PCR test, said an SSO spokeswoman.

"Other safe management measures remain in place including temperature taking, SafeEntry check in via the TraceTogether app and token, enhanced cleaning of the venue," she added.

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Source: CNA/hm

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