SINGAPORE: Come Feb 1, Blu Jaz Cafe will no longer be allowed to hold live performances as its appeal against the cancellation of its public entertainment licence has been rejected, police said on Thursday (Jan 3).
While the Bali Lane eatery will still be allowed to operate as a cafe, it will not be able to provide any form of public entertainment.
Police said that in arriving at its decision, the Public Entertainment Appeal Board (PEAB) weighed a variety of factors, including Blu Jaz Cafe’s "contribution to the arts and music scene in Singapore, its track record, its remedial actions and the severity of the overcrowding offences that resulted in serious public safety concerns".
The PEAB, an independent board comprising senior representatives from the legal, social, business and health sectors, rejected the appeal on Dec 31, 2018.
Police said that earlier that it had found "severe overcrowding" at Blu Jaz on two separate occasions.
During its checks on Apr 28 and May 5 last year, it counted 150 people and 200 people on the second floor respectively. The approved occupancy load of the upper room is only 30 people.
"This was more than six times the approved occupancy load," said the police, referring to the May 5 follow-up check.
"Such severe overcrowding would have posed major safety risks to patrons and staff, especially in the event of a fire, and could result in a stampede if there was a need for evacuation," it added.
Blu Jazz's public entertainment licence was previously cancelled in October owing to two offences of failing to ensure its windows and doors remained closed, and two offences of overcrowding, the venue said on Facebook then.
The cancellation was then postponed as the PEAB reviewed the venue's appeal.
The venue has hosted homegrown talents including comedian Fakkah Fuzz and singer-songwriter Charlie Lim, who wrote and performed the National Day song last year.