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Singapore

Busking restrictions eased at 4 sites along Orchard Road during festive period

Previously, buskers were not allowed to perform outside eight locations on Orchard Road from 7pm to 10pm on Fridays and Saturdays during the festive period.

Busking restrictions eased at 4 sites along Orchard Road during festive period

File photo of people crossing the road in Orchard Road in Singapore on Oct 19, 2022. (Photo: CNA/Hanidah Amin)

SINGAPORE: Busking restrictions have been eased at four sites along Orchard Road during the holiday season, the Singapore Police Force said in a news release on Tuesday (Nov 29).

Earlier, buskers had been informed that they were not allowed to perform from 7pm to 10pm on Fridays and Saturdays in December, at eight locations on Orchard Road, due to crowd control reasons.

But following engagements with the performers and the National Arts Council (NAC), the police said busking will now be allowed at four of those sites: The Heeren, 313@Somerset, Knightsbridge, and Mandarin Gallery, except on Christmas Eve, where buskers are only allowed to perform until 7pm.

Busking will, however, continue to be disallowed at the other four sites: ION Orchard, Wisma Atria, Ngee Ann City A and Ngee Ann City B after 7pm on Fridays and Saturdays from Dec 9 to Dec 31.

The police stressed that public safety is its key concern, adding that it is "very concerned about the situation there on Christmas Eve" even without buskers present.

"The public spaces at these four sites are expected to be teeming with even more people, and crowd flow is likely to be even more constricted," said the police.

Together with the NAC, a session was conducted with a group of buskers on Tuesday on the importance of implementing preventive crowd control measures, which included the facilitation of crowd flow.

"The presence of buskers ... will cause pedestrians to stop and crowd around an already crowded footpath, further reducing passable space and impeding crowd flow," said the police.

"Given the limited access points in and out of these areas, as well as the unique terrain features, impeded crowd flows will increase the risk of crowd crush or stampede, especially if the crowd becomes agitated or alarmed, and people rush for the exits, whether due to a real emergency or otherwise."

The police added that the buskers agreed to work together with the authorities to ensure public safety.

MARINA BAY RESTRICTIONS

The police also said that busking at five sites along Marina Bay Waterfront Promenade and Mist Walk will be restricted from 7pm on New Year's Eve.

"With the return of the Marina Bay Singapore Countdown (MBSC) this year, which includes fireworks, much larger crowds are expected around the Marina Bay on New Year’s Eve," it said, adding that similar restrictions were also in place during past MBSCs and the National Day parade this year.

The police said: "Amidst the festive celebrations, public safety should not be taken for granted. 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."

Source: CNA/rc(sn)

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