SINGAPORE: Buskers will have more flexibility when it comes to choosing their busking locations from April, with the introduction of the first two busking zones at the Singapore River and Ang Mo Kio, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Culture, Community and Youth Baey Yam Keng said on Friday (Mar 6).
Each zone will be made up of a “cluster of busking locations”, giving buskers more options as compared to the current fixed designated locations, explained Mr Baey during his Committee of Supply speech.
This means that buskers at the Singapore River can busk at Read Bridge and Clarke Quay Central, while buskers at Ang Mo Kio may busk at the space between Ang Mo Kio Hub entrance and McDonald’s, the open area between S11 food centre and Jubilee Square and the space near Block 724’s hawker centre.
“This offers a more varied busking experience for audiences and ensures equitable access to popular busking spots,” said Mr Baey.
He added that the National Arts Council (NAC) will continue to review the locations, manage busking activities and co-develop suitable programmes with venue partners and the busking community.
To provide youths with opportunities to showcase their creative energy and talent, NAC has partnered *SCAPE to roll out the [email protected]*SCAPE programme.
Under this programme, Singaporeans between 15 to 35 years old are not required to go through auditions or be endorsed under NAC’s Busking Scheme.
“Instead, they can register for time slots to busk at the prominent *SCAPE front-of-house which faces Orchard Cineleisure,” said Mr Baey.
The scheme was piloted from October 2019 and to date, more than 60 buskers have showcased their talents.
NAC will also work with *SCAPE to offer workshops to youth to hone their performance and audience engagement.
A digital scheduling system will also be developed for buskers to ballot for busking slots.
“With this, members of the public and venue partners can look forward to more vibrant spaces and a diverse busking calendar,” said Mr Baey.
NAC rolled out a pilot for the tool at end-Nov 2019 for buskers to ballot for slots at Clarke Quay Central, with encouraging results.
Buskers can use the tool to book slots at Clarke Quay Central from April for two hours slots each from 12pm to 10pm every Friday to Sunday and 10am to 10pm for public holidays.
Buskers can access the tool at www.nacbuskingscheme.as.me/clarkequaycentral.
The scheduling tool is currently in beta-testing, and NAC plans to implement it for other key busking locations.
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