Let's Have Spontaneous Fun...Here's How

The Singapore Straits Times is a rich source of great headlines, but the "spontaneous fun" headline, example on the front page of the "Life!" section some years ago was a classic. It is a fair reflection of the state-of-mind that rules when it comes to public events in Singapore. The following is a copy of the documents handed out to groups seeking to organize public events or performances.

It is conditions like these that have made severely constrained the practice of performance art (and some would argue, performing arts in general) in Singapore.

Licensing Conditions for Drama Performing / Concerts

(with effect from 1 July 1995)

1. Performers should not make any vulgar gestures, actions or remarks during their performance.

2. Performers should not be scantily attired.

3. Performers should not step down from the stage. They should not mingle with the audience in any way during their performance or while dressed in costumes.

4. No audience should be invited onto the stage.

5. Female impersonators should not be allowed to participate / perform.

6. Dancing by the audience is not allowed.

7. The organiser/licensee shall stop the show at the instruction of the Police.

8. Only performers who are approved by the Licensing Officers are allowed.

9. Onlu songs that are approved by the Licensing Officers are allowed.

10. The organiser/licensee shall provide sufficient security guards.

11. No pyrotechnics is allowed [sic], unless it is approved by the Licensing Officer.

Additional Conditions for Outdoor Performance

1. Only amplifiers that have been fitted with SISIR's noise level reduction unit or seal by SISIR are permitted to be used. The units/seals are not to be tampered with in any way and they must be checked annually by SISIR.

2. Only one loudspeaker is allowed to be used. The loudspeaker should be positioned to face downward towards the audience so that the noise will not be carried beyond to the residents in the vicinity.

3. At least 4.5m clearance must be provided for traffic to pass through.

4. The licensee should hire and deply sufficient security officers/security guards for crowd control;

5. The licensee should place heavy barricades around the stage (front and rear) to prevent audience from surging forward to the stage. The barricades must be interlockked to ensure that they cannot be easily pushed or moved away.