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Performance Venue for Local Acts

This petition had 1,370 supporters


Dear Public Petitions Committee, The National Arts Council and The Singapore Government,

I urge you to read on and understand our plight as independent, local artistes and music appreciators of the music scene in Singapore.

In December 2015, The Substation announced its embarkation to a new artistic direction to become an independent contemporary arts centre. With that, comes varying responses from local artistes; some positive and others, not so. The announcement includes the eventual abandonment of the centre's practice of renting out performance spaces to the public, and although the decision is respected, it leaves us, the many members of emerging bands, avid gig-goers and promoters, one less venue to congregate and share our love and passion for music.

With The Substation joining the ranks of now-defunct performance venues such as Crawlspace, Blackhole212, and more recently Pink Noize and The Lithe Paralogue, we are left with little to no options for holding gigs. While the Goodman and Aliwal arts centres do provide a more-than-decent venue, the costs for renting such places are not practical for us. The two venues mentioned do not include the necessary equipment for performances and that would mean additional rental fees for bands and promoters and with the scale of the gigs we hold, we rarely (if ever) break even. We're really not in it for the money, but nobody would like to make a loss.

This is a rough breakdown of an album launch show I did recently at Aliwal Arts Centre for a reference:

  • Venue: $770 for 11 hours (subsidised)
  • Backline rental (Amps, drums, mics): $1000 (subsidised)
  • PA rental: Sponsored (Actual price ~$1500 inclusive of manpower)

Music, much like other forms of art, in Singapore has a bustling community and every community should have a place to call its own. We are not a profitable industry, I have to admit, but we are growing, and I plead for your assistance to give us the means to grow beyond.

If it is not too much to ask, we would really love to have a performance venue for the public, one that is managed by one of our own, one that is non-profit, so that ticket sales can go directly to the performing bands. The venue can even have a storefront selling local-only merchandise and also be home to the Museum Of Independent Music among other things. I believe an independent performance venue would be an integral part of the local music scene because it would be a great place to showcase new acts and encourage collaborations between artistes. Without an independent performance venue, I am afraid the scene would remain stagnant; and with the little support that we have, eventually disappear.

I urge the people who care for the future of our humble, little scene to support this cause and I hope this petition garners enough signatures to be deemed worthy to be discussed in parliament, I already have an even more detailed proposal ready for your viewing.

Thank you to ATMOS for inspiring me to start this campaign. Read the original article published by ATMOS here.



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