Busking - The Free Showcase
There is something wonderful about walking down a street and hearing a piece of music which serves to strengthen atmosphere and ease tension. The Singapore National Arts Council (NAC) have recognised what an important role music and performing arts play in helping to enliven the streets, and have adopted a means of bringing talent to the people.
They have developed a busking scheme which permits the talented to audition and if they are successful, obtain a licence to be allowed to perform in designated areas. All Singaporeans, permanent residents and those with work passes/endorsements are eligible to apply for such a license.
The process calls for an initial audition to determine the level of talent and enjoyment factor of the act. Singers, musicians, mime artists, dancers, acrobatic acts and interactive performers such as face-painters, balloon sculptors, portrait artists etc are all encouraged to apply. There are terms and conditions associated with these which would be helpful to read before applying.
Locations for busking are among the most frequented areas of the city so there will be plenty of exposure for the talent allocated to those spots. Busking hours are location dependent but usually fall between 10am to 10:30pm daily.
There is an annual buskers' festival held, usually in the fall, at different locations around Singapore. The latest was held at Sentosa Island as a free event and welcomed performers from all over the world.
Some of the noteworthy participants included; Robert Strong, an American comedian; Mario Morris, a British magician; Judith Lanigan, an Australian Hula Hoopist; and Bikerina, a German trick cycling ballerina.
Busking is a wonderful outlet for performing artists to make a living doing what they love best, and due to the scheme in place by the NAC you will see some of the highest talent involved in street theatre.