#savemusicsg announces two-day DJ livestream from Singapore F&B venues
Written by ABR on 11/03/2022
#savemusicsg, a campaign that advocates the return of live music and nightlife to Singapore, has announced a two-day livestream of DJs performing from F&B establishments across the country.
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The event, called The Home Stream, will see sets by 21 local DJs – including Brendon P, KiDG, Daryl Knows, Sivanesh and DJ KFC – streamed from six empty F&B venues across Singapore on March 11 and 12. #savemusicsg founder Matty Wainwright is also on the bill.
The participating venues include Mandala, Rumours Beach Club, Sago House and Kult Kafe. The Home Stream will run from 5pm till 4am on both days and can be streamed via their partner MixMag Asia.
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The #savemusicsg campaign began in January, when Matty Wainwright started an Instagram account speaking out on Singapore’s ongoing ban of live music and DJs in F&B establishments.
As the owner of DJ Dispensary, a company that runs DJ retreats, event management and music direction for venues, Wainwright told NME in late January that he worked with 40 to 50 DJs, many of whom have struggled financially and mentally as a result of losing their livelihoods.
#savemusicsg has a stated focus on encouraging the return of live music and DJ sets at F&B establishments, which Wainwright called “the most closely monitored places in the whole of Singapore” for their stringent COVID-19 regulations, from having to be fully vaccinated to TraceTogether check-ins to dining in groups of five.
According to a National Arts Council circular last updated January 2022, live performances at F&B establishments are prohibited due to “a higher likelihood of mingling, talking, where food is being consumed with patrons who are unmasked”, along with the risk of transmission from unmasked performers.
The objective of #savemusicsg campaign is to obtain clarity from the Singapore government for an “ignored” industry, Wainwright said: “All we’re asking for is answers and a roadmap back to work: what is the plan? We know that hospitals aren’t being overrun, we know that we have gone past the peak of Omnicron now and we know we have Formula 1 coming up later this year. Let’s discuss and action [sic] the next movements now, as this industry will take months to get back into gear.”
Wainwright also says that he and the team behind #savemusicsg are hoping to build on the campaign to “expand across different genres, live performers, musical acts, and beyond performers to highlight the lighting crews, events, sound techs – all of which have been impacted deeply in the last two years”.
While live music has returned to Singapore intermittently from late 2020, often in the form of reduced-capacity shows at seated music venues, live performances at F&B establishments have still been prohibited. Soft recorded music has been reallowed at F&B outlets since November, although DJ sets and live instruments still aren’t.
In November 2020, Singapore was set to pilot the reopening of 25 nightspots (including five nightclubs), but that was quashed due to a surge of COVID-19 cases at the time. Some nightclubs have shuttered permanently as a consequence of the pandemic, while others have pivoted their business models to focus on F&B. Zouk, which converted its dancefloor into a pop-up cinema in 2020, has since been able to put on live performances with social distancing and the prohibition of food and drink consumption.
Singapore’s live music ban in F&B establishments was discussed in Parliament last week by Member of Parliament Nadia Ahmad Samdin, who called for the government to “consider introducing balanced measures” that would enable the return of live music, while limiting the risk of transmitting COVID-19 while “performing on stage at an eatery that serves food and drink”.
In other live music news from Singapore, in January six music venues were approved to stage pilot concerts with full audience capacity and no social distancing.
Additional reporting by Karen Gwee
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