Poor ticketing mars Aussie barbecue

I applaud the Australian High Commission's goodwill and generosity in organising 50 Aussie-style barbecues on Sunday evening ("It's barbecue time for a taste of Singapore life"; Monday).

Having been a beneficiary of the Australians' big-hearted hospitality previously, my group of friends and I had looked forward to being part of the festivities.

To our dismay, however, we were turned away at Bishan Park, as the organisers' personnel indicated that a ticket was required to enjoy the food provided.

This was contrary to what we had understood in earlier reports of the event being freely open to the public ("Steak feast to mark 50 years of ties"; April 18).

Much as our group understood the need for crowd management, the means of ticket distribution left much to be desired.

The People's Association was engaged as the local community partner for the event.

But only a select few community clubs had publicised the ticketing requirement prior to the event.

A sizeable majority of the ticket-holders were decked in grassroots attire, though we understood that it was not an exclusive event.

Many visitors were left disappointed and confused.

However, many, including my group, were undeterred and had picnics along the river to enjoy the street performances, while soaking in the atmosphere.

We had looked forward to an enjoyable evening of Australian hospitality, delectable food and entertainment.

But the poor public communications on the ticket allocation system had marred the true spirit and intent of our gracious Australian counterparts.

Marc Lim Swee Keat

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 01, 2015, with the headline 'Poor ticketing mars Aussie barbecue'. Print Edition | Subscribe