Understand difference between rock concerts, musicals

A performance by The Bootleg Beatles rock and roll band at the Marina Bay Sands Theatre last Saturday was marred by several unpleasant incidents, due to security staff's insistence that an attendee sit down and keep quiet during the performance.

The ushers' and security staff's request would have been understandable if that attendee had blocked others.

But that person and a friend were seated in an empty section near the side of the dress circle area.

Moreover, it was a band performance where attendees were periodically encouraged to stand up and sing along, unlike during a musical or opera, where people are expected to stay silent except for applause in between scenes.

While the attendee last Saturday was eventually allowed to continue with his singing and shouting, following intervention by other attendees, such incidents could have been avoided if Marina Bay Sands Theatre varied its standing orders for staff, according to the type of performance.

Organisers of band performances should also carefully consider their choice of venue, as theatres designed for musicals are not the best places for rock concerts.

Kevin Lim Fung Ming

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 29, 2016, with the headline 'Understand difference between rock concerts, musicals'. Print Edition | Subscribe