Arts festival cuts audience size

The Singapore International Festival of Arts (Sifa) has reduced the audience sizes of some of its opening weekend shows in the light of the stricter Covid-19 measures that came into force on May 8.

The annual performing arts festival - back from today to May 30 - features more than 60 shows.

Some of the live performances that were capped at 250 attendees will now have their audience numbers reduced to 100 a show.

These include The Commission, a play by Pangdemonium, Singapore Repertory Theatre and Wild Rice; as well as the concerts A Song For Louis and Be Comforted Now: Bach Cantatas.

Oldham Theatre, the venue for the Singular Screens film programme, will have its audience capacity reduced from 66 to 50. This will affect films such as The Mole Agent, Gunda and Satantango.

These changes were announced yesterday in a media release on Sifa's website (

"Regretfully, Sifa has implemented a refund exercise, based on date of purchase," the organisers said.

Patrons who received refunds for The Commission and A Song For Louis will receive a complimentary ticket to watch the shows via Sifa On Demand, which will be available for viewing on Sistic Live from June 5 to 12.

Meanwhile, the large-scale dance work Cosmogony, originally an outdoor show, will now be live-streamed indoors at the Esplanade Theatre from today to Sunday. It is free with registration.

Information on changes to the other shows in the festival's programme will be revealed later, pending approval from the authorities.

The maximum number of people allowed at live performances has been reduced from 750 to 250 attendees - or just 100, if there is no pre-event testing. This will be in force till May 30.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 14, 2021, with the headline Arts festival cuts audience size. Subscribe