SINGAPORE (THE NEW PAPER) - Popular entertainment venue Blu Jaz Cafe has been told by the police that its public entertainment licence is being cancelled.
The notice, sent last Monday (Oct 8), said the licence will be terminated from next Monday.
Blu Jaz Cafe, located at 11 Bali Lane, is a popular venue for live entertainment and performances, including music and comedy shows and poetry sessions.
After 13 years in Bali Lane, it is a well-known establishment in the Kampong Glam community.
Ms Aileen Tan, 56, its director, told The New Paper on Sunday that it was first informed by the police on Aug 31 that its licence would be cancelled.
She said: "They didn't give a definite cancellation date then, and we didn't want to alarm anyone by telling them because we were still appealing against the cancellation."
Last Monday, Blu Jaz was informed that its appeal had been rejected owing to the cafe's "poor track record of compliance" with licensing conditions.
Ms Tan said it had exceeded the 24 demerit points allowed in two years due to overcrowding issues.
She said that the 1,600 sq ft area on the first storey was given a capacity of only 43, and that included its staff, which is about 20 people on weekends.
"With the band taking up another five to eight people, overcrowding becomes very difficult to manage," she said.
NO LIVE PERFORMANCES
Blu Jaz Cafe can continue to operate without an entertainment licence but can no longer hold live performances.
Ms Tan said she has informed all the scheduled performers of the notice.
"There is a high chance they have to find work elsewhere, and it's only fair to let them know because some of them depend on this for a living," she said.
"Many of them were very angry, more angry than me, because they said this is one of the last few locations to have such performances."
Blu Jaz has groomed numerous young talents and hosted a multitude of home-grown acts, including comedian Fakkah Fuzz and singer-songwriter Charlie Lim, who sang this year's National Day Parade theme song.
Ms Tan said Blu Jaz will be appealing against the cancellation again.
The community has rallied behind the cafe by sending letters of appeal to the police.
The neighbourhood association One Kampong Gelam sent a letter of appeal on Friday, urging the authorities to help protect "one of the last bastions of established home-grown jazz venues in Singapore".
Ms Tan said she was moved by the support from the community and hopes the authorities will reconsider their decision.
Asked what will happen if the appeal fails, she said: "The rent here is astronomical. Without entertainment, we will not be able to sustain it and will eventually have to close shop."