Live concerts at MBS to be biggest since Covid-19 pandemic curbs kicked in

(From left) Home-grown singers Charlie Lim, Benjamin Kheng and Aisyah Aziz.
(From left) Home-grown singers Charlie Lim, Benjamin Kheng and Aisyah Aziz.PHOTOS: AEG PRESENTS/COLLECTIVE MINDS

SINGAPORE - The formerly thriving pop concert industry, hard hit by restrictions, will take another small step closer to reclaiming its pre-pandemic buzz with a two-day show at the Sands Theatre at Marina Bay Sands on Dec 18 and 19.

Titled Back To Live, the two gigs will be the biggest music event with a live audience since measures to curb the pandemic kicked in, with 500 tickets available each night.

The 9pm shows will feature performances by home-grown artists. Singers Benjamin Kheng, Sezairi, Narelle, Linying and rapper TheLionCityBoy will perform on the first night. The second show will feature singers Charlie Lim, Aisyah Aziz and Keyana.

The concerts, supported by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), also mark the reopening of the Sands Theatre, which can hold up to 2,155 guests, since it closed during the circuit breaker.

To ensure the event is safe, all concertgoers will have to abide by several regulations.

As part of the Ministry of Health's pilot for large-scale events with pre-event testing, the shows will require each audience member to have a negative antigen rapid or polymerase chain reaction test result.

Antigen rapid tests are free for ticket buyers. Those buying two-day tickets for both concerts, which cost $98, can take the free tests at the venue from 5.30pm to 7.30pm before each show, or at designated clinics.

Those buying single-night tickets, which cost $55, have to take the free tests at designated clinics.

Tests at the clinics have to be done on the morning of the show, or no earlier than 11pm on the night before the show.

Those who are unable to attend the concerts because of their test results will receive full refunds.

Concertgoers can be seated in groups of up to five, and intermingling between groups will not be allowed. Groups will be seated at least 1m apart. Similarly, single ticket holders will be seated a safe distance from other concertgoers.

The audience can enter the venue only at designated times, and must check in using the TraceTogether app or token. During the show, they will be asked to remain seated, unless they need to visit the restroom, until the end of the performance. They will then be ushered out in groups.

Safe distancing ambassadors and ushers will be present to ensure that safe distancing measures are adhered to before, during and after the performances.

The concerts are put together by concert organisers AEG Presents and events agency Collective Minds.

Mr Zaran Vachha, co-founder of Collective Minds, said the safe management measures are necessary to allow the ailing local music industry to make a comeback.

"The brutal impact of the pandemic means we have had to work out a new way to support Singapore's music industry and talented musicians, whilst also ensuring the absolute safety of music fans."