Enjoy live music while you wait for the train

Enjoy live music while you wait for the train
Part-time busker Daniel Beng, 42, performing at a platform in Raffles Place MRT station yesterday.

SINGAPORE - Commuters can expect to be entertained while waiting for trains over the next three months, as a trial allowing buskers to perform at MRT stations began yesterday.

Passengers at a Raffles Place platform were last night treated to a violin performance by part-time busker Daniel Beng, with tunes such as Smoke Gets In Your Eyes.

"It's usually very stressful rushing for trains, especially at this time, but hearing live music is like a breath of fresh air," said personal assistant Rina Zainudin, 39.

The trial, a collaboration between the Land Transport Authority (LTA), National Arts Council (NAC) and SMRT, is part of a series of experiments aiming to enhance commuters' experience.

For the next three months, buskers can perform at designated areas in five stations: on weekdays in Raffles Place and City Hall from 5.30pm to 9.30pm, and in Eunos, Bukit Batok and Jurong East from 7.30am to 11.30am. They can also perform on weekends and public holidays, between 10am and 9pm, at all five stations.

If the response is positive, there may be more performances beyond the trial, the LTA said.

"It's a great idea - some people actually skipped their trains and stopped to listen," said Mr Beng, 42, a former secondary school music teacher. "An enclosed space is also better for acoustics."

Including Mr Beng's, five busking acts have been selected to perform in the trial as part of NAC's existing busking scheme. Under the existing scheme, they must audition and get permits from NAC in order to perform in public. About 130 have been endorsed.

Before the trial, they could perform at 139 designated public spaces but not in train stations.

yeosamjo@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on July 26, 2014.
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