Online and on air, but buskers still waiting to perform live

SINGAPORE: Busker and circus performer Jonathan Goh felt frustrated when he cycled along Orchard Road last Christmas. 

The crowds were there and so was his “stage”, but instead of wowing the shoppers with his juggling and acrobatics, he was delivering food, the 25-year-old told CNA.

While there was hope earlier this year that things may return to normal, renewed spikes in COVID-19 cases repeatedly dashed the hopes of performers like him.

It has been 18 months since Singapore’s “circuit breaker” in April last year, but Mr Goh and other buskers have yet to get the go-ahead to perform on the streets.

They have not stood still – some turned to virtual performances, some went on TV and some pivoted to other trades. Meanwhile, Mr Goh started an association to represent the community and wants to nudge fellow buskers to explore their art form.

Whatever they chose, the young buskers CNA spoke to said that the desire to perform live was still strong. 


Mr Cliff Lim, who goes by the moniker “Off the Cliff”, remembers how he sang his heart out during his last busking session – belting out songs for more than four hours near Holland Village hawker centre.

“I felt my life just crumble, it felt like it was the end for me,” he said, when he heard that busking had to stop along with live events. “But music cannot stop, because I think it’s essential.”

On Mar 29 last year, he streamed his first online busking performance on Facebook, asking for tips via digital payments. 

Many buskers turned to online streaming in the initial period during the circuit breaker, but most have since stopped as the returns were paltry compared to before. 

Online and on air, but buskers still waiting to perform live Source link Online and on air, but buskers still waiting to perform live

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