Saturday, 23 September 2023

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No more live music – Blu Jaz becomes just another café in February

Whatever slim glimmer of hope that was left to revive Singapore’s beloved Blu Jaz Café has just vanished. The police has announced that there will be no more live performances at the popular entertainment venue in the Kampong Glam district from February 2019 onward.

In October last year, Blu Jaz Café found their entertainment license revoked primarily due to overcrowding issues. The café had allowed people into the venue at over five times the permitted capacity on two separate occasions in April and May 2018, which the police say poses a serious safety risk. Also, in June 2016 and 2017, Blu Jaz Café was cited for a noise issue and a failure to ensure that their windows and doors remained closed.

The owner of the café had submitted an appeal to the police after receiving notice that their license was about to be revoked, and she stressed in her appeal that steps had been taken to address the issues of overcrowding and noise. Unfortunately, the police rejected the appeal.

The café owner then proceeded to appeal to the Public Entertainment Appeal Board (PEAB), which is an independent body comprising of senior representatives from the legal, social, business and health sectors. Unfortunately, the PEAB found no reason to overturn the police decision to revoke Blu Jaz Café’s public entertainment license. The decision was made on 31st December 2018.

Blu Jaz Café, which is one of the few surviving live music venues in Singapore, has been a confluence point for many local jazz musicians – and all genre of musicians, really – young and old to hone their crafts, express themselves, and mingle with other music lovers. Now without live music, Blu Jaz will become just another quirky café.

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