27 June 2008

The Singapore Arts Festival Fiasco

It did appear from the given the lowest attendance figures in thirty years, the Singapore Arts Festival 2008 was a fiasco. Strangely enough, immediately after the lacklustre figures were released, the local paper, the Straits Times, was piling it on in a big way yesterday. The reports in the paper concluded that the shows were too avant-garde and audiences were put off. Meanwhile, one of the writers in the papers advocated more avant-garde fare which was at odds with their reports. Given that that reporter had free tickets and had covered many of the events over the years, of course, I would not be surprised that she would want something more avant-garde to thrill her jaded senses. For the rest of us who have had to part with hard-earned cash for the shows, well...

With reference to the fiasco, someone had also said that even if she was given free tickets, she would not have attended any of the items in the programmes. Nothing had seemed interesting at all.

Another friend who was in Singapore for a visit had organised an arts festival of sorts in Australia and he had spoken of how, with a much smaller budget, the Sydney programme was able to accomplish quite a bit more. He had said that it was the mentality and the passion that counted.


No comment from me as I had only seen part of the Water Fools performance one Friday night at the Singapore River. The programme had the wrong start time, thus, I missed most of it. The rest of the programming in the arts festival hadn't seem interesting at all. I was amused by the media reaction more than anything else.

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