Much missed restaurant-bar-record shop concept Broadcast HQ in Little India, which held live DJ gigs from cool collectives like Darker Than Wax, closed down three months ago after it was refused a PE Category 1 entertainment license. Co-owner George Grover tells us what happened.
What was the problem?
We were licensed to a Category 2 for Public Entertainment level, stipulating “No live music” but recorded music was permitted, which we presumed meant we were permitted to have DJs. Singapore Police Force officers, during one of our nights, highlighted that DJs were considered to be live performance. We stopped all our DJ nights while we appealed to obtain a category 1 license, but after several months, our appeal was rejected.
How did the closure dampen the scene?
It means there is one less venue that is willing and motivated to support local music and artists. More broadly, we think that people considering a similar concept in Singapore will think twice before trying to execute it. Without a doubt, all healthy local music scenes around the globe have developed through a strong grass roots music scene. This is impossible to develop if artists don’t have venues that will employ them, promote them and provide them with a forum to get their music out to the public. If there is no support for PE Category 1 licensing outside the main entertainment hubs, there will be no strong alternative music scene.