Singapore Chingay Festival: why pay to watch?

Chingay in the 70s: thousands turned out to watch the Chingay floats

The Chingay festival is one of the highlights of the Lunar New Year.

But I don’t understand why the organisers charge the public to watch the show, participants of which include local organisations, schools and those from overseas

A friend fumed, “The tickets are not cheap, you know. From $30 to $65, depending on the category of seats.”

Those who can’t afford to pay or unaware of the charges like tourists have to brave the crowds, and watch from the sidelines, all the time standing for 90 minutes.

True, the non-paying public also get to watch the performances but you must realise that the performers put up their best for the paying spectators. For those standing spectators, the performers merely go through the motions. You can’t blame them really as it’s not easy to perform at 100% level all the time. To their credit, some performers do try their very best.

In the 70s Chingay floats used to go around the housing estates, causing much excitement and making CNY merrier.

But these days, everything is commercialised.

Even traditional festivals.

“What do you expect? Pay and pay, lah,” is the stock response from many people.


5 Responses to “Singapore Chingay Festival: why pay to watch?”

  1. Pay And Pay
    For Chingay?
    No way!

    Can see
    On TV
    For free…

    Spectators note
    and gloat
    Got Tampines float!!!

    Why, why, why?
    Sigh, sigh, sigh
    My, my, my…

    Comment by announcer
    “In all the years
    Most expensive one, YOU HEAR?”

    (I love Chingays but why must I spend so much for a show that should be free for Singaporeans. At 70 years I can’t be standing the whole night, sweating and jostling with the crowd. Come on, give me a break because I’ve missed it for 5 years now.)

    • In Singapore any government agency or public body can find ways easily to squeeze the public and thus raise revenue eg late payment fines for late payment of road tax and TV licence, extending ERP hours unjustifiably, pay exit toll at Woodlands Checkpoint etc

      They believe that since there’s no public protest save for the odd letter to the press they assume that silence means consent.

      But there’ll be political repercussions certainly.

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