Fun For Free

10 art performances and activities on a shoe string

By Jo Tan & Zaki JufriEvents - 03 January 2013 9:00 AM | Updated 10:18 AM

10 art performances and activities on a shoe string

Crystal ball juggler Mickael Bellemene

Seeing how the cost of living is skyrocketing in Singapore, it’s a good thing some things in the city are still free, or at least pay-what-you-like.


Street Performance

Fabulous Frenchman Mickael Bellemene has juggled his way through Paris, London, Hong Kong and now Singapore. His masterfully makes crystal balls, silver hoops and a Diabolo (Chinese yo-yo) hover and dance, and performs for donations on Orchard Road. Go feast your eyes and support his art.

Venue: Civic Plaza, outside Takashimaya | Date: Saturdays about 5pm (unless Mickael’s away on private engagement) |


Going Om

Bohemian Bar

Going Om Cafe/Bar is a cushion-littered, gypsy-style haven boasting a definitively alternative community of magicians, musicians (from singers to accordionists), movement artists (poi-spinners, staff twirlers, fire-shapers), card-readers ... all coming to play and practise on the back-street outside the cafe/bar. Stake out the alley; and have a bite or smoke a sheesha.

Venue: Going Om, 63 Haji Lane | Date: Sun–Thu 5pm–1am, Fri & Sat 5pm–3am; performances on Sun–Wed from 8:30pm, on Thu from 8pm |


MBS' Wonder-Full

Free Entertainment

Pyrotechnics, water and lasers combine to form 10-15 minute laser shows ‘Crane Dance’ and ‘Wonder-Full’: free performances at Resorts World Singapore and Marina Bay Sands respectively. Dancing jets of water serve as projector-screens, and in ‘Crane Dance’s’ case, accompany two massive dancing steel cranes.

Crane Dance | Venue: Waterfront at Resorts World Singapore| Date: Fri–Mon 9pm

Wonder-Full| Venue: Event Plaza, Marina Bay Sands | Date: daily 8pm & 8.30pm, with a third show at 11pm on Fri & Sat.


Fringe Fun

The Esplanade regularly presents free, high-quality international performances at its Concourse, Library and Outdoor Theatre. Offerings vary with the season; such as Guqin performances and Chinese storytelling for the recent Mid-Autumn Festival.

Visit for details of performances, dates and venues.


Outdoor Rehearsals

Like raw talent? Go underground — literally — to the square in Esplanade underpass. Come evening, there are always youths practising everything from breakdancing to skateboarding. Find a corner to unobtrusively voyeur the oft-impressive talents. Beware rogue skateboarders.

Esplanade Underground Link leading up to The Esplanade, various times but usually from 7pm.


Community Performances

CLAP! or the Community Life Arts Program, brings performances to different town centres one Saturday evening a month. Ranging from admirable amateur efforts to polished professional performances, from seniors’ taichi to teen pop groups, this programme puts raw Singapore performances onstage. Think you can do better? Apply to perform!

First Saturday of each month; various venues; for information and registration.


Bukit Brown

Guided Walk of Bukit Brown

Explore Singapore’s gorgeous historic cemetery, Bukit Brown, while its exhumation is still on hold. The volunteers of All Things Bukit Brown have unearthed (not literally) some stunning stories about everything from unmarked graves to massive underground chambers. Join them on their next fascinating weekend walk-and-storytelling-session.

Various dates and times; free and themed, ticketed tours available;


Poetry Pop

Discover new talents in the literary arts scene at The Arts House's New Word Order series. This monthly series gives voice to Singaporean writers and artistes exploring new ways of approaching the written word. This series has seen the likes of Joshua Ip, Seraphina Lum, Jerrold Yam, Ah Guo and our very own Wong Hoong An taking to the stage.

Venue: Blue Room at the Arts House | Time: 7:30pm |

Molly the Mobile Library

With a collection of 3,000 books and audio-visual materials, eight iPads (complete with interactive kid-friendly applications), storytellers, skits and craft activities, Molly the Mobile Library is one bus you shouldn’t to miss. Parents, take your kids along for the ride!

United Square, by Swensens; first Sunday of each month till Dec, noon–6pm;

Word Slam

If you have a flair for words and are not afraid of public speaking, why not head down to Blu Jaz Cafe every last Thursday of the month for Poetry Slam Singapore. It's a competitive poetry event and the rules for poets are that they must perform original work that is three minutes or shorter and they cannot use props.

Venue: 3/F Blu Jaz Cafe, 11 Bali Lane | Date: Every last Thusday of the month | Time: 8-10pm | Email [email protected] if you're interested to slam.