S’poreans Triggered That Begpackers Performed & Asked for Money in MRT

Picture this:

You’re seated down in the MRT back home, and ears filled with the melodious tune of “Baby” by Justin Bieber. You sink into the comfort of your seat and prepare to take a little nap.

“Not because I’m trying to avoid eye contact with that old man standing on two frail knees,” you tell yourself. “It’s because I’m tired. Like genuine life-threatening tired.”

The chorus hits; you start tapping your feet to the beat.

“Baby, baby, baby,” you sing softly to yourself. “Ohhhhh-”

“Ohhhhh yeahhhhh~”

Your ears perk up. Someone was blasting stereo on the train. Loud.

“Is it that old man?” your eyes dart back and forth. “Is it a sign? Is that old man trying to musically provoke me into giving up my seat?”

Slowly, your eyes edge upwards.

All or nothing.

You caught sight of the stereo blaster. Your eyes blink. Automatically. Why? You’ve no idea. What you do know?

Two Caucasian buskers are singing before you, the MRT doors forming the backdrop for their heartfelt performance.

You stare at them. You slowly look down. How would you react from here? Because somewhere on the Internet…

Reception’s not exactly that positive.

The Buskers Performing On The MRT

On 27 May 2019, a user on Twitter posted a video of a Caucasian duo performing in an MRT cabin, with bright smiles on their faces.

Dressed in mud green printed shirts and armed with guitars, the buskers gave an enjoyable performance, and the poster was clearly entertained.

Image: Twitter

In her tweet, the poster thanked the “amazing tourists” for starting her day right, and for bringing “smiles to a lot of faces”.

Though of course, it wasn’t entirely for free, as the duo reportedly appealed for donations from passengers.

Image: Twitter

According to reports, they have allegedly been doing this to finance their dream of performing in different countries.

You can watch the video here.

S’poreans Triggered That Begpackers Performed & Asked for Money in MRT

While there might’ve indeed been tons of smiles on the train, the Internet, as it turns out, wasn’t quite so receptive.

A user in the comments section, for one, stated that he’ll rather have a peaceful and quiet time on the train while listening to music from his earphones.

Image: Twitter

And another made a rather bold claim.

Image: Twitter

Some, however, outright criticised the pair.

Image: Twitter
Image: Twitter
Image: Twitter

Yet, despite all the severity in the comments section, they still don’t come close to one particularly edgy one:

Image: Twitter

Because apparently, only buskers with actual Busking Cards are permitted by the law to busk.

Those found guilty without a license could be fined up to $10,000 under Section 19 of the Public Entertainments Act, according to Singapore Legal Advice.

Legal buskers are also not allowed to actively solicit for tips from the public. Voluntary tips, on the other hand, are entirely fair game.

So if you know the performing couple in question, or might be familiar with a few busking personnel in the circle, tell them:

Busk if they so desire to, but make sure that they do it within the realms of legal boundaries. 

And also, make sure to do it in more acceptable places. Subway performances might work overseas…

But I’m not quite sure locals are as accepting of it.

What is Begpacking?

If you’re not aware, begpacking is the practice of travelling for free by selling your talents (e.g. busking) in exchange for money. Some think it’s cool while others think they should be placed in the hall of shame.

It’s a rather new trend, and their reputation hasn’t been all roses: they’re often known to be travellers who expect others to fund their fun rides.

And it’s even worse when they boast online about how they managed to travel the world with $0, when those donated money could be put to better use.