A restaurant in Clarke Quay has been questioned by police after it performed a flash mob on Orchard Road without authorisation.
Fern & Kiwi, a restaurant and bar owned by a New Zealander, had put up an impromptu performance of haka - the well-known traditional New Zealand dance of Maori heritage – on a Sunday. The dance is usually performed for VIPs on important occasions and famously performed by its All Blacks rugby team at international matches.
However, any public performances in Singapore, including flash-mobs, require a public entertainment licence, and the restaurant did not have one.
The participants at the flash-mob were made up mostly of the restaurant’s staff members. Some took off their shirts and broke into the welcome dance as shoppers watched and took pictures.
The restaurant, an offshoot of the Lonestar restaurant chain in New Zealand, also posted a video of the performance on YouTube.
In its press statement, Fern & Kiwi’s director and spokesperson Simon Dunlop said it staged a dance at the restaurant on 2 September and “the group felt inspired to then perform an impromptu welcoming haka on a corner of Orchard Road”.
SPUR OF THE MOMENT
Mr Joseph Barratt, managing director of Mutant Communications, which handles the publicity for the restaurant, told inSing News: “Everyone was getting excited, it was a spur-of-the-moment thing.”
Three days after the flash mob, the restaurant officially opened and New Zealand High Commissioner Peter Hamilton was at the opening ceremony. Fern & Kiwi is the chain's first restaurant and bar to be established outside New Zealand.
Mr Dunlop, who is also the man who introduced the G-Max Reverse Bungy and GX-5 Extreme Swing to Clarke Quay, and who has been working in Singapore for a while, said: “We admit we were not clear on local regulations around haka-style performances and are sincerely sorry for any offence caused. We are excited to be here and to embark on what we hope will be a long journey in Singapore.”
Police said investigations are still ongoing.
Fern & Kiwi could face fines of up to S$10,000 if it is found to have contravened the Public Entertainments and Meetings Act.