Blu Jaz Cafe has failed in its appeal against the cancellation of its Public Entertainment (PE) licence and will have to cease any form of public entertainment on its premises from 1 February 2019.
In a statement on Thursday night (3 January), the police said the Public Entertainment Appeal Board (PEAB), an independent board, rejected Blu Jaz Cafe’s appeal on 31 December 2018 following its repeated violations of licensing conditions due to overcrowding.
While the approved occupancy load for the second floor of Blu Jaz Cafe is 30 persons, the police found more than 150 persons there on 28 April 2018. In a follow-up inspection on 5 May 2018, the police found close to 200 persons on the second floor.
Blu Jaz was originally to have its PE licence terminated on 22 October last year but was allowed to retain it pending the outcome of its appeal.
In an earlier statement on 19 October, a police spokesperson said the “severe overcrowding” conditions at Blu Jaz, which had accumulated 24 demerit points within a two-year period, pose “very serious safety risks” to patrons and staff, especially in the event of a fire.
“The fact that the overcrowding occurred on the upper level significantly compounded the danger to everyone in the premises. It was very irresponsible of the management of the Café to have allowed those situations to occur, putting so many lives at risk,” the spokesperson said then.
Despite warning by the police, the establishment had allowed the overcrowding to recur within a week.
In the latest statement, the police said in arriving at its decision, “the PEAB weighed a variety of factors, including Blu Jaz Café’s contribution to the arts and music scene in Singapore, its track record, its remedial actions and the severity of the overcrowding offences that resulted in serious public safety concerns.”