J.Lo's S'pore fans can afford pricey tickets, but can't clean up after themselves

11 December 2012 / 3 years 10 months ago

Source: AsiaOnePhoto: STSINGAPORE - It was a great concert, befitting of the sky-high ticket prices. But it did not elicit great behaviour.The 15,000-strong crowd left Singapore's latest iconic landmark, Gardens by the Bay - which won two top Asian design awards on Thursday - looking more like Garbage by the Bay.Ponchos, water bottles, empty cups and tissue paper were strewn all over The Meadow at Gardens by the Bay after pop star Jennifer Lopez's concert on Tuesday night.Tickets to the concert, organised by MediaCorp, were among the priciest of recent concerts here. Standard tickets cost $158 and VIP tickets $348.The fans may have been able to afford a tidy sum for the tickets, but they were far from tidy.So much trash was left behind, it prompted the cleaning contractor to call it "the worst mess ever".It took six hours to clear the rubbish, which filled 80 trash bags.In contrast, the 12 trash bins surrounding The Meadow were only half-full.Fourteen part-timers had to clean it up, says Mr Jack Boey, 38 , who oversaw the cleaning process.The sales manager, whose company provides cleaning and general services, says: "In many areas, I couldn't even see the grass."We've cleaned up after events for four years, and this is the worst mess ever."It had rained on the evening of the concert and the audience had put on the ponchos provided.When the rain stopped, on came the superstar, and off went the ponchos.On to the wet ground, where they got promptly trampled on.After the concert, few in the audience returned to pick up and dispose of the ponchos, which were muddy and bedraggled by then.Says Mr Boey: "I hope there can be more public education to encourage people to clean up after themselves."The less-than-civic behaviour of the mostly-adult fans was hardly inspiring for the teenagers hired to clean up after them.One of the part-time cleaners, Lionel Tan, 16, says there was more litter than he'd expected.The student, who is waiting for his N-Level results, was given a trash bag and a pair of tongs, which he used to pick up the items."There was really a lot of rubbish. The pieces of confetti were the hardest to pick up because there was mud all over them," he says.Another student, Alvan Goh, 16, was disheartened.He says: "I'm sad that the concert-goers did not walk to the bins to throw their trash away."Especially since Gardens by the Bay is supposed to be a new and glamorous venue. Shouldn't the people there have been gracious?"For their work, the part-timers - all students - were each paid $90, or $15 an hour.One of the concert-goers, a 50-year-old dance choreographer, admits that he left his poncho on the ground. He "forgot" to throw it away, he says sheepishly.The man, who declined to be named because he feels ashamed, says: "We used the poncho as a groundsheet and sat on it during the concert. But towards the end, everyone stood up and so did we."After the concert, we forgot about the poncho. Anyway, everyone else was doing it."Mr Liak Teng Lit, chairman of the Public Hygiene Council, feels that Singaporeans have a long way to go in the way we view littering.He says: "It's very sad. Too many people here think it's ok to litter."He says that people in Japan and Korea are more likely to hold their litter until they find a bin."While most Singaporeans do not litter, about 30 per cent of the population will not pick up after themselves."They think it's the cleaner's job. We still have a long way to go in encouraging people not to litter."The JLo concert mess occurred despite recent publicity and calls to be more gracious for a litter-free Singapore.Just two weeks ago, The Straits Times highlighted the trash left by fans after Korean pop concert SMTown Live World Tour III.Ponchos, plastic bags and other types of litter were strewn all over the Marina Bay floating platform, where the concert was held.By all accounts, however, the JLo concert mess was a new low.

Singapore, J LO
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