Singapore musicians react to The Substation’s closure: “Thanks for the wonderful memories”

Following the board's announcement that the arts centre would close permanently in July

Artists from Singapore’s music scene have been sharing their memories of The Substation following the board’s announcement yesterday that the arts centre would close permanently in July.

The Substation’s board attributed the closure chiefly to the National Arts Council’s decision to convert its 45 Armenian Street site, after renovations, into a “multi-tenanted building” where the Substation would no longer be the sole tenant. That decision, the board said, would have profound implications for the independent arts centre’s identity, autonomy and operations.

The board also noted that the closure was partly due to the economic downturn triggered by the coronavirus pandemic and some donors’ decisions to “refocus their philanthropic outreach” which led to “a lower priority for the arts”.


The board’s decision comes after reports last month that the Substation would have to leave its premises on Armenian Street in July 2021 due to renovation works. The Armenian Street building had been The Substation’s home for over 30 years, and had served over the decades as a hub for Singapore’s music scene, especially its rock, punk and hardcore scenes.

Tributes to the beloved space have been pouring in, with acts such as Rizman Putra of Tiramisu and NADA, Hanging Up The Moon, Sezairi and more sharing their thoughts and memories of the Substation.

“You’ve always championed local talent. You will be missed,” said Hanging Up The Moon on Facebook. Hanging Up The Moon frontman Sean Lam was also part of ’90s band Concave Scream, which used to play regularly at The Substation Garden, where scores of local bands would play hours-long showcases.

Thanks for the wonderful memories Substation. From our early years with our formative bands to more recent endeavors. You’ve always championed local talent. You will be missed.🙏❤️

Posted by Hanging Up The Moon on Monday, March 1, 2021

Rizman Putra of long-running indie band Tiramisu and electronic-performance duo NADA shared his memories of the Sub on Twitter. These included a scene of his group Kill Your Television (which also included members of Tiramisu) preparing for a 2002 performance and an anecdote of a 2012 performance he conceived and directed called Decimal Points: 5.1.


Event organiser Street Noise also paid tribute to Substation on Facebook, saying they would “forever cherish the wonderful moments and friendships we have built there over the years”. Street Noise had hosted multiple events at The Substation which included metal and heavy acts from both Singapore and abroad.

Ode to our beloved venue, and forever cherish the wonderful moments and friendships we have built there over the years …

Posted by STREET NOISE SG on Monday, March 1, 2021

Check out more tributes to the Substation below.

Thanks for the memory and end of an era – The Substation ASSAULT is glad to have performed at The Substation once in…

Posted by ASSAULT on Monday, March 1, 2021