Overview

IMDA classifies all Arts Entertainment (AE) including plays, musicals, stand-up comedies, dance performances, art exhibitions including photography exhibitions, performances of music, singing or dancing, and pop/rock concerts.

Through classification, IMDA aims to enable consumers to make informed choices, especially parents and educators to decide if these performances are suitable for the young. IMDA is assisted by the Arts Consultative Panel in its evaluation of arts entertainment performances.

More information on applying for an arts entertainment licence.

Arts Entertainment Classification Ratings

There are four classification ratings for arts entertainment:

  • General – Content suitable for a general audience, including young children 
  • Advisory – Contains some mature content for which parental guidance is advised 
  • Advisory16 – Contains content with mature themes which are more suitable for audiences 16 years and above 
  • Restricted 18 – Content restricted to audiences 18 years and above 

The R18 rating is the only age-enforceable rating where the age restriction must be imposed by the licensees/organisers.  

In addition to a classification rating, arts entertainment rated Advisory and above are issued with consumer advice to enable audiences to make an informed choice. 

Media Classification Database

Members of the public can search the Media Classification Database for the classification ratings of films, video games and arts entertainment events so that they can make informed choices on media consumption.

Arts Entertainment Classification Code

In general, classification decisions are guided by the following principles: 

  • Protection of the young from unsuitable content 
  • Sensitivity to national interest 
  • Recognition of generally accepted community values and prevailing public sentiments 
  • Treatment of theme, content and message 
  • Evaluation of impact 

For more details on the Arts Entertainment Classification Code, please click here (84.24KB).

Classification Process for Arts Entertainment

During the classification process, the content of the arts entertainment is assessed and classified based on the submitted material (e.g. play script, concert set-list, song lyrics, images and video footages, etc.)

Arts groups and event organisers are encouraged to indicate their target audience when submitting application for arts entertainment licence.

Arts Entertainment Classification for Public Entertainment (PE) Licensees

Unless exempted from the classification requirement, Public Entertainment licensees need to ensure that the arts entertainment provided within their premises or ad-hoc events is classified by IMDA.

How to apply 

Public Entertainment licensees can refer to the submission guidelines (191.30KB) to facilitate the application process for classification of arts entertainment in public entertainment licensed establishments or events. For proper assessment and classification of the event, public entertainment licensees are advised to submit complete applications with all the necessary information provided. 

Please click here to proceed with an Arts Entertainment Classification application. 

Related documents for application:

Each application will be issued with a classification certificate.

To allow sufficient time for applications to be processed or advisories to be included in publicity materials and advertisements, submissions should be made 20 working days before the date of the event. Late or incomplete submission of supporting documents may result in a delay to the classification process and IMDA cannot ensure that the application will be processed in time for the event.

Classification Fee

The classification fee payable per certificate is S$30 and is to be made upon submission of an application. The certificate is valid for the duration of the performance up to a maximum of one year.

Classification Exemptions

Some arts entertainment in public entertainment licensed establishments or events are exempted from the classification requirement if the licensees are able to meet the exemption conditions. For full details of the exemptions and conditions, licensees can refer to the Public Entertainments And Meetings (Classification Of Arts Entertainments) (Exemption) Order 2016 (185.53KB).

A brief summary of these exemptions are as follows:

a. Arts entertainment in a PE-licensed establishment under a Category 1 licence 

Any arts entertainment provided in a Category 1 PE-licensed establishment that has a door policy of 18 years and above is exempted from classification. The licensee must enforce the age restriction at the point of entry. He needs to inform IMDA of the door policy by providing to the Arts Entertainment Licensing Officer, using the Door Policy Notification Form (247.42KB) at least 20 working days before the implementation of the door policy. The completed form should be emailed to arts@imda.gov.sg.

b. Karaoke singing in a PE-licensed establishment under a Category 1 or Category 2 licence

The exemption applies as long as the karaoke videos fall within the meaning of an “exempt film (329.11KB)” as stipulated in the Films (Classification – Exempt Films Other than Video Games) Notification 2019. Karaoke singing should not be provided in combination with another arts entertainment. 

c. Performance of music, singing or dancing in a PE-licensed establishment under a Category 1 or Category 2 licence

PE Category 1 or Category 2 establishments with such forms of arts entertainment are exempted if the content is suitable for a general audience including children aged 12 years or below. 

The performance of music, singing or dancing may be provided in combination with one or more performances of music, singing or dancing. It should however not be provided in combination with another arts entertainment. 

d. Scheduled arts entertainment

PE Category 1 or Category 2 establishments with such forms of arts entertainment are exempted if the content is suitable for a general audience including children aged 12 years or below.

The scheduled arts entertainment may be provided in combination with one or more scheduled arts entertainments. It must not however be provided in combination with another arts entertainment.

e. Incidental arts entertainment

This refers to an arts entertainment that is provided in a PE-licensed establishment under a Category 1 or Category 2 licence or a PE licensed event but is not the main feature or attraction of the event. This is exempted from classification provided the content is suitable for a general audience, including children aged 12 years or below.

Classification Conditions

The IMDA may impose conditions on the classification certificate. Please click on the conditions (28.51KB) for more information.

Last updated on: 01 Jul 2021