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IMDA classifies arts entertainment including plays, musicals, stand-up comedies, dance performances, art exhibitions including photography exhibitions, music performances such as variety shows and concerts and literary readings such as play-readings and poetry-readings.

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. Together, they assess each event to uphold the highest content standards of creativity and integrity, aligning with the IMDA regulations and fostering a thriving arts and culture scene for all to enjoy.

An arts entertainment classification rating from IMDA is required for arts entertainment that is accessible to the public. Where an arts entertainment is held in a public entertainment licensed establishment or ad-hoc event, the Public Entertainment Licensee needs to apply for arts entertainment classification rating from IMDA. For all other types of arts entertainment, an Arts Entertainment Licence is required.

Click here to view the Arts Entertainment Classification Guide, to find out how to obtain an arts classification rating and how IMDA classifies Arts Entertainment.

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.

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 to provide arts entertainment.

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 establishments or ad-hoc events is classified by IMDA.

Click here to view information on arts entertainment classification.