A Singaporean teenager's random TikTok video asking people to meet up outside Hillion Mall to dance on New Year's Day has been viewed 228,000 times.
The impromptu flash mob dance event was supposed to take place at 1pm on the first day of 2022 to capitalise on the TikTok dance trend, where people on the platform dance to Rock With Me.
The event was supposed to end by 1:20pm sharp.
It was organised by a TikTok user, Xavier, 19, who did not provide his last name initially.
What happened in the end
In the end, no crowd showed up outside Hillion Mall.
This was after Xavier received an email from Enterprise Singapore, a statutory board under the Ministry of Trade and Industry that was formed to support Singapore small and medium enterprises.
The email on Dec. 31, 2021, advised against "the organisation of the dance session":
Dear Mr Tan,
We have been notified of your recent TikTok post and invitation to a mass dance session at Hillion Mall on New Year's Day, Jan. 1, 2022, at 1pm. We would like to remind that social gatherings should not exceed 5 pax, as specified under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order) Regulations. As such, we would like to advise against the organisation of the dance session tomorrow. We seek your understanding and cooperation to comply with the Safe Measurement Measures as we continue our fight against Covid-19.
Subsequent video to call off event
Xavier subsequently put up a follow-up video urging those keen on the mass dance to abort mission.
A lil disappointed but isokay this is not the end I will come back once COVID is gone♬ original sound - abc_xav
He said in the video he could have just gone ahead and pretended he did not see the Enterprise Singapore email to him and allowed people to congregate, but then thought better of the idea.
He added that he would be back in a few years once the whole pandemic blows over and promised to get the mass dance going again in the future.
What happened on the ground
Just before 1pm, there were no visible crowds gathered outside the open space in front of Hillion Mall, as observed by Mothership.sg.
There were only a couple of safe distancing ambassadors on the ground, including two people wearing officer attire and lanyards, assumed to be mall personnel.
One woman, who appeared to be a member of the public, was seen talking to the police at the scene before returning to her children and walking away.
Shortly after 1:15pm, the police left after speaking with the personnel in office attire.
The TikToker Xavier was not at the scene.
Xavier told Mothership.sg two days before the event was scheduled to take place that he did not expect his initial video to be viewed so many times.
Organizing this now so don’t let it flop♬ Rock With Me - Inverse
"If a large crowd really shows up I want us to all have a good and safe time making dance TikToks," he added.
When asked if he was afraid of potentially starting an illegal gathering given the current pandemic restrictions, he said that he was.
He then said he would subsequently be putting up another video to remind people to wear their masks and not to gather in big groups.
In response to Mothership.sg queries, Hillion Mall said:
Hillion Mall Management has not been notified by the party producing the TikTok video that he will be asking people to gather outside Hillion Mall to do a dance.
The safety and well-being of our shoppers is our utmost priority. We remain committed to keep our mall safe for our shoppers and shall continue to adhere to the prevailing Safe Management Measures (SMMs).
All photos by Low Jia Ying
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