June 20, 2024

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Singapore defends exclusive deal for Taylor Swift concerts in south-east Asia

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Singapore’s prime minister has defended a deal to secure pop star Taylor Swift’s only performances in south-east Asia this year, dismissing rising indignation from the city-state’s neighbours.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong confirmed on Tuesday that Singapore had negotiated for the city-state to be the singer’s only stop in the region of 700mn but denied that such an arrangement was “unfriendly” to the city-state’s neighbours.

“It has turned out to be a very successful arrangement. I don’t see that as being unfriendly,” Lee said on Tuesday in Australia, where he was attending a summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

“If we had not made such an arrangement, would she have come to someplace else in south-east Asia or more places in south-east Asia? Maybe, maybe not,” he added, without revealing the terms of the deal.

Swift’s blockbuster Eras tour has provided an economic boost to destinations around the world, with her fans driving a surge in spending.

More than 300,000 tickets have been sold to her six sold-out concerts in Singapore, which conclude this week. Many of the attendees are from overseas. Hotel and airfare prices have soared by double digits in the city-state as far back as a year ago.

But the announcement of the tour’s Asia-Pacific dates last year stoked widespread disappointment across south-east Asia, after Swift revealed that she would only be stopping in Singapore, Japan and Australia.

Thailand’s prime minister alleged last month that Singapore had offered the singer subsidies of up to $3mn a show on the condition that she not perform elsewhere in the region. Srettha Thavisin said he had been told of the deal by promoter Anschutz Entertainment Group.

Singapore’s culture ministry and tourism board said in a joint statement last month that they had worked directly with AEG to book…

2024-03-05 01:51:58

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