Taylor swift’s fans express disappointment over schedule of Asian tour – probes Singapore’s deal with Swift

A Philippine lawmaker has called on his government to question Singapore over the city-state’s decision to offer American pop star Taylor Swift a significant monetary grant, supposedly to prevent her from performing anywhere else in Southeast Asia. Calling Singapore’s move “not what good neighbours do”, Joey Salceda, who serves on the Philippine House of Representatives, asked the country’s Department of Foreign Affairs to seek an explanation on the deal from the Singaporean embassy. The deal is said to contain a condition that Singapore would be the only stop on the Southeast Asian leg of Swift’s hugely popular Eras Tour. “Some [US$3 million] in grants were allegedly given by the Singapore government to [concert promoter AEG] to host the concert in Singapore,” Salceda said. “The catch was that they do not host it elsewhere in the region.”

Swift arrived in Singapore on Wednesday ahead of her six sold-out concerts at the 55,000-seat National Stadium, the first of which will start this Saturday. More than 300,000 Swift fans, popularly known as “Swifties”, are expected to attend the concerts. News of her concerts in Singapore sparked a frenzy for tickets in the city-state and across the region last year, with some queuing overnight for a chance to snag tickets.

Many Swift fans across Southeast Asia have expressed disappointment over Singapore being the only stop in the region for the 34-year-old superstar’s tour.

Salceda’s comments are the latest uproar over the alleged exclusivity term signed by Swift’s concert promoter and Singapore, which critics see as a snub to its regional neighbours. Thailand Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin first made the claim earlier this month that Singapore paid Swift about US$2.8 million per show under the exclusivity deal.

Salceda said that while the policy worked to the benefit of Singapore, he took issue with how this was done “at the expense” of its neighbours.

“I give it to them that the policy worked,” he said. “But it was at the expense of neighbouring countries, which could not attract their foreign concertgoers, and whose fans had to go to Singapore. “I don’t think we should just let things like this pass. We should still officially register our opposition. It also runs contrary to the principle of consensus-based relations and solidarity on which Asean was founded,” he added, referring to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. On February 21, the Singapore Tourism Board and Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth said in a statement that Swift had received a grant but did not specify the amount or whether it was conditioned on exclusivity due to confidentiality agreements.


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