SINGAPORE: This week, not one but two upcoming concerts made headlines. Coldplay added an unprecedented sixth night to the Singapore leg of their Music of the Spheres tour “due to incredible demand,” Taylor Swift announced her return to Singapore for three nights in March of next year, the only South East Asian stop on her Eras tour.
But how a small country such as Singapore commands such top calibre acts is a product of decades-long efforts from the government to pursue collaboration with musical acts as well as concert organizers, a professor in cultural and heritage tourism at the University of Tasmania, Can Seng Ooi, is quoted as saying in a June 22 piece in TIME magazine.
“Singapore is a destination, but an event in itself is [also] a destination. People come here for those reasons, and because of that they will also enjoy Singapore and spend a lot of money there. The concert tickets are not cheap by any standard. Those who can afford it can afford to fly to Singapore,” said Prof Ooi.
Indeed, the push to brand Singapore as the “Events and Entertainment Capital of Asia” has been in the making since the 2000s.
Mr Edwin Tong, the Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, told “Swifties” on June 21 (Wednesday) that “some great news just dropped on us.”
“Besides Japan, Taylor will only be in Singapore for three special nights,” he says, urging fans to “drop everything now and get your tickets.”
Cringey as it was, Mr Tong’s TikTok announcement has gotten over 850,000 views.
Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour, March 2024 at the Singapore Sports Hub. Are you Ready for It? Taylor Swift Fan Registration for general on-sale: Friday, June 23 at 12PM (SGT) to Wednesday, June 28 at 12PM (SGT) UOB Cardmembers Presale: Wednesday, July 5 at 12PM (SGT) to Friday, July 7 at 9AM (SGT) General on-sale from Friday, July 7 at 12PM (SGT) Registration details here : https://www.sportshub.com.sg/events/taylor-swift-the-eras-tour #tstheerastour #theerastour #taylorswift
In the same way, the Singapore Tourism Board collaborated with Hong Kong rapper Jackson Wang and US singer Charlie Puth for ads promoting different sights around the country.
The introduction to “Establishing Singapore as the Events and Entertainment Capital of Asia,” published in 2009, reads that “Contained within Singapore Tourism Board’s (STB) vision for tourism 2015 is the stated intention to establish Singapore as the ‘Events and Entertainment Capital of Asia’.
This strategy is part of wider economic development agency attempts to diversify Singapore’s brand beyond its well-established reputation as a leading business destination.
The city wants to capture the attention of global tourism markets by redefining itself as a vibrant cultural hub with an events and entertainment offering to rival some of the world’s most attractive cities….
In essence, we suggest that Singapore has used its events-led strategies to extend its internal processes of cultural planning, regeneration and development at the same time as securing a global position in the increasingly competitive events (and place) bidding wars.” /TISG