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Singapore gears up for return of non-distanced shows

Singaporean promoters will be able to stage indoor shows of up to 750 people with no social distancing, provided all attendees can produce a negative Covid-19 test or proof of vaccination against the disease, from 24 April.

Under the next stage of lockdown easing, organisers of live performances at designated venues will be permitted to admit up to 750 attendees with pre-event testing, or 250 without, the Straits Times reports. At press time, Singapore had just 24 new cases of Covid-19, all of which came into the city-state with foreigners who have now been ordered to self-isolate.

Government-approved pilot events, including sports fixtures and business conferences, will also be allowed to have 750 people from the same date, or 250 without testing. Formerly, business-to-business events were limited to 250 attendees, divided into zones of 50.

The pilot conferences and sports events follow Singapore’s first test concerts, held in partnership with the country’s ministry of health and promoted by AEG Presents, which took place just before Christmas.

Organisers of live performances at designated venues will be permitted to admit up to 750 attendees with pre-event testing

A sister classical music event with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra received a more muted reception, according to the Times, with many classical music fans decided not to attend because they didn’t want to undergo pre-event testing, which they feared would be uncomfortable.

While smaller venues should be able to make the 250/750-person capacity limit work, some event organisers are hopeful they will be permitted to go beyond 750 people by the summer months.

The Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre, which organises the annual Sing.Lang festival of Singaporean-Chinese pop music, has asked to have more than 750 attendees at the 2021 event, which takes place in June. Its director of programmes, Lee Ee Wurn, says the centre is planning to stage the concert at the 12,000-seat Singapore Indoor Stadium and is hoping for the largest possible audience.

 


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Mandopop star JJ Lin sells 30k tickets in 1.5 hrs

Singaporean singer JJ Lin will perform an additional date at the country’s National Stadium after all 30,000 tickets to his 21 December show were snapped up in under two hours.

Following a Mastercard presale on Thursday 29 August, tickets went on general sale at 10am local time this morning (Friday 30 August) and sold out in an hour and a half, according to promoter Unusual Entertainment.

December marks the first performances at the National Stadium, the city-state’s largest concert venue, for Lin, although he sold out the Singapore Indoor Stadium (12,000-cap.) last year, writes the Straits Times.

Lin’s Sanctuary 2.0 stadium tour kicked off in Hangzhou, China, in March.

Lin, who released his debut album, Music Voyager, in 2003, is one of Singapore’s most popular singers and foremost exponent of Mandopop, or Mandarin pop music (a subset of wider Chinese, or ‘C’, pop).

Lin’s Sanctuary 2.0 stadium tour kicked off in Hangzhou in March

While C-pop is growing in popularity outside east Asia, it hasn’t yet made the same impact in the western world as K-pop, from neighbouring South Korea, and its poster boys BTS. According to the SCMP, the reason for this is “simple”: unlike the smaller Korean market, “China doesn’t have any financial need to take C-pop global. As the world’s most populous country with the second-largest economy, China also has a self-sustaining entertainment industry.”

In addition to Lin, upcoming shows for Singapore-based Unusual, part of the mm2 group, include Andy Lau, Kang Daniel and the Walking with Dinosaurs expo.

The company floated on the Singapore Exchange market in early 2017, delivering a 118% return on investment to shareholders, and has largely held its value since – at press time its market cap was S$283 million, compared to C$280m (US$200m) in 2017.

 


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Sports Hub investigates alleged touting by staff

Singapore Sports Hub has said it has found no evidence for claims a member of staff bulk-purchased 220 Ed Sheeran tickets to sell on the secondary market.

The the sports/entertainment complex, which includes the 55,000-capacity National Stadium and 12,000-cap. Singapore Indoor Stadium, opened an investigation after Carousell trader ‘reseller_772’ claimed to have been passed “200+ tickets” for Ed Sheeran’s 11 and 12 November shows by a “friend [from] Sports Hub management”.

The tickets were being offered for S$1,100, compared to a face value of between $108 and $248. The reseller_772 account has since been deleted.

“While we treat such allegations seriously, we have every confidence in the integrity of our staff and systems”

The allegations mirror a similar incident at Madison Square Garden last January, when the New York venue fired its senior vice-president of ticket sales and several sales execs after they were caught reselling tickets for a profit.

A spokesperson for Sports Hub said that while no one is authorised to resell tickets for the Ed Sheeran shows, its investigation concluded that all tickets for the two dates were purchased within transaction limits.

“While we treat such allegations seriously, we have every confidence in the integrity of our staff and systems,” the venue tells Channel NewsAsia.

 


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