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S’pore gave grants for Taylor Swift concert

SINGAPORE (ANN/THE STRAITS TIMES) – The upcoming Taylor Swift concerts in Singapore, which are likely to generate significant benefits for the economy, got the support of the authorities in the form of a grant, the Straits Times reported. 

In response to queries from The Straits Times, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) said in a joint statement that tourism sectors such as hospitality, retail, travel and dining are likely to benefit from the event, just like they have in other cities the pop star has performed in.

More than 300,000 tickets have been sold for the concerts in Singapore, with a large number of fans travelling in from other countries, they added.

The statement said: “Singapore has much to offer as a destination for large-scale international events, with our strategic location, quality infrastructure, safety, efficiency and diverse cultural offerings.

Fans of US singer Taylor Swift, also known as a Swifties, queue for merchandise at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) ahead Swift’s three shows in Melbourne on February 16, 2024. PHOTO: AFP

On Feb 16, Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin said he was informed by concert promoter Anschutz Entertainment Group that the Singapore Government offered subsidies of up to USD3 million (SGD4 million) for each concert – in exchange for Swift agreeing not to perform elsewhere in South-east Asia during The Eras Tour.

The American singer, who won her fourth Grammy Award for Album of the Year earlier in February, will hold six shows at the National Stadium – which is part of the Singapore Sports Hub – from March 2 to March 9.

Singapore is Swift’s only stop in Asia apart from Japan.

The joint statement on Feb 20 said that in the case of Swift, MCCY and KASM recognised that there will be significant demand from Singaporeans as well as fans across the region for her to perform in Singapore, and worked directly with AEG Presents for her to do so.

“STB also supported the event through a grant,” it added. The statement did not provide details about the size of the grant or the conditions attached to it.

Bidding wars have occurred in the past – for example, between the Singapore Grand Prix and the National Stadium over acts that were touring in Asia around the same time of the year, and both were trying to get the acts to perform at their venue, he added.

In 2014, Swift cancelled her sold-out Red Tour concert in Thailand in June that year, reported the Bangkok Post. The official cancellation notice on her website said this was “due to recent events in Thailand”.

The Thai army had taken control of the country and imposed a curfew and martial law following the May 22 military coup that year.