Taylor Swift saga: Tug of war over tour sparks Thailand rift (video)Legacy

The tug of war over Taylor Swift rumbles on after Thailand and the Philippines both accused Singapore of setting up a clandestine deal to block the US singer-songwriter from appearing in other Southeast Asian countries.

Politicians from the Philippines and Thailand expressed concerns regarding the secret deal negotiated by Singapore, which confines Swift’s Eras Tour exclusively to the affluent city-state in Southeast Asia.

Currently amid her sold-out six-show series in Singapore, the 34 year old singer was granted permission to exclusively perform in the country, marking it as her sole stop in Southeast Asia.

Reports suggest that Singaporean authorities brokered a deal that prohibits Swift from staging concerts in other territories within the region, assuming that her fans, known as Swifties, would be compelled to flock solely to Singapore.

Addressing the iBusiness Forum 2024 held recently in Bangkok, Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin revealed that the Singaporean government offered Swift up to US$3 million per show for exclusive rights to the Eras Tour.

Filipino politician Joey Salceda has also voiced concerns about the perceived economic implications. He has urged his country’s Department of Foreign Affairs to protest against the grant awarded to Swift.

Taylor Swift saga: Tug of war over tour sparks Thailand rift (video) | News by Thaiger
Picture courtesy of Taylor Swift’s Facebook

Salceda conveyed to local outlets that neighbouring governments are supposed to be allies, collaborating to fortify the region, and views Singapore’s deal as a hurtful betrayal.

PM Srettha labelled Singapore’s manoeuvre as “astute,” questioning why Swift had not considered playing in Thailand earlier.

Reflecting on the situation, the 62 year old Thai Prime Minister expressed his belief that hosting Swift’s concerts in Thailand could have been more financially viable and beneficial for both sponsors and tourists.

“If she came to Thailand, it would have been cheaper to organize it here, and I believe she would be able to attract more sponsors and tourists to Thailand. Even though we would have to subsidise at least 500 million baht (US$14million), it would be worth it.

“If I had known this, I would have brought the shows to Thailand. Concerts can generate added value for the economy.”

The series of shows in Singapore is expected to greatly benefit the economy. Swift has completely sold out six nights at the 55,000-seat National Stadium this month.

Economic advantages

While Singapore’s tourism board and culture ministry have not disclosed the exact amount of the grant, they have highlighted the significant economic advantages brought by Swift’s concerts worldwide.

They stated that the ministry collaborated with concert promoter AEG Presents to secure Swift’s performance in Singapore.

The Singaporean government refrained from commenting on the exclusivity clause. However, AEG has confirmed that Swift’s only concert stop in Southeast Asia will be in the island nation, offering VIP tickets priced at S$1,228 (33,000 baht).

In other parts of Asia, Swift performed in Tokyo earlier in February, before heading to Singapore for her series of concerts scheduled from March 2 to March 9.

Despite the blistering tropical heat, over 300,000 tickets were snapped up by fans who queued overnight for the chance to see Swift live.

During her second sold-out show in Singapore last week, Swift delighted fans by revealing that the final version of her upcoming album, The Tortured Poets Department, will feature a bonus track titled The Black Dog. The much-anticipated album is set for release on April 19.

Eras Tour

Concertgoers shared that the album artwork was displayed behind Swift as she performed on stage, seated at her piano, according to posts circulating on social media.

During her inaugural Eras Tour performance in Singapore, Swift shared a poignant tale with her fans, reflecting on the significance of Singapore to her and her family.

“My mom actually spent a lot of her childhood with her mom and dad and sister growing up in Singapore.”

“A lot of the time when we’d come here on tour, my mom would take me and drive me past her old house, where she used to go to school.

‘So I’ve been hearing about Singapore my whole life. To get to come here and play a show this big with so many beautiful, generous people, it means the world.”

The story Taylor Swift saga: Tug of war over tour sparks Thailand rift (video) as seen on Thaiger News.

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Author: Bob Scott