Singapore concert deal with Taylor Swift stirs controversy with neighboring countries
Taylor Swift. Photo by Eva Rinaldi. Courtesy of Flickr.

Singapore concert deal with Taylor Swift stirs controversy with neighboring countries

Singapore negotiated a deal with Taylor Swift’s concert management to secure six sold-out shows in the city-state between March 2 and March 9, an arrangement that prevented Swift from performing her Eras Tour in any surrounding Southeast countries. Swift’s tour has been record-breaking with global sales above $1 billion. Maybank Director of Macro Research Erica Tay has estimated the profit value of the six shows to be worth between $260 million and $375 million in tourism. Though Thailand’s Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin claimed Singapore had paid Swift between $2 million and $3 million per show, Singapore’s Culture and Youth Minister Edwin Tong dismissed that idea in an interview with Channel News Asia (CNA). He stated that the undisclosed numbers were “nowhere as high as what is being speculated.” CNA implied that the cost of all six shows is closer to being between $2 million and $3 million. 

Many have criticized Singapore for holding a monopoly over Swift’s concert economy. Besides disapproval from Thailand, Philippines lawmaker Joey Salceda had gone so far as to demand that the Philippines protest against Singapore over the deal. Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has defended the negotiation with Swift in light of complaints from neighboring countries. Loong described the deal to be a “very successful arrangement” and said he doesn’t “see that as being unfriendly” towards surrounding nations. Other than an Instagram post thanking the Singapore crowd, Swift and her management have not commented on the situation. 

“We got to play 6 shows in Singapore for the most wonderful crowds — just want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who traveled and put so much effort into being at our shows,” Swift wrote. “What an unforgettable way to end this leg of the tour!!”

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