Eras Tour Singapore: A Tailored Deal for Taylor


Taylor Swift dalam konsep pembuka Eras Tour. Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

Eras Tour Singapore: A Tailored Deal for Taylor

Time’s 2023 Person of the Year, Taylor Swift, is currently undergoing her top-selling world tour, “The Eras Tour.” Often portrayed in the media as a woman who has a long list of ex-lovers, but not as long as her world tour schedule. As of now, she has 151 in total, traveling across continents from America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. 

Despite being home to thousands of Swifties, Southeast Asian countries like Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, and Malaysia didn’t get the chance to see Taylor Swift’s live performances in their own countries. This was because Taylor Swift exclusively scheduled her 6-day show in our neighboring country, Singapore. Most people think this is out of the ordinary, since artists use to tour different cities and even countries to maximize their reach.

This was of course, like most of the things in our world, not by accident. It is a deliberate scheme designed by Singapore.

Singapore: Southeast Asia Concert Hub

Singapore, presently the most powerful economy in Southeast Asia, is often a destination for international artists who are undergoing world tours. With a wide variety of local and international acts drawing an increasing number of music enthusiasts, Singapore’s music event market is flourishing. Revenue in the music events market in Singapore is projected to reach US$84.46 million in 2024.

Being the only stop for Taylor’s concert in the region and having 6 days of Coldplay concerts are only two examples of the superiority and power of the Lion Country entertainment industry. With their great infrastructure, well-integrated public transport, safe environment, and political stability, there is no doubt that these small yet powerful countries are the most viable options for hosting big-scale concerts. 

Moreover, the government also fully supports Singapore’s efforts to become a leading Asian destination for entertainment. The Singaporean government uses incentives as one of its strategies to improve its appeal and draw in international performers. In Taylor Swift’s case, the Singaporean government sought an “exclusivity deal” that would have barred her from performing anywhere else in southeast Asia during her Eras tour. The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) offered subsidies ranging from US$2 million to US$3 million per show in exchange for these exclusive rights. Considering the possible economic boost that Taylor could provide to the country, this is not only a great strategy, but also a very smart move.

Swiftonomics and The Power of Concert Economy

When COVID-19 shook countries across the globe, live entertainment suffered severe and long-lasting damage due to the disruptions caused by the spread of this contagious virus. Due to the government’s policy of applying social restrictions to large-scale gatherings, people were forced to cease their activities, including attending live concerts. Consequently, the industry suffers financial losses. 

The live performance industry is reviving and rebounding in the post-covid era. Since the cases of Covid-19 are gradually decreasing and restrictions are lifted, many well-known musicians have announced their world concert tours and a variety of outdoor music festivals. People have been waiting a long time for this since lockdown leaves us with minimal social interaction and entertainment. Plus, some people feel live music immersive experiences are more enjoyable and entertaining than those seen on screens.

While giving personal pleasure, concerts also have the ability to bring a major boost to the tourism sector. Speaking of the Taylor Swift concert, there’s much evidence that host countries get a ripple effect and massive revenue from her concert. Beyond just being musical performances, Taylor Swift’s concerts have been shown to be an economic catalyst in the nations she visits. In the United States alone, the era’s tour is projected to generate close to $5 billion in consumer spending. Visit Pittsburgh reports that Taylor Swift’s two consecutive shows in Pittsburgh brought in $46 million in direct revenue. With such a staggering nation-scale economic impact, this impact is frequently referred to as “Swiftonomics”. Economists at QuestionPro and U.S. Travel have projected that “Swiftonomics” could have a $13-28 billion global economic impact by the time the tour is through.

In Singapore, the eras tour is expected to orchestrate revenue, especially by boosting its tourism, hospitality, and entertainment sectors. Being the only show in the region, the swifties from other neighboring countries will come to the closest era’s tour show, with Singapore being the most inexpensive option compared to shows in Japan. There will probably be a surge in airfare and hotel prices during the concert date, going from two to three times normal rates. But this is not an excuse for Swifties to miss the rare chance to watch their idol perform live. 

In this light, we can see the rationale behind the incentivization of the Taylor concert in Singapore. Due to its exclusivity, Singapore draws concert-goers who spend a good deal of money while they are there, which in turn boosts the country’s overall economy. 

Following Singapore’s astute strategy, Thailand and Indonesia are both planning to subsidize future Taylor Swift, or other influential musician concerts in the country. Thailand PM Sretta Thavisin underlined the vital role the government plays in making Thailand a major destination in the region. Consequently, he wanted to subsidize the concerts of popular international artists such as Swift with 500 million baht (RM14.3 million) to attract more of their fans to Thailand. He said that these steps will boost tourism and sponsorship in Thailand.

Similar to Sretta, Sandiaga Uno, the Indonesian Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, said the government was ready to provide incentives to hold more music, sports, and cultural events. Sandiaga claimed that ‘We need Swiftonomics for Indonesian tourism’, inspired by Singapore, which hosted Taylor’s concert and attracted many tourists or concert-goers from other countries. Moreover, Sandiaga also said that the government had established a tourism fund of IDR 1 trillion to help them organize events such as concerts by foreign artists. While it is a good step, bringing Swift and its Swiftonomics to Indonesia is too little, too late.

Nadira Alyssa adalah lulusan Ilmu Hubungan Internasional Universitas Diponegoro. Nadira dapat ditemukan di Instagram melalui nama pengguna @nadiralys

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