Singapore must explain Taylor Swift exclusivity deal – lawmaker

Shiela Crisostomo - The Philippine Star
Singapore must explain Taylor Swift exclusivity deal � lawmaker
US singer-songwriter Taylor Swift arrives for the 66th Annual Grammy Awards at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles on February 4, 2024.
AFP / Robyn Beck

MANILA, Philippines — The Singaporean embassy must explain allegations that Singapore made a deal to exclusively host Taylor Swift’s concert in Southeast Asia, according to Filipino lawmaker Joey Salceda.

Thailand Prime Minister Srettha Thavism on Feb. 16 alleged that the Singaporean government made a deal for the singer to perform only in Singapore and not in any other Southeast Asian countries.

Salceda asked the Department of Foreign Affairs to send a note verbale to the Singaporean embassy requesting an explanation on the alleged exclusivity terms in the grant given to AEG Presents, the production company that promotes Swift’s concerts.

“Some $3 million in grants were allegedly given by the Singapore government to AEG to host the concert in Singapore. The catch was that they do not host it elsewhere in the region,” he said.

The deal was forged between the Singapore Tourism Board, the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth and AEG Presents.

“I give it to them that the policy worked. Regional demand for Singaporean hotels and airlines was up 30 percent over the period. I estimate that the exclusivity term caused an increase in industry revenues by $60 million. So, the grant produced 30 times more in economic activity,” he added.

But Salceda said this was done “at the expense of neighboring countries, which could not attract their own foreign concertgoers and whose fans had to go to Singapore.”

“I doubt the exclusivity terms were on the grant contract itself… But I don’t think we should just let things like this pass. We should still officially register our opposition,” he added.

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