Philippine lawmaker calls for investigation of Taylor Swift's Singapore concert deal

By Linh Le   February 28, 2024 | 11:28 pm PT
Philippine legislator Joey Salceda is seeking a probe into a deal making Singapore the sole Southeast Asian stop for Taylor Swift’s “The Eras Tour,” which benefits the American singer-songwriter financially.
American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift. Photo from Swifts Instagram

American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift. Photo from Swift's Instagram

Requesting his country’s Department of Foreign Affairs to obtain a clarification on the agreement from the embassy of Singapore, Salceda, who is serving in the House of Representatives of the Philippines, has described Singapore’s action as "not what neighbors do."

At the heart of the dispute is a deal purportedly offering substantial monetary rewards from the Singaporean government to Swift’s concert organizer, Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), to prevent the tour from reaching other Southeast Asian nations.

The arrangement is criticized by Salceda for favoring Singapore to the detriment of neighboring countries, arguing it goes against the ethos of unity and mutual support that is central to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin also discussed the deal earlier this month. The Bangkok Post reported that the Prime Minister disclosed conversations with AEG, where it was admitted that financial incentives from Singapore were a decisive factor in Swift’s choice of the city state as her sole Southeast Asian concert location. He learned from AEG that Singapore proposed between US$2-3 million per show to Swift, a detail previously unknown to Thai officials.

The Singapore Tourism Board and the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth have recognized the financial arrangement but have refrained from providing specifics, citing confidentiality clauses, according to Reuters.

The exclusive contract is anticipated to significantly benefit Singapore’s economy, emulating the success of Swift’s performances in Australia earlier this month. Bloomberg estimated these performances created A$1.2 billion (US$782 million) in economic value for Melbourne alone, one of her two Australian stops along with Sydney.

Swift, who arrived in Singapore on Wednesday, is scheduled for six sell-out concerts at the National Stadium on Mar. 2-4 and Mar. 7-9, attracting an estimated 300,000 attendees.

go to top