Westlife concerts add standing-room section

By Phong Kieu   November 20, 2023 | 06:59 pm PT
Westlife concerts add standing-room section
Irish boy band Westlife. Photo from Westlife Facebook
Irish boy band Westlife’s Ho Chi Minh City concert organizers are selling new standing-room tickets for the show as widespread scams have reportedly conned fans into purchasing fake seats.

"We initially did not have any plans for standing tickets," said Do Thu Giang, a representative from AMO, which is putting on the highly-anticipated concert.

She explained that AMO had received a large number of requests for less-expensive tickets to the two HCMC concert dates Nov. 21 and 22 after droves of concert-goers reported having been duped out of their money by hucksters selling fake seats.

Aware that valid tickets to the show were nearly impossible to obtain amid intense demands and inflated prices, AMO thus decided to add the new ticket category just a few days ahead of the shows, Giang said.

It is reported that the newly-added tickets cost VND600,000 (US$25) each. Meanwhile, eight categories of seats at the concert, which went on sale earlier, cost between VND850,000-4 million.

AMO’s move has been received with mixed opinions. Some have argued that their decision to add more tickets has helped more people have the opportunity to see their favorite artists live. But other previously-bought ticket holders have complained that the new standing-room section is both closer to the stage and more affordable than the seats they already have.

Responding to the feedback, Giang said the standing zone would be partitioned from the seating area and would not obstruct other concert-goers’ view of the stage or any other facet of their experience.

She said the new tickets are cheaper because fully enjoying the show would be more difficult in the standing area than in the more comfortable seated sections.

Personal space in the standing zone would also be taken up on a "first come first served" basis, Giang added.

She also pointed out that there would be fewer standing room tickets than those made available in the events’ two highest-priced ticket categories.

The Irish boy band initially booked only a single concert at HCMC’s Thong Nhat Stadium on Nov. 22, making Vietnam one of eight stops in Asia on their world tour to date, along with Indonesia, Hong Kong, Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia, Taiwan and Thailand.

The venue sold out at a capacity of 15,000 for the original Nov. 22 performance only hours after tickets went on sale Sep. 26.

In response to popular demand, the artists then extended their stay in Vietnam by adding another concert night on Nov. 21.

Westlife were formed in 1998 in Dublin, Ireland with five members. The group disbanded in 2012 before reuniting again in 2018. The current members of the group are Shane Filan, Mark Feehily, Kian Egan, and Nicky Byrne.

The group holds four Guinness World Records, including recognition as the United Kingdom’s top-selling band of the 21st century.

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