Indonesia Plans Exclusive Concerts to Compete with Singapore’s Taylor Swift Show

Denpasar. Chief Investment Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan is suggesting the organization of exclusive music concerts to compete with Singapore, which recently hosted a similar event featuring global pop sensation Taylor Swift.

“What Singapore is offering, we’ll do the same for other artists. We must be willing to compete. If Singapore can profit, why can’t we?” said Luhut in Denpasar, Bali, on Thursday.

Minister Luhut revealed that discussions have already taken place regarding this plan, and a decision has been made that within six months, an entertainment business operator will secure contracts with other artists and organize concerts.

Minister Luhut acknowledged that such exclusive events generate significant revenue, including foreign exchange earnings and full hotel occupancy for days.

“For two weeks, you can’t go to Singapore because there’s a Taylor Swift show there, nine days of fully booked hotels,” he explained.

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong was grilled on the ASEAN-Australia Summit sidelines on Tuesday about an exclusive deal his city-state struck with Swift that prevents the singer from taking her Eras Tour to any other stop in Southeast Asia.

The Singaporean leader confirmed that Swift was provided with “certain incentives” in exchange for making Singapore her only Southeast Asian destination on her Eras Tour.

Lee did not reveal the cost of the exclusive deal, which was paid for from a government fund established to rebuild tourism after Covid-19 disruptions. He also did not directly answer when asked if he had encountered bad blood among other leaders due to the deal, instead suggesting that if Singapore hadn’t struck an exclusive deal, a neighboring country might have done so.

“It has turned out to be a very successful arrangement. I don’t see that as being unfriendly,” Lee said.

Swift is performing six concerts from March 2 to 9 in Singapore, and some Southeast Asian neighbors complain that the Singapore deal deprives them of the tourism boom her concerts bring to hosts. Her Eras Tour shattered records when it reportedly surpassed $1 billion last year, and her film adaptation of the tour quickly took No. 1 at the box office and became the highest-grossing concert film to date.



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