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Singapore reveals it lobbied for Taylor Swift to perform in the republic before any dates were announced

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, March 1 — A high-profile team that included a Singapore lawmaker lobbied for pop star Taylor Swift to perform in the republic even before the singer’s international tour dates were announced.

The team, which included Culture, Community and Youth Minister Edwin Tong flew to Los Angeles, where they met up with Swift’s agents and promoters, reported Mothership.

“We saw an opportunity, we negotiated quickly with them, and we closed the deal quite quickly,” Tong said.

Tying with Toronto, Canada and California for the longest run in the entire Eras tour, Tong revealed that they included a request that she make Singapore her last stop for the Asia-Pacific leg.

“And the reason for that was because if the demand was strong — which it was — then we could increase the number of nights. And in the end we did,” he added.

Tong noted the plan to get Swift to perform in Singapore began as early as February last year where a team from Singapore comprising his ministry, SportsSG and Kallang Alive Sports Management, met with various leaders from the sport and entertainment industry, including Swift’s promoter when they saw an opportunity.

“This was even before Taylor Swift had announced any international dates.”

On the cost of bringing Swift’s concerts to Singapore, Tong said he would reveal more details come Monday in Parliament.

Previously, Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin revealed that concert promoter Anschutz Entertainment Group told him the Singapore Government allegedly offered subsidies of up to US$3 million (RM14.3 million) for each concert as subsidies that Swift does not perform in other countries in South-East Asia.

It was later confirmed by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and the Culture, Community and Youth Ministry but it was not revealed how much the payment was.

Philippine lawmaker Joey Salceda meanwhile called Singapore’s South-east Asian exclusive of Swift, “not what good neighbours do”.