The Prime Minister of Thailand claims that Singapore attempted to secure a contract for exclusive rights to host Taylor Swift concerts in Southeast Asia.

The Prime Minister of Thailand claims that Singapore attempted to secure a contract for exclusive rights to host Taylor Swift concerts in Southeast Asia.

The leader of Thailand has stated that Singapore attempted to negotiate with Taylor Swift in order to stop her from performing in other parts of southeast Asia during her Eras tour.

According to Srettha Thavisin, the concert promoter AEG informed him that the government of Singapore offered financial assistance of US$2 million to $3 million per show as part of a exclusive partnership.

In March, Swift will be performing at the National Stadium in Singapore for six consecutive sold-out shows, with a capacity of 55,000 seats.

Srettha, speaking at a business conference in Bangkok, stated that [AEG] did not disclose the specific amount, but mentioned that the Singapore government provides subsidies ranging from $2m to $3m. However, the Singaporean government has implemented a strategic approach by instructing [organisers] to refrain from organizing any other events in [south-east] Asia.

AEG has not yet replied to a request for comment.

The Singaporean government announced that the Singapore Tourism Board provided a grant for the event. They acknowledged the high demand from both Singaporeans and fans in the surrounding region for Taylor Swift to perform in Singapore, and collaborated with AEG Presents to make it happen.

Swift’s supporters in south-east Asia were deeply let down when it was revealed last year that she would not be visiting most of the region and would only make a stop in Singapore during her Eras tour. Even for those who could afford to travel to see her, getting tickets proved to be a challenge; numerous fans asked their family and friends to register on their behalf and endured long online queues.

Aside from Singapore, the tour also covers Japan and Australia. Fans who were fortunate enough to obtain tickets for Singapore have arranged extensive and costly trips, including boat, bus, and plane transportation, just to catch a glimpse of her. Swift has a strong following in Southeast Asia, with Quezon City in the Philippines being recognized by Spotify as the fifth-highest city in terms of her listeners worldwide.

The Singapore concerts are expected to bring a major boost to the tourism sector, and Swift’s visit has been celebrated by officials. The minister for community, culture and youth, Edwin Tong, said when the tour dates were announced that it was an example of the calibre of events Singapore was targeting “to augment our offerings to Singaporeans and tourists alike”.

In other parts of South-East Asia, supporters have previously attributed the scarcity of tour dates to issues such as inadequate infrastructure, political instability, and the beliefs of conservative Muslim organizations.

Numerous fans of Taylor Swift in Thailand remember when her concert in Bangkok was cancelled in 2014 due to the military coup under the reign of former prime minister Prayuth Chan-ocha. In Malaysia, there are concerns that it may become more difficult for international performers to hold concerts, following criticism over a homosexual kiss between members of the band 1975 at a show in July.