Thai PM: ‘Singapore paid to stop Taylor playing in neighbouring countries’

Taylor Swift in concert

Featured Image Credit: Paolo V / CC BY 2.0 / Cropped to fit

Thailand’s prime minister has suggested Singapore sought a deal to prevent Taylor Swift from playing in any other nation in the South-East Asia region.

Swift is playing six sold-out shows at the 55,000-seat National Stadium in March, but will not be playing elsewhere in the region.

According to The Guardian, Thai PM Srettha Thavisin said concert promoter AEG had informed him that the Singaporean government offered subsidies of US$2m-$3m a show as part of an exclusivity agreement.

“[AEG] didn’t tell me the exact figure but they said the Singapore government offers subsidies of between $2m and $3m,” Srettha said publicly at a business forum in Bangkok, the newspaper reports. “But the Singaporean government is clever. They told [organisers] not to hold any other shows in [south-east] Asia.”

The Guardian says that AEG has not responded to a request for comment.

The newspaper further added that the Singapore government said the Singapore Tourism Board had supported the event through a grant. It said it “recognised that there will be significant demand from Singaporeans as well as fans across the region for her to perform in Singapore, and worked directly with AEG Presents for Taylor Swift to perform in Singapore”.

Nations such as Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and The Philippines were not included on the current leg of the Eras Tour. Swift recently played dates in Japan and is currently in Australia.

Singapore’s regional hub ambitions

Singapore has a target of attracting 12-14 million international visitors annually, with the staging of major events seen as key to meeting this ambition. As well as hosting a Formula 1 Grand Prix, Guns N’ Roses, Billie Eilish, Blackpink and Harry Styles all played Singapore last year.

Rock group Coldplay recently played across the region with dates in The Philippines, Singapore and Thailand in January. They had previously performed in Japan, Taiwan, Indonesia and Malaysia.

Ed Sheeran is playing a total of nine concerts across Asia between January and March, including two shows in Japan, and single concerts in Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia, before heading to Indonesia, The Philippines and finishing off in India.