Look what Taylor Swift made S'pore do: Govt said to have offered promotor up to $4 million per show

Oh, mother.

US pop star Taylor Swift is performing in Singapore soon and she seems to be all everyone can talk about.

Even the prime minister of Thailand.

On Feb 16, Thai PM Srettha Thavisin said he was informed by the concert promotor that the Singapore Government offered subsidies of up to US$3 million (S$4 million) for each concert – in exchange for Swift agreeing not to perform elsewhere in South-east Asia during The Eras Tour.

Singapore is Swift’s only stop in Asia apart from Japan.

The Singapore Tourism Board and Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) told The Straits Times that the upcoming shows got the support of the Government in the form of a grant – details withheld on the premise of business confidentiality – as the concerts are likely to generate significant benefits for its economy.

In early 2023, a team from Singapore had flown to Los Angeles to meet leaders from the sports and entertainment world as Swift was about to embark on her US tour. At the time, no international venues had been confirmed for the performer's Eras Tour.

A few months later, the Singapore team, working with concert promoter Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), promised to “deliver Asia” to Swift, thus setting in motion a deal for an unprecedented six-day run of concerts at the National Stadium in Singapore – the only South-east Asian stop of her tour.

“KASM (Kallang Alive Sport Management) initiated the idea (for the tour to come to Singapore) and led the discussions... We were the proactive ‘tip of the spear’ for the Government in these discussions that were had,” said KASM chairman Keith Magnus, speaking to The Straits Times.

KASM is the corporate entity established by MCCY and Sport Singapore to manage the Singapore Sports Hub, including the National Stadium.

“Once the discussion had progressed and we saw the opportunity of holding an only-in-Singapore event, we then thought it made sense to take a whole-of-government approach and brought in other relevant agencies to really have Team Singapore bringing in Team Taylor.”

@straitstimes Singapore reportedly offered subsidies of up to $4 million per concert in exchange for Taylor Swift agreeing to perform here exclusively and not elsewhere in South-east Asia. In response to queries, the authorities said STB gave a grant for the upcoming concerts. #sgnews #theerastour #taylorswift #erastour #theerastoursg ♬ original sound - The Straits Times

More than 300,000 tickets have been sold for the six shows at the 60,000-capacity National Stadium with a large number of fans travelling in from South-east Asia and the rest of the world.

The demand for tickets led to many being scammed online.

On Feb 23, Carousell released a statement that it is "all too well" aware of the fraud on its platform that it has suspended the sale of tickets to Tay Tay' Singapore concerts.

This is the first time that Carousell is suspending concert ticket sales across its six markets in Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Taiwan.

"Noting the rise in ticket scams in the lead up to many of Taylor Swift’s shows across her global tour, as well as Singapore being the only stop in Southeast Asia, Carousell will be suspending ticket sales from Feb 23 to March 9 and removing existing listings on the platform by 26 Feb," said the statement.

"While a vast majority of ticket listings are from genuine sellers, given the unique case of Taylor Swift’s Eras tour, Carousell has made the one-off exception to adopt this approach, and apologises for the inconvenience caused."

Carousell Chief of Staff Su Lin Tan said: "Additionally, we realise that the two weeks leading up to the Eras tour shows are prime for scammers taking advantage of last-minute panic buying of concert tickets.

"Hence we are stepping in to do our part to manage the situation in our platform, and working very closely with the Singapore Police Force."

The police said on Feb 7 that this year, at least 583 people have lost more than $223,000 to e-commerce scams involving the sale of concert tickets, including those for Swift's show.

As the police had warned last year, "you need to calm down" before buying tickets from resellers.

@singaporepoliceforce Be careful when buying concert tickets from online third-party resellers #taylorswift #swifttok #singaporepoliceforce #fyp #foryoupage #tiktoksg #safeguardingeveryday ♬ Swear By It - Chris Alan Lee

Are there Swifties in the Singapore Police Force?