Asia: Ariana Grande, Asagiri Jam, Grammys

Police Bolstered For Ariana Grande Shows

Ariana Grande
John Davisson
– Ariana Grande
Amway Center, Orlando, Fla.

Police will be out in force at Ariana Grande‘s Tokyo area concerts on Aug. 10, Aug. 12 and Aug. 13, the singer’s first Japan shows following the terrorist attacks that targeted her Manchester concert in May.

The police will have riot gear, sniffer dogs, a bomb disposal unit and a special squad armed with submachine guns, according to Asahi Shimbun.

About 66,000 people will attend the three concerts at the Makuhari Messe Convention Center in Chiba City. Normally, promoters are responsible for all security at concerts in Japan, no matter how large, usually by hiring private security, but in this case local police will be augmented by both uniformed and plainclothes officers shipped in from surrounding departments.

In addition, the promoter will implement tighter screening of bags and institutue body checks as well.

Only transparent bags will be allowed into the venue itself.

‘The Real Fuji’?

Asagiri Jam, a two-day festival that takes place in Japan during the first weekend of October, is called by many of its fans “the real Fuji Rock Festival” because it actually takes place at the foot of Mount Fuji and is organized by the same promoter, Smash Corporation.

Because it is so popular, Smash doesn’t bother revealing the lineup until the week before it takes place. By then, all tickets are usually sold out.

This year, Smash decided to release the roster of artists to coincide with Fuji Rock, which took place at the end of July. The artists this year include Belle and Sebastian, Carl Craig, Garland Jeffreys, Martha High, Theo Parrish, Wilko Johnson, Noname, UA, Suchmos, Roth Bart Baron and others.

Grammys On Tour

The Recording Academy announced plans to launch a tour of China in 2018 featuring Grammy-award winning artists and nominees performing live. The Recording Academy runs the Grammy Awards.

There is a catch, however. Chinese authorities have demanded that the artists adhere to strict conditions of propriety, which means that artists who have fallen afoul of the Chinese government in the past, such as Justin BieberLady GagaBjork and Bon Jovi, will not be welcome on the tour.

The RA has agreed to these conditions, according to various media. In a Reuters report, Neil Portnow, president and chief executive officer of the Recording Academy, said, “If there are restrictions and things in that nature, we have to be respectful,” though he also hopes that restrictions on some foreign artists will soon be lifted in China.

“I don’t think it’s our place to get into a negotiation with a government about something or an issue of that type,” Portnow said during the event. “I think that’s not our role, and there may be individual cases, but not that many that I’m aware of. We’d certainly be happy to have a dialogue about it.”

China is in the midst of a campaign to remove any content from its entertainment sector that it considers “inappropriate and unhealthy,” terms whose lack of specificity tends to baffle outsiders but which Chinese authorities use with increasing frequency.

“We will promote artists with a positive and healthy image,” said Steven Fock, an official with music event organizer Bravo Entertainment, which will work with the Recording Academy on the live Grammy tour, along with another company called China Music Vision.

As with the American movie and theme park industries, the Chinese market has become very important to the American music industry, whose growth at home has slowed over the years.

Last year, a livestream of the Grammy Awards was available in China that attracted almost 11 million viewers.

As a result, the Recording Academy has said it will build its first overseas Grammy Museum in China.

Hong Kong Concert Clash

Hong Kong businessman Tang Wai-yip is reportedly suing Yiu Wing Entertainment for “unreturned investment costs and profits” for helping organize six concerts in the Chinese territory during 2013 and 2014.

Yiu Wing Entertainment was founded by Cheung Yiu-wing, who has been called the “father of concerts” in Hong Kong. Tang claims that the company owes him HK$3.65 million ($467,000). Among the performers who appeared at the disputed concerts were some of the biggest names in Asian pop: w-inds from Japan, SHINee from South Korea, Taiwanese folk singer Tsai Chin; not to mention Cantopop superstars Joey Yung, Sam Hui Koon-ki and the rap group LMF, according to the South China Morning Post.

Tang reportedly invested HK$5,100,942 in the shows, for which Yiu Wing Entertainment was to procure the performers and pass on to Tang “details of revenue, cost and profit or loss for the concerts.”

It was Yiu Wing’s job to “engag[e] promoters, which would take Tang’s money as production costs.”

After each concert, the company would collect the production costs and profits from the promoters “on behalf of Tang” and return them to him. They would then divide the profits or losses. However, Tang claims he received no money from Yiu Wing, even though it’s been reported that the company successfully collected the money from the promoters. Apparently, the proceeds were placed with the company “on trust.” Complicating the matter is that Cheung died in March 2014 at the age of 82 and his company was liquidated five months later.

According to the suit, “It will be unconscionable for the company to retain the receivables and proceeds received from the promoters of the concerts for its own benefit, given the arrangements between the company and the plaintiff … and the fact that the payments were not paid by the company out of its own assets in the first place.”

The suit asks the relevant court to declare that Tang’s money remains in trust with Cheung’s company and that “inquiries should be permitted about transactions relating to the concerts.”

Tang wants at least HK$3.65 million. Yiu Wing Entertainment, formerly known as Fine Elegant, put on more than 1,000 concerts and stage shows featuring Hong Kong’s most noted entertainers, including Leslie Cheung and Anita Mui.

Go-Jek Acquires Ticketing Company

The Indonesian company Go-Jek, which operates a ticket purchasing service that allows consumers to buy movie tickets through a dedicated app, has announced it is acquiring the event management and ticketing company LOKET for an undisclosed sum.

Go-Jek says that LOKET will “tap into” its ticket purchasing service, called Go-Tix, which currently offers more than 250 events and tickets to the CGV and Cinemaxx cinema networks, according to Deal Street Asia.

Go-Jek CEO Nadiem Makarim told the website the acquisition will help his company become the “leading on-demand services provider in Indonesia to meet the daily needs of consumers.”

In detail, Makarim pointed out that the collaboration will help alleviate ongoing event-related problems in ticket distribution, audience management and the “provision of innovative entertainment.”

In return, the acquisition will “solidify LOKET’s position as the largest player in the events and entertainment industry,” said LOKET CEO Edy Sulistyo, “utilizing Go-Jek’s cashless payments technology… Promoters can also understand their customers better from increased consumer behavior data.”

LOKET was established in 2013, and is said to have been responsible for 80 percent of the large-scale music events in Indonesia. As of June 2017 the Go-Jek app has been downloaded more than 44 million times. It also competes with Uber and Grab in Indonesia as a ride hailing service.