Asia News: Live Nation, Busan Partner On Arena; Malaysia: More Coldplay Ticket Troubles; Taiwan: Scalp A Ticket, Go To Jail

TICKETING TURMOIL: Coldplay tickets are always a hot commodity, as shown here in Buenos Aires on Oct. 26, but Live Nation Malaysia says it will cancel any tickets bought from scalpers in that country. (Juan Mabromata/AFP via Getty Images)



Live Nation, Busan Partner On Arena

Live Nation has formed a partnership with the city of Busan in South Korea in order to develop an arena and multi-cultural entertainment complex. The arena will hold 20,000 persons and the complex will contain an exhibition center, hotels and an educational facility to train new talent in various Korean cultural endeavors.

According to IQ Magazine, Live Nation will manage the venue, and a local Live Nation team will advise on content and concert promotion.

During a news conference, Live Nation president and CEO, Michael Rapino, said, “As we continue to expand our global venue business, Busan will be an important touring hub for global superstars who are touring more of the world, as well as K-pop and local artists. We’re excited to help create more opportunities for artists and fans to connect, while also contributing to the growing tourism in the city.”

Busan’s role will be to assist with approval procedures and administrative support. At present, three sites in the city are being inspected for the complex. At the same news conference, the mayor of Busan, Park Hong-joon, said, “The arena will become a hub of tourism empowered by K-pop, contributing to the local and national economy. The complex will create many opportunities and synergies with other cultural organizations in Busan.”


More Coldplay Ticketing Challenges

Coldplay’s big fall tour of Asia continues to provide challenges to local promoters.

The Star reports that Live Nation Malaysia, the organizers of the group’s Kuala Lumpur show, announced that tickets purchased from scalpers will be canceled if “the sale is found to have breached terms and conditions.”

The announcement was made in response to complaints on social media that tickets were being “hoarded” by scalpers and resold at wildly inflated prices.

Para Rajagopal, managing director of Live Nation Malaysia, said tickets for the Nov. 22 concert, Coldplay’s first in Malaysia, cannot be resold per the terms stated for the sale. So far, no tickets have been canceled, and Para said they will only do so when there is sufficient proof that the terms have been violated.

“It takes a while to investigate, so we don’t want to jump to any conclusions,” he told the Star. He also acknowledged that tickets already sold are difficult to track.

Basically, the company is watching for resellers on social media to determine violations. It was on social media that observers found about 400 tickets were being resold at much higher prices. The main problem is that there seem to be plenty of people who are willing and able to spend exorbitantly for tickets.

The Straits Times reported that one potential buyer offered on the resale site Carousell RM111,111 ($24,000) for an unspecified number of tickets.

One problem, said Para, is that Malaysia has no laws to regulate the problem. “It took a show like Coldplay to open everybody’s eyes to what’s going on in our industry,” he said. In fact, petitions have circulated online to demand a second Coldplay show in the country after it was reported that the group had organized a second show in Taiwan after the first one sold out in three hours.

Another executive of Live Nation Malaysia denied reports that the ticketing system crashed during the initial sale, pointing out that they still managed to sell out all the tickets in a matter of hours. However, the company admitted that the “backend checking” required for the sale did slow things down and that they would have to improve the system.


Scalp A Ticket, Go To Jail

Taiwan passed a law that will punish ticket scalpers with prison sentences, according to a May 16 article in Korea’s JoongAng Daily. The move was reportedly in response to extremely high resale prices for concerts that took place in March by the K-pop group Blackpink.

The new legislation will hit scalpers with penalties of up to three years in prison and fines that would equal up to 50 times the face value of the tickets sold.

Taiwan’s Ministry of Culture will work directly with police to “take down scalpers and those seeking profit from ticket reselling,” said the article. The ministry plans to initiate a system where buyers’ names will be registered when purchasing tickets and will also develop a special platform where tickets can be traded and resold responsibly. In addition, whistleblowers who report scalping activities can receive a reward that equals 20 percent of the perpetrator’s fine.