Asia News: Warner Partners With Red Light; Easing Visas; Ed Sheeran And Taylor Swift

"Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour" Posters In Shanghai
TAYLOR IS EVERYWHERE: In this photo illustration, a brochure is seen next to an LED wall promoting the “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” concert film at a cinema in Shanghai, China on Dec. 31. (Photo by Chen Dongjie/VCG via Getty Images)

Visa Ranks Concert-Going

A study by the digital payments solution company Visa found India, Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines to be the Asia-Pacific region’s top five concert-going countries, according to Business Insider.

India is No. 1 with 45%, Vietnam next with 41%, followed by Indonesia at 40% and the Philippines with 38%.

It was found that 37% of Filipinos, in fact, say they have specifically flown overseas for concerts, with South Korea and Singapore being the “top destinations for [Filipino] concertgoers.”

Visa told Business Insider that “this trend is expected to persist in 2024 [among Filipinos], driven by popular acts performing in the region.” Though many major international acts do stop in the Philippines for concerts, Taylor Swift will not play the Philippines during her upcoming tour, so fans with resources have booked flights and accommodations for Singapore, the nearest city where she is performing.

Significantly, the study found that 38% of Filipino respondents said they “consciously” allocate funds for savings, which is above the APAC regional average of 36%.
The intended savings rate for Filipinos averaged 9% of their monthly income.


Warner Music Partners With Red Light Mgmt.

Warner Music Japan has concluded a strategic partnership with the world’s largest independent management company, Red Light Management, to promote the latter’s artists in Japan, according to Digital Music News.

Kaz Shimada, COO at Warner Japan, said in a statement, “In recent years we have worked hard to help international artists connect with local fans as we transitioned from physical to digital. This exciting new partnership is another significant step forward, as we combine our experience promoting some of the biggest global stars in Japan with Red Light Management’s super-talented managers and amazing roster of artists.”

Some of the artists Red Light represents include Dave Matthews Band, Enrique Iglesias, Lady A, Lionel Ritchie, Phish, The Strokes, Sabrina Carpenter and Interpol.

The first joint project will be the Canadian act Ghostly Kisses, which performed in Japan for the first time in December.

ISA Eases Visa Conditions

Japan’s Immigration Services Agency has “eased conditions” for foreign entertainers to obtain visas to perform in Japan, according to Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper.

Late last year, the government moved to shorten the period needed to issue a Certificate of Eligibility – the document needed to apply for an entertainment work visa – by as much as two months.

In the past, the application period made it difficult for local promoters to invite overseas artists to perform in Japan at short notice, but the government has indicated it wants to encourage more foreign entertainment activities in order to “promote international cultural exchanges and invigorate the economy.”

It is the second time the immigration agency has revised entertainment visa conditions since August.

Previously, the agency extended the number of days a foreign entertainer can remain in Japan as well as widen the range of venue sizes where entertainers can perform.
The new measures specifically target artists coming to Japan for concerts and music festivals.

The main condition for expedited visas is that the applications for Certificates of Eligibility be submitted by “agents who have a certain track record,” said the Yomiuri, “such as not having been in arrears in payments to artists in the past three years.”

In such cases, the agency will issue the certificate in “two to three weeks” rather than “one to three months,” which is the length of time it took to issue the certificates in the past.
The procedure will also be simplified. Previously, applicants had to attach floor plans and photos of the venues where the artist was to perform. Those will no longer be necessary.

Consequently, planning Japan concert tours will become much easier both for the artists and the local organizers.


Ed Sheeran Adds Capitol Theater Gig

Ed Sheeran announced Jan. 5 he would play “an intimate one-night-only” concert at the Capitol Theater in Singapore on Feb. 17, one day after he performs in the same city at the National Stadium, which is already sold out.

The concert is being organized by AEG Presents Asia along with KrisFlyer, the rewards program of Singapore Airlines. KrisFlyer members can use miles they’ve accumulated to purchase tickets right now (63,000 for standing, 78,000 for seats).

The Capitol Theater is an historic landmark that first opened in 1930 as a movie theater.
At the time, it was considered the most modern auditorium in Asia. It closed in 1998 and after being renovated reopened in 2015 with the world premiere of a locally produced musical.


Taylor’s ‘Eras’ Film Takes China

Taylor Swift’s record-breaking concert movie “The Eras Tour”” opened in China on New Year’s Eve and as of Jan. 6 surpassed $5 million in box office revenues in the country, according to various media, so the singer herself sent her Chinese fans a message on her Weibo account.

Neither X nor Instagram is allowed in China, so in order for non-Chinese stars to access fans and potential fans they have to use the most popular local social media site, Weibo. Nevertheless, the message encouraged friends to “keep singing and dancing” and did not make any specific reference to China but simply mentioned that her movie was “still in theaters.”