Come Dec 27, might Taiwanese pop superstar Jay Chou have to perform to empty seats here?
His show at the National Stadium, originally scheduled for Nov 8, was sold out, with more than 30,000 tickets snapped up by local and regional fans.
Since it was postponed to Dec 27 over concerns about the condition of the pitch for a later football tournament, concert organiser Multimedia Entertainment said it has issued "several hundred" refunds. It added that tickets for the show are now available across all categories from $108 to $338.
A number of ticket-holders Life! spoke to were dismayed that the new date clashes with their travel plans during the year-end vacation period.
If the returned tickets are not taken up, Chou would not be performing before a sold-out crowd here. His previous concerts at the Indoor Stadium in 2010 and last year were sold out over three consecutive nights on both occasions.
Even if the official refunded tickets find new buyers, there could still be a significant number of empty seats. Some ticket-holders say they are unable to get refunds from the official ticketing agent Sports Hub Tix as they bought their tickets from a third party, such as an online reseller.
One of them is administration officer Eve Lim's 19-year-old daughter, who saved up $500 from her internship to buy two tickets from an online reseller and is now unable to attend the concert.
Ms Lim, 50 , says: "We've already booked a trip to Bangkok but it clashes with the new concert date. My girl has already deleted the contact of the online reseller. When I called Sports Hub Tix, they said I can't get a refund unless the original buyer goes down personally to get it."
Ticket holders unable to get refunds from the ticketing agent have resorted to trying to sell their tickets on social media platforms.
Jay2u Singapore, a fan club here, bought tickets in bulk for its members and posted a message on its page addressing those who had bought tickets through it: "As the fanclub tickets are from the concert organiser, we need to return the tickets to it before SportsHub can refund the cash. A less cumbersome way is I suggest you try to sell instead of refund. Fanclub tickets seatings are quite good, so there won't be a problem with selling."
Multimedia Entertainment says it has only the records of original ticket buyers and "refunds have to be sought through the same avenue the tickets were bought".
The spokesman adds that fan clubs often buy tickets in bulk for concerts.
"They want to come dressed up and sit together. It's difficult for them to buy the tickets because the take-up rate is high for Jay Chou's concerts. We set a limit on the number of tickets bought per transaction via Sports Hub Tix."
When Life! called the Sports Hub Tix hotline, the operator said that tickets bought using a credit card can be refunded by crediting the amount back to the account. Tickets bought with cash requires the original buyer to obtain a refund.
Multimedia Entertainment says negotiations with Chou's camp for the postponement went smoothly, but its spokesman declines to comment on whether there was any compensation made to his team or if compensation was made to the concert organiser by venue organiser Sports Hub.
Mr Ngiam Kwang Hwa, managing director of concert promoter One Production, says compensations are unlikely in the case of postponements because the venue owner would have likely issued a contract with a clause that gives them the right to postpone or cancel the event.
"It's up to the two parties to work it out and it would be based on goodwill. The concert promoter may ask for help from the venue owner to help cushion their financial losses. It could come in the form of a rental discount."
The postponed concert comes on the heels of an ongoing saga over the condition of the pitch at the stadium. This is to allow the Suzuki Cup tournament organised by the ASEAN Football Federation to be held at the same venue from Nov 23.
The federation stipulates a minimum 15-day rest period for the pitch before the month-long tournament starts. During that time, no activity is supposed to be conducted on the field.
Book it OPUS 2 JAY 2014 WORLD TOUR Where: National Stadium When: Dec 27, 8pm Admission: $108 to $338 via Sports Hub Tix (call 6333-5000 or go to sportshubtix.sg)
This article was first published on October 25, 2014.
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