'Disappointing': Sistic to offer refund after JJ Lin's Sanctuary Finale virtual concert marred by choppy livestream

PHOTO: JFJ Productions

Ticketing organiser Sistic has apologised and promised fans a refund, after homegrown Mandopop icon JJ Lin's first-ever ticketed virtual concert was marred by streaming issues.

The technical difficulties disrupted the viewing experience of many concert-goers who paid to watch the Sanctuary Finale live show on Saturday night (July 10).

According to fans who took to the comments section of the service provider to complain, problems began from the get-go at 8pm, with viewers facing lagging screens that made it impossible to watch a complete song in full.

PHOTO: Screengrab/Facebook/Sistic
'Black screen of death' experienced by one viewer. PHOTO: Screengrab/Facebook/Sistic

One viewer wrote that Lin had just sung the lyrics "please wait" when the screen hung on her. "Okay, I'll wait," she added haplessly.

PHOTO: Screengrab/Facebook/Sistic

Some others said they received messages that the stream had "reached its peak connection". Either that or they were simply staring at a black screen. However, the situation appeared to get better post-9pm, with a more stable streaming experience for some.

One fan watching from the US said she could only watch four minutes of the 90-minute concert, while another Singapore viewer stated that he managed to catch only 10 minutes of the show.

PHOTO: Screengrab/Facebook/Sistic
PHOTO: Screengrab/Facebook/Sistic

Lin himself acknowledged the technical glitch several times during the show and announced that he would be speaking to the organisers and partners.

The 40-year-old said: "I will definitely communicate this to them and hope that they, Sistic, give everyone a good reparation."

However, not everyone appeared to have experienced the disruptions, with a few lucky ones reporting that they were able to watch the show from start to finish. 

PHOTO: Screengrab/Facebook/Sistic

 

PHOTO: Screengrab/Facebook/Sistic

Several hours after the concert ended, Sistic posted an apology on their Facebook page to fans and other partners. 

They wrote: "We are devastated that despite our best efforts, Sistic was unable to resolve streaming issues with our technical partner whom we rely on for certain aspects of the live broadcast of JJ Lin Sanctuary Finale Virtual Concert at 8pm (GMT) on 10 July 2021.

"Despite our best preparations including conducting stress tests, load tests and catering for double the anticipated demand, the Sistic team encountered unforeseen issues with our technical partner which we immediately investigated but were not able to resolve in a satisfactory manner."

JJ Lin「Sanctuary Finale」Virtual Concert We are devastated that despite our best efforts, SISTIC was unable to resolve...

Posted by SISTIC on Saturday, July 10, 2021

They added that they would be offering a refund as well as the chance to catch the virtual concert at a later date. Those who had bought tickets for the show would be notified by email with further details.

Event partner Unusual Entertainment has also come out to apologise for the experience.

To all patrons who bought tickets via SISTIC, we sincerely apologise for the technical issues which resulted in a...

Posted by Unusual Entertainment Pte Ltd on Saturday, July 10, 2021

Several irate ticket-holders, however, stated that a replay would not be the same as catching the live show, and an option for ticket-holders to replay the concert should have been implemented in the first place. 

PHOTO: Screengrab/Facebook/Sistic

In an email statement to the media, Lin's production company JFJ Productions stated that they are "saddened and disappointed by the viewers' incomplete viewing experience".

PHOTO: AsiaOne

"To perfect the audio and visual content for the show, we have worked tirelessly. We also went through numerous technical runs and discussions with our concert promoter Isotope Productions and streaming partners in hopes of a smooth virtual show.

"We are deeply apologetic to have let the audiences and JJ down at the most pivotal moment and will be doing internal reviews. Right now, we will focus on working with Isotope Productions and Sistic for service recovery and compensation for all affected viewers.

"We thank all fans for their patience and continued support."

Fans of Lin, however, were quick to jump to their idol's defence and hoped that the costs of the refund would not come from Lin's pocket.

PHOTO: Screengrab/Facebook/Sistic

Tickets for the live broadcast from Taiwan were priced from $38 to $188. The show had originally been postponed from June 6 to July 10 due to the worsening Covid-19 situation in Taiwan.

candicecai@asiaone.com