Live simulcast for Stones

SINGAPORE - Good news for The Rolling Stones fans who could not get tickets to the band's gig next month at the Marina Bay Sands: The concert will be telecast live on March 15 at the integrated resort's outdoors Event Plaza for free.

The band's performance in the Grand Ballroom will be screened on a 14m-wide giant LED screen, in what industry players believe is the first live simulcast of a concert here.

The screening is part of the Marina Bay Sands Rocks Singapore music festival and will be preceded by live performances by veterans from the local club rock scene - A-List with Douglas O., ZulTania, Heritage, Jive Talkin' and John Molina & Krueger.

The festival is scheduled to start at 4pm and the Stones' gig will be screened at 8pm.

In its press release, MBS says the festival is part of the company's corporate social responsibility programme, Sands For Singapore.

Tickets to the Stones' concert, which cost $250 to $700, sold out within two hours when they went on sale last Friday. As of Thursday, scalpers were selling tickets for as much as $1,680 on ticket reseller websites.

The Grand Ballroom will seat 5,500 people for the show while the Event Plaza can hold up to 10,000.

Long-time Stones fans such as writer Joseph Pereira, 60, who did not buy the concert tickets as he found them too expensive, is happy that he will get to see the live telecast.

"It's a good gesture by the organisers. Even though we're just watching a screen, the excitement will be there because we're watching the band play in real time."

However, musician Audie Ng has concerns about the audio levels of the telecast.

"I didn't get tickets so I'll go for this telecast. But it still won't be the same as being inside the venue. You won't get the full audio impact of being in front of the concert stage."

Mr Michael Roche, the managing director of veteran gig promoter Lushington Entertainments, says having a telecast of the Stones show is a "great idea".

His company has done similar live telecasts before but only for concerts staged outside Singapore.

He adds: "I think it's a good effort, but it probably works only when tickets are sold out and the venue is in a central location such as MBS, as opposed to a distant field or carpark. Anything that brings live music closer is good.

A spokesman for One Production, which organises mainly gigs by Mandarin acts, says having the live simulcast is new to the concert scene here.

The company has done live streaming online through YouTube for two concerts that they did in Taiwan. One was a free show, which they streamed in its entirety, while the other was a paid concert, of which they streamed only the first three minutes.

"Streaming it live at an outdoor venue is something we might consider, but our concern is that fans who have already bought tickets might not think it's fair," says the spokesman.

Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to for more stories.