Is Namie Amuro's S'pore concert cancelled?

17 April 2013 / 3 years 6 months ago

Is Japanese pop superstar Namie Amuro cancelling her April 26 concert at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, which would be her first ever here?When The Straits Times checked her official website, it said yes, the concert has been called off due to "local technical reasons".But according to Midas Promotions, the local promoter of the gig, negotiations were underway as of yesterday for the show to go on.When Life! called the ticketing agency Sistic, a staff member said it is still selling tickets to the show.The Chinese press had reported on Sunday that Amuro's website had announced the cancellation of the concert last Friday.According to the Chinese press, the website had said the Singapore leg of her Asia tour in celebration of her 20th anniversary in show business has been cancelled due to issues concerning the local promoter.As of yesterday, the site said the cancellation was due to "local technical reasons".The concert's cancellation came as a great shock to fans, who have been posting comments on Midas Promotions' Facebook page demanding an explanation.Out of more than 160 comments seen at press time, some blamed Midas for the lack of promotion for Amuro's concert, resulting in what fans said were lacklustre ticket sales.A check by Life! yesterday afternoon found that tickets to, all but one category, Category 6 priced at $168, were still available, even for as many as 10 seats in a row.Amuro, 35, is one of the most popular Japanese pop acts who have sold more than 30 million copies of her singles and 10 studio albums.But some fans said J-pop is no longer as popular as in its heyday back in the 1980s and 1990s.Ms Tang Pin-Ji, 27, a freelancer who occasionally runs language exchange programmes, says: "I think J-pop is definitely dying compared to K-pop. The general trend is moving towards K-pop because Japan is a very localised market.''But she adds that there is still a market for J-pop, judging from the number of students who sign up for a language exchange group that she runs.She says: "There are quite a number of people who learn Japanese and are very enthusiastic about it, so they do follow pop culture in Japan. It's just that proportion-wise, it definitely isn't as big as Korean pop. Perhaps K-pop just has much better marketing."Mr Aw Weijie, 28, an animal care officer at SPCA, agrees with her. He has bought the $288 tickets, the most expensive category.He says: "I think it's expected that there'll be many seats empty at the concert because J-pop is not that popular anymore in Singapore. Most people who were interested in J-pop more than 10 years, ago are grown-up now and may already have lost interest in the J-pop singers they used to love when they were teenagers."But sales executive Pauline Chua, 28, who bought two $218 tickets to the concert next week, does not think that support for J-pop has waned."I think Namie would sell out if she was promoted properly. I think the promotion wasn't done very well. It's not as if there's no market for J-pop here. L'Arc-en-Ciel did very well when they came here for their concert in April last year."L'Arc-en-Ciel are a veteran rock band in the Japanese music industry and their first concert here last year drew a 6,800-strong crowd at the Indoor Stadium.

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