The New Paper
September 6, 2016
Some fans who attended The Invincible Jay Chou Concert Tour last Saturday got a rude shock when they realised they could hardly hear their idol at the National Stadium, and have gone online to express their frustration.
Even those seated near the stage could not make out the Taiwanese Mandopop superstar's voice at times, complaining his vocals were drowned out by the bass and that the reverb was too strong throughout the sold-out two-and-a-half-hour show.
In addition, they alleged ventilation and crowd control issues as concert organiser Multimedia Entertainment and venue provider Singapore Sports Hub struggled to accommodate the over 40,000-strong crowd.
Tickets were priced between $88 and $338.
A petition was even started on website GoPetition last Sunday, asking organisers to give patrons a refund, and had garnered over 900 signatures at press time.
Mr Goh Ying Sheng, a 28-year-old media producer, told The New Paper yesterday that he started the petition to hold organisers accountable for the gig's shortcomings.
He said: "What happened on Saturday was a repeat of the situation at Jay's concert two years ago. Back then, organisers said they would take our feedback into account, but this year, the sound quality was also bad."
The backlash smacked of deja vu, as the 37-year-old Chou's last National Stadium show here for his Opus 2 Jay 2014 World Tour led some fans to gripe when the sound was muffled and the venue's retractable roof leaked during a rainstorm.
In response, the roof was repaired last year, with additional flashing, or rain deviators, installed to channel water more efficiently.
However, sound issues continued to plague this year's concert.
Mr Goh alleged that organisers had indicated on the seating charts that speakers would be placed around the sides of the stadium, but this was not the case.
He conceded that since he paid $118 for his Category 6 ticket, the third-cheapest tier available, he was not expecting to see much of the concert.
Still, he was very disappointed with the poor audio.
"My friend watching the show with me said even getai performances had better sound. He could hear them from a few blocks away in his home, but the sound at Jay's concert was so bad, we kept asking the people next to us what he was saying.
"We couldn't even tell which songs he was singing, since we could not see the on-screen lyrics clearly. If I can't hear a concert in person, I might as well watch it at home on YouTube."
Mr Goh said he was hoping for at least a partial refund, and for organisers to account for the show's failings.
When contacted by TNP, Multimedia Entertainment and Sports Hub said in a joint statement that from feedback, many of the over 40,000 attendees had a positive stadium concert experience, but noted that patrons in some sections had issues with the sound quality.
"For Jay Chou's second concert in Singapore, sound engineers were engaged by Multimedia to advise on the sound system and set-up. The quality of the speakers was improved from Opus 2, and the location of some speakers was also changed from the seating map to minimise obstruction of view.
"We take all feedback seriously and will continue to work towards improving patron experience."
Church staff member Ding Lean Sing, 33, who paid $238 for his Category 3 ticket, agreed the organisers should issue refunds.
"Towards the end of the concert, I could not hear any vocals at all. Basically it was just bass and loud music," he told TNP.
"I also could not see the stage from my seat, which is kind of ridiculous given I was sitting in Category 3. I don't regret going, but I feel the organisers could have priced the tickets better."
But not all of Chou's fans are crying foul.
A moderator for his local fan club Jay2u Singapore, a 31-year-old architect who only wanted to be known as Miss Ng, felt it would be "too unreasonable" to ask for refunds.
She paid $338 to sit in Category 1 seats, the priciest section, and admitted that both the acoustics and lighting were unsatisfactory.
She told TNP: "I would rather set up a petition to have Jay's concerts at the Singapore Indoor Stadium instead, which is a smaller but better venue. Perhaps he can perform (there) for a few nights, like his (upcoming) week-long tour at the Hong Kong Coliseum."
This article was first published on September 6, 2016.
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