- Obama military strategy too weak for future security, panel reports
- Sen. Tom Coburn vows to slow down budget-busting bills ahead of recess
- Obama fantasizes about more executive power, signs new order on federal contractors
- Clintons call Klein, Halper, Kessler ‘a Hat Trick of despicable actors’: report
- Boehner accuses Obama of ‘legacy of lawlessness’
- Pro-marijuana group claims responsibility for Brooklyn Bridge flag swap
- Young adults shun Obamacare mostly due to cost: survey
- Stabbing attack on transgender girl, 15, was ‘bias motivated,’ police say
- LGBT adults still lean overwhelmingly toward Democratic Party
- Lawmakers rattled by Syria genocide horrors, call on Obama to act
Asia a popular place for pop stars to tour
Question of the Day
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — When Lady Gaga launches her hotly anticipated “Born This Way Ball” world tour Friday on what is expected to be an elaborate castlelike stage, fans in Asia will be the first to see it.
The singer leads off her travels with sold-out shows from South Korea to Singapore in a striking upgrade of her Asia itinerary over a previous tour that included only Japan. Western pop stars increasingly are criss-crossing the upwardly mobile region in search of new markets while financial malaise continues to afflict parts of the West - and Asian fans are ecstatic.
“We’re getting so many concerts nowadays, it’s hard to decide which ones to go for,” said Mindy Chew, an information technology consultant in Malaysia who snapped up $120 seats for Lady Gaga’s show in neighboring Singapore within 30 minutes of tickets going on sale.
“Some of these shows are like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I’m expecting lots of drama at Lady Gaga’s show, lots of costume changes,” said Miss Chew, who has caught performances by Gwen Stefani and Michael Buble in recent years in Malaysia’s biggest city, Kuala Lumpur.
The long list of entertainers who have penned Asia into their tour plans this year include chart-toppers Katy Perry, LMFAO, Maroon 5, Nicki Minaj, Jason Mraz, Avril Lavigne and Foster the People.
But fans also are looking forward to artists as varied as Elton John, Morrissey, Christina Perri, Lifehouse, Death Cab for Cutie, Avenged Sevenfold, Backstreet Boys, the Flaming Lips and Manic Street Preachers.
For unbeatable star power, this August’s two-day Summer Sonic Festival in Japan alone is supposed to feature Rihanna, Green Day, Ke$ha, Adam Lambert, Pitbull, Calvin Harris and Gym Class Heroes.
Japan long has been a hub for gigs by Western headliners, but touring activity has been building up in the rest of Asia over the past two years, Alan Ridgeway, president of international markets for Live Nation, the worldwide promoter for Lady Gaga’s shows, told the Associated Press.
The reasons boil down to supply and demand. Asia makes economic sense now because rising disposable income among fans has driven up demand for live entertainment across the region, Mr. Ridgeway said.
“Even though Japan may be able to support three or four shows, this often wasn’t enough to justify the expense of bringing a tour to Asia,” he said. “Now as we see increasing demand from other markets such as South Korea, China and Indonesia, it becomes possible to route a financially viable multidate tour through the region.”
Last year was Live Nation’s most successful in China since it began operating there in 2005, with more than 70 shows by regional and Western artists within a 12-month span, Mr. Ridgeway said.
Persistent economic troubles in the West also have propped up Asia’s importance. Mr. Ridgeway said the touring business in Europe remains healthy, but other promoters believe there has been enough of a downturn there to trigger concerns.
“Some artists have found that ongoing economic problems in the United States and Europe have meant they are experiencing decreased demand for concerts, so Asia is a new market they want to develop to make up for the shortfall,” said Mindy Coppin, the Singapore-based managing director for IMG Artists’ Asia-Pacific operations.
As countries become accustomed to international tours, the logistics become smoother. Singapore, for example, has made it easier for concert organizers to secure visas and permits and lowered taxes on artists’ fees, Miss Coppin said.
TWT Video Picks
Both parties recognize the Democrats' scam
- Inside the Ring: Israel surprised by Hamas tunnel network
- Army's 3-D printed bombs to create 'a whole new universe' of lethal capabilities
- Chicken pox outbreak puts illegal immigrant facility on lockdown
- GOP leaders delay border bill, leave Obama in control
- Report: 40% of weapons sent to Afghanistan are unaccounted for
- CRUZ: A tale of two hospitals: One in Israel, one in Gaza
- Bill Clinton audio surfaces from Sept. 10, 2001: 'I could have killed' Osama bin Laden
- CIA admits improperly hacking Senate computers in search of Bush-era information
- Israel surprised by Hamas tunnel network
- Colorado poll shows women tuning out Democrats' 'war on women' strategy
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world