A $1.5 million show?
Concert organiser says tickets for Super Junior’s first S’pore concert will not be more than $300
By Kwok Kar Peng
August 31, 2010
KOREAN boy band Super Junior will hold a concert for the first time in Singapore in January.
PICTURE: SM ENTERTAINMENT
And fans can expect an extravagant show along the likes of Aaron Kwok and Jay Chou as it’s touted to be one of the most expensive concerts to be held here. (See report on facing page.)
Concert organiser Running Into The Sun, an affiliate of Fly Entertainment, told The New Paper it believes the concert production cost will exceed its initial budget of $1.5 million.
Mr Terence Ang, 45, chief marketing officer for Fly Entertainment, said the Super Junior Super Show 3 here will follow the recent one held in Seoul as closely as possible, down to the stage design.
The popular group is known for its hit songs like Sorry, Sorry and Bonamana.
The group currently has 13 members but only 10 will perform at the concert. The other three are currently out of action as one is in national service, one is pursuing an acting career, and one is considering leaving the group.
But despite its high production cost, the concert, which will be held at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Jan 29, will not mean sky-high ticket prices for fans.
Tickets, which will be on sale via Sistic from November, will not exceed $300, said Mr Ang.
A major highlight of the concert is the huge stage, which The New Paper understands will cost more than US$500,000 (S$679,000) to set up.
Mr Mac Chan, 40, project director for the concert, said the stage will have a unique design.
He was in Seoul to view the Super Show 3 on Aug 15.
‘The usual concert stage allows only the audience in front to get close to the performers,’ he said.
‘But with Super Show 3, the stage will have runways leading out to form a circle.’
He added that there will be four standing mosh pits within the circle, a second stage in the centre and three raised platforms.
Mr Chan, who was the lighting director for the last two National Day Parades, said that the huge stage set-up will allow the 10 band members to appear at different locations during the show.
So far yet so close
This means even those seated at the back will be able to get up close and personal with their idols.
Miss Cheryl Han, in her 20s, a publicist for Fly Entertainment, agreed. She was at the Seoul concert too and sat in the upper section.
‘In some concerts, you see only a small shadow of the performer but not with Super Junior. No matter where you sit, the boys come very close to you,’ she said.
‘They even ‘flew’ to (the audience sitting at the back) while wearing wire harnesses and threw confetti at the audience.
‘If you are seated at the right spot, you can probably even touch them if you jump up.’
Miss Han added that the band members also appeared on raised wheeled platforms and were pushed along the aisles to get closer to the fans.
But whether the group will do the same stunts during its Singapore concert depends on whether it will be approved by the authorities here, said Mr Chan.
While the production team wants the stage in Singapore to be exactly the same as the one in Seoul, they have met with an obstacle.
The Singapore Indoor Stadium is rectangular while the Seoul concert venue is a perfect circle.
The former is also slightly smaller.
Mr Chan added: ‘The Korean venue allowed the concert organisers to remove some of the seats to create the stage extensions, but we are not sure yet if this is possible with the Singapore Indoor Stadium.’
Super Junior supporter Miss Nor Hidayah Mohd Idris, 23, an editorial assistant, told The New Paper that she’s very excited about the impending concert.
A fan for slightly more than a year, Miss Nor Hidayah has even travelled to Kuala Lumpur to watch the group’s Super Show 2 in March. She spent about $500 in total.
When she was in Korea for a holiday in May, she made a trip to a radio station in Seoul to watch two Super Junior members record their radio show.
She also went to the group’s music showcase here in June.
For the concert in January, she said she’s willing to pay up to $250 for a ticket.
‘I went on fan forums and blogs to view photos taken at the Super Show 3 (in Korea),’ she said.
‘It seems fun because it’s interactive. The large stage is very good because they can interact with fans seated in different areas.
‘But it also means that the members will be scattered and you won’t get to see some members as often than if the stage is smaller.’
Superstars, super expensive
FORKING out at least $1.5 million to stage the Super Junior concert here seems like a huge risk.
Especially since concert organiser Running Into The Sun is a new kid on the block. The company, which has its beginnings as a special projects unit in Irene Ang’s Fly Entertainment, was formed officially in July last year .
But Fly’s chief marketing officer Terence Ang said they wanted to show that the company was able to handle a big-scale concert.
He added: ‘There were initial concerns about the cost. But after we did the Super Junior showcase in June, we knew what kind of fans the group has and we are assured that we can bring in the concert.’
The Super Junior Galaxy Showcase, presented by Samsung and SingTel in June, gave away tickets with every purchase of a mobile phone. All 2,000 tickets were snapped up within hours, Mr Ang said.
He added that ticket-holders also queued 37 hours at the showcase venue so they could get the best spot at the free-standing event.
This is not the first concert organised by Running Into The Sun. It had previously organised the Swing Out Sister concert at East Coast Park last December, attended by about 1,000 people.
And as the special project unit in Fly, it had also organised shows such as the annual Vlee Conference, a stand-up comedy show which has been running since 2007.
Mr Ang said the Super Show 3 has already attracted more than five ‘big sponsors’, including a telecommunications company, a beverage company and a bank.
The $1.5 million bill does not include accommodation and food for the Korean entourage of 80, made up of artistes, dancers, designers, engineers, production crew, administrative staff, producers and security.
The hefty price tag has put Super Junior in the same league as big names like Hong Kong’s Aaron Kwok, Taiwan’s Jay Chou, Korea’s Rain and British band Muse.
Director of Scorpio East Productions Adeline Low, in her late 30s, told The New Paper that Chou’s recent The Era 2010 World Tour in July had cost more than $2 million.
The sum included concert production costs, advertising and promotions, air tickets, accommodation and food.
Aaron Kwok’s De Show Reel concert in May last year cost more than $1 million, she added.
Scorpio East Productions had organised both concerts.
When Rain came
Another concert that chalked up a bill of $2million was Rain’s Coming World Tour brought here by Unusual Entertainment in January 2007. Ms Koh San Chin, 32, marketing manager of Unusual Entertainment, said it was one of the most expensive concerts the company has organised.
She added: ‘It was mainly because production costs were high. There were six cargo containers of props, lots of pyrotechnics and special effects.
‘For example, it ‘rained’ for the first time in the Singapore Indoor Stadium, and there was a conveyor belt.
‘There was also a 110-member crew who all stayed in the same six-star hotel.’
The founder of LAMC Productions Lauretta Alabons, who declined to reveal her age, told us that the Muse concert which her company had organised in February this year had cost more than $1.5 million.
But she declined to reveal more details.