The next best thing to live concerts

SHARED PASSION: Fans of Taiwanese band Mayday enjoying their latest concert movie at Golden Village Plaza Singapura. The fervent support of fans here has fuelled ticket sales for concert movies.


    Sep 27, 2013

    The next best thing to live concerts

    WAVING colour-changing light sticks to heart-thumping beats, fans sang along to the catchy tunes of Taiwanese rock band Mayday.

    No, this wasn't a live concert. It was a gig screened in a cinema at Plaza Singapura to a full house of 150 fans last Thursday.

    Cinema operators here have offered moviegoers the chance to experience concerts - from Western to Korean acts - on the big screen in recent years.

    For instance, cinema chain Golden Village (GV) introduced concert movies four years ago. This year, it will be screening four concert movies, including the ongoing Mayday Nowhere 3D movie.

    Another cinema operator, Shaw Organisation, began last year with British rock band Coldplay's movie, Coldplay Live 2012, and has shown three concert movies this year.

    For Cathay Cineplexes, music- related releases have been part of the line-up in recent years, including the highly anticipated 3-D movie featuring British boy band One Direction that opened here last month.

    The fervent support of fans here has fuelled ticket sales for such concert movies.

    Take A-list South Korean boy band BigBang, for instance.

    Fans who couldn't get enough of the quintet after their sold-out concert here last year snapped up tickets to the BigBang Alive Galaxy World Tour movie in less than 24 hours, prompting GV to add four extra sessions.

    The BigBang concert movie made $45,000 when it was shown over three days last month.

    Concert-movie tickets are typically pricier, hovering around $20 or so, than the usual movie ticket. A ticket for a general movie screened during peak hours costs about $11, and about $15 for a 3-D film.

    Concert-movie tickets are priced higher due to their "exclusivity" and "limited screenings", explained cinema operators, unlike general movies, which are screened over a few weeks.

    Mr Terence Heng, vice-president of media at Shaw Organisation, said: "With limited screenings, it has to make business sense for the content owner to bring them in within a shorter period of time."

    A Cathay Organisation spokesman explained that a premium is sometimes charged because additional licence fees and charges for special material for screening or publicity are required.

    Still, fans are willing to pay for tickets.

    For Ms Clarissa John, 20, a fan of South Korean girl group Kara and founder of local fan group Kara Singapore, it's all about the camaraderie that comes with basking in the atmosphere with fellow fans.

    Together with about 20 fans, Ms John watched Karasia 2012 The 1st Concert in 3-D earlier this month.

    She said: "You can watch it at home on your computer. But it's more fun to watch it in on the big screen with others with the same interest as you."

    The electrifying atmosphere of a live concert may be unparalleled, but concert movies can still satisfy fans in the meantime.

    Ms Low Xiao Qiu, a loyal Mayday fan for 13 years, felt that the $24 she paid to catch the band's concert movie was worth it.

    The 31-year-old assistant sales supervisor said: "It's been three months since I caught the Mayday concerts here. Since the Mayday movie opened earlier in other countries, I've been itching to catch (the band) on the big screen. Concerts can be very addictive."