Tag Archives: faye wong

An update on AEG and the Mercedes Benz arena

Shanghai’s Expo is nearly over. Despite a certain amount of pessimism pre-event, the Expo has actually received a majority of positive feedback, certainly from the local population and most of the people involved. Shanghai has been the recipient of much governmental largesse as artists are flown in from all over the world at great expense, play to (rather too frequently) sparse crowds, but then descend on Shanghai and give a free show or two to people in the know. The huge crowds that have populated the even huger site have been exposed to all manner of crazy foreign “art” and the artists themselves have more often than not played to huge crowds of incredulous but appreciative Chinese at the various outdoor stages around the site.

That’s not to say that any kind of value for money quotient has been achieved. The huge missed opportunity to actually promote the majority of these artists properly in China has been nothing short of a tragedy, with bands, performance artists and the like in China for a single performance with no onwards Chinese or Asian touring and absolutely zero PR in local press. And the carbon footprint…

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The Mercedes Benz Arena in Shanghai

And for our last trick before leaving on a 10 day break, we give you an in depth interview with Guy Ngata. Guy is the General Manager of the new AEG joint venture, the massive, crazy, UFO looking entertainment centre that is currently servicing Shanghai’s World Expo.

The Mercedes-Benz Arena, Shanghai

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Faye Wong

About 4 months ago, we received word that the reclusive “Diva of Asia” Faye Wong would be returning to the stage in late 2010.  Word was that she wanted to do 10 shows in Shanghai and Beijing, with the artist fee (per show) at around the US$1m mark.

We now understand that the venue (certainly in Shanghai) has been booked – it will be the 18,000 capacity Expo Performance Centre, which around November (the time of the shows) will morph into the Mercedes Benz Arena.

There is precedent for this – from 1994-95, Wong Fei did a series of 18 back to back shows at the HK Coliseum, and in 1998-99, she added 7 mainland China dates, 1 Japanese and 5 international onto 17 shows at the Coliseum.

180,000 fans in Shanghai, all willing to pony up an average of 2,000RMB (the mooted average price). Can it work? Probably…..

They Want Their MP3s

One of the most interesting speakers we heard at the recently-wrapped Music Matters Asia conference was Ian Stewart, Senior VP of Viacom Brand Solutions and MTV Networks International. Ian presented the results of this year’s Music Matters survey, a barometer read of musical tastes and tendencies across Asia. You can view the full results here.

The survey polled a total of 5,741 urban middle class participants ages 15-34 in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, the Philippines, Vietnam, Australia, Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and India. A whopping 93% of respondents described themselves as “passionate about music,” and 85% “like music,” compared to 67% in 2007. This rise may be due to increased exposure and ease of access: 66% say they listen to more music now that it’s digital.

What this demographic is listening to these days varies widely from country to country. 74% of Chinese respondents said they like Western music, compared to 95% in Malaysia and 62% in India. This may be inversely proportional to each country’s homegrown music industry. India churns out pop stars by the dozen, and China’s not too far behind, with more respondents than in any other country (98%) who like local music. In each country’s rankings of top five favourite artists, a handful of global superstars made the cut (Gwen Stefani, Linkin Park, Beyonce, Simple Plan and Robbie Williams). But for the most part, “local language drives preference.” Koreans like to listen to people singing/rapping in Korean. Likewise for the Philippines, Taiwan, etc…Southeast Asia tends more toward rock and indie, while North Asia (China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Korea) prefers hip hop, R&B and ballads. China’s favourite singers are:

  1. Jay Chou
  2. Andy Lau
  3. Faye Wong
  4. Jacky Cheung
  5. Wang Lee-hom

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