Lack of venues drives artists elsewhere

http://thestandard.com.hk/news_detail.asp?we_cat=4&art_id=158553&sid=44752635&con_type=1&d_str=20150630&fc=2

The lack of a large concert venue as well as the limited availability of existing venues is affecting Hong Kong’s appeal to international artists, according to Alan Ridgeway, president of the International and Emerging Markets section of Live Nation Entertainment.

“It is becoming a less competitive market compared to some of the others that have developed in Asia,” Ridgeway said, giving as an example Manila, which has three arenas, with the newest having a capacity of 50,000.

He said although Hong Kong is a market that interests artists, the limited options are driving them to places with more concert-friendly infrastructure like Japan, Singapore and the mainland.

“To reach a certain level of revenue in a much smaller-sized venue, ticket prices tend to be higher than you would ideally like them to be,” he said.

“The scale and production of these shows are getting bigger and bigger … it puts additional demands on the venue,” Ridgeway said.

He cited the example of a concert by K-pop sensation Big Bang that featured a catwalk, further reducing the number of sellable tickets.

The Coliseum in Hung Hom is usually booked 12 months in advance and the primary function of AsiaWorld Expo as an exhibition center limits its potential to hold concerts, he said.

Florence Chan Suk-fan, chairwoman of the Performing Industry Association, said the government should consider accommodating concerts as well as sports events in the proposed Kai Tak stadium.

Chan said, so far, the PIA has not had discussions with the government on the design of the stadium and she hopes that better communication will help meet the demands of stakeholders.

The stadium will have a capacity of 50,000, complete with a retractable roof as well as a 5,000-seat sports ground and a 4,000-seat indoor sports center.

Avex International Holdings president Kenji Kitatani said international artists are keen to hold their shows in Hong Kong because of its history, culture, security and economic scale.

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