SINGAPORE – In the coming months, Singaporean Peter Sng is looking forward to enjoying at least six Mandopop concerts.
In October, the 39-year-old logistics executive will watch performances by Chinese singer-songwriter Li Ronghao, Singaporean singer Celeste Syn and Taiwanese singers Lara Liang, Julia Peng and Chao Chuan.
A month after that, Mr Sng will catch three solo gigs – by Taiwanese singer Christine Fan, Taiwanese actress-singer Rainie Yang and Singaporean singer Joi Chua.
These shows are among at least 20 Mandopop and Cantopop concerts that will be held from this month until January 2020 – including home-grown star JJ Lin's two sold-out nights at the National Stadium in December – a bumper crop which concert organisers and promoters attribute to several reasons, including more players on the scene.
A similar bonanza of Chinese concerts had happened in the second half of 2016, with also around 20 shows taking place.
Mr Keith Sim, director of Biz Trends Media, which is bringing in musicians Fan, Peng and Chao, as well as Taiwanese balladeer Fei Yu-ching and Hong Kong Cantopop diva Frances Yip, says with more promoters coming into Singapore, the number of shows held here has increased significantly.
Although recent years have seen the rising popularity of K-pop, Mr Sim says: "Mandopop and Cantopop still have their own pool of supporters," adding that 70 to 80 per cent of the tickets to his shows have been sold.
Mr Edwin Lum, business development manager of CK Star Entertainment – which entered the Singapore market in 2018 and is bringing in Taiwanese singer-songwriter Crowd Lu in October – says: "We believe one objective for singers is to be relevant to their target audience. In addition to coming up with hit songs and appearing on programmes, one way they can do so is to go on tour and meet their fans in different countries and cities."
Mr Adrian Leong, founder and executive vice-president of IMC Captasia Group, which is producing Singaporean singer Joi Chua's concert in November, says the increase in purchasing power in the region spells valuable opportunities for artists to go on tour.
"While the Mandopop and Cantopop scene is crowded, we feel there is always room for up-and-coming artists. In the past year, IMC Captasia Group has created an artist development and management arm to groom and promote new artists, with the view for them to tour within the next few years."
For Mr Sng, more concerts means more choices. He says: "I prefer to watch concerts in Singapore, because travelling overseas to watch them can cost a lot."
Attending them here, though, is also not cheap as the bachelor typically goes for the most expensive seats "to feel the atmosphere and get the best sound quality".
Tickets for the six upcoming shows he is going for has set him back by $1,010, which comes out of his food budget. The foodie says: "I could have spent the money eating seafood regularly in nice restaurants. Now, I will be eating at hawker centres and food courts for a few months.
"But I think attending concerts is worth it because listening to the singers belt out their songs will give me great memories."
Select list of upcoming Chinese concerts
1. MY SONGS 7
Get up close and personal with singers Wang Mon Ling, Johnny Yin, Tseng Shu-chin, Shih Hsiao-jung, and group Nan Fang Er Chong Chang (Southern Duo) from Taiwan for a night of great songs and wonderful memories.
Where: Esplanade Concert Hall, 1 Esplanade Drive
When: Sept 14, 7.30pm
Admission: $48 to $148 from Sistic (go to sistic.com.sg or call 6348-5555)
2. MY LOVE ANDY LAU WORLD TOUR
At this concert with a grand four-sided stage, the Hong Kong Heavenly King is expected to sing Cantonese hits such as You Are My Woman and If One Day, as well as Mandarin numbers such as Forget Love Potion and Chinese People.
Where: Singapore Indoor Stadium, 2 Stadium Walk
When: Sept 25 to 28, 8pm
Admission: $168 to $368 from Sports Hub Tix (go to www.sportshubtix.sg or call 3158-7888)
3. SG:SW2019 I WRITE THE SONGS FINALE CONCERT
Out of the 354 songs received this year during the open call submission for SG:SW2019 I Write The Songs, a nation-wide Mandopop songwriting festival, 12 will be shortlisted to be performed at this finale concert.
Where: Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre Far East Organization Auditorium, 1 Straits Boulevard
When: Sept 28, 7.30pm
Admission: $18 and $25 from Sistic
4. CROWD LU 2019 WORLD TOUR SINGAPORE 11TH ANNIVERSARY CONCERT
The 2018 gig of this Taiwanese singer, composer and actor at the Esplanade Concert Hall was sold-out. This time, fans can be prepared to hear classic hits, such as the soulful ballad Yu Zai (Little Fish).
Where: Esplanade Theatre, 1 Esplanade Drive
When: Oct 5, 7pm
Admission: $68 to $188 from Sistic
5. WE ARE SINGERS 2
Taiwanese singers Chao Chuan and Julia Peng have participated in the Chinese reality show I Am A Singer. Expect to hear Mandarin hit songs such as Chao's I Am Ugly But Tender and Peng's Darling.
Where: Resorts World Ballroom, Resorts World Convention Centre, 8 Sentosa Gateway
When: Oct 5, 8pm
Admission: $28 to $188 from Sistic
6. FEI YU QING FAREWELL CONCERT ENCORE SHOW
If you missed this Taiwanese balladeer's farewell concerts in March 2019, this will be another chance to hear the evergreen hits of the veteran singer.
Where: Singapore Indoor Stadium
When: Oct 12, 8pm
Admission: $98 to $258 from Sports Hub Tix
7. in::music – CELESTE SYN & LARA LIANG: FAREWELL PERFECTION
Singaporean singer-songwriter Syn joins hands with Taiwanese pop singer Liang to present a cross-border showcase inspired by their pursuit of perfection.
Where: Esplanade Annexe Studio, 1 Esplanade Drive
When: Oct 18, 8pm
Admission: $20 from Sistic
Straits Times readers can get a 10 per cent discount by keying in the promo code "STinmusic" from Sept 12 to 15.
8. RONGHAO LI IF I WERE YOUNG WORLD TOUR
The Chinese singer is dubbed "Mandopop's fastest rising star", and stops to his latest world tour sold out in cities such as Beijing and Shanghai.
Where: Singapore Indoor Stadium
When: Oct 19, 8pm
Admission: $108 to $198 from Sports Hub Tix
9. JONATHAN LEE THOSE SONGS THROUGH THE YEARS LIV