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Sambhar Mafia - Cooked To Kill!

Monday, August 15, 2005

A R Rahman Concert in Singapore

Cogito of Cerebral Shangrila mentioned about the forthcoming Indian musical events in Singapore and A R Rahman’s concert was one among them. When I came to know about ARR’s 3D world tour I noticed that South East Asia didn’t figure in the tour. Looks like Singapore has been added in the last minute. I checked the website of ARR 3D World tour and the S’pore concert doesn’t figure in the locations mentioned there.

Straits Times had this to say about the forthcoming ARR concert:-

A R Rahman will perform at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Sep 24th at 8pm. Tickets @ $50, $100, $150, $250, $350 and $500 will go on sale from Aug 12. All tickets available from SISTIC (Tel: 6348 5555).

The ticket prices (especially the premium ones) are virtually unheard of in the local arts scene. Even big name Western artistes don’t charge so much. I have attended concerts by Bharadwaj, Vidyasagar, SPB & Sonu Nigam before. Although these concerts might not have been of the scale of ARR, the premium for the ARR show is too high. Bharadwaj concert happened in Feb this year and the highest tickets were priced @ $50. The show had singers like SPB, Chitra, Srinivas, Tippu, Karthik and Anuradha Sriram. The ARR concert is going to happen at the same venue and the premium tickets costs 10 times that of the Bharadwaj concert. I did a quick search of the ticket prices of the ARR concert in Birmingham, Wembley (London) and Sydney.

Wembley: £15 - £80

Birmingham: £15.00 - £75.00


VIP - A$178.40
Platinum - A$128.40
Gold - A$88.40
Silver - A$68.40
Bronze - A$43.40

Based on prevailing exchange rates, you can do a back of the envelope calculation and decided for yourself about the disparity in ticket rates.

Music transcends language barriers, but having a multilingual / bilingual (Hindi & Tamil) concert might not be the best thing to do. These kind of concerts will work if the audience is indifferent between Hindi and Tamil songs. However if one segment is looking for Tamil songs and the other segment is looking for Hindi songs, packing all this into a 3 / 4 hour concert will not yield the desired results. Having separate concerts (for the different languages) will help the artist to command a premium over the multilingual concert.

In case you are not able to attend any of these concerts you can catch some glimpses of the ARR concert in London. (via TJS Nathan)

I intend to catch it when my ITMM (Indhiya Tholaikaatchigalil Mudhal Muraiyaaga) Tamil Channel telecasts it. Otherwise I can wait till the VCD / DVD is out.


  • grrrr..>:) aiyooo cannot catch it even in ITMM :(

    anywyas someone should be posting it on their weblog...so appo pathukka vendiyadhu than :)

    By Blogger IBH, at 8:40 PM  

  • Hey kaps, Just a coincidence that I have mentioned about ITMM in the same manner in my blog :-D That is So funny.

    Does such show go full house in a place like Singapore with such exorbidant rates?

    By Blogger Thayirsaadham, at 8:59 PM  

  • That will my dream come true if I get to see AR Rahman live!! Problem is my exams might be around Sep :( Also if the original singers are not coming then I might give it a miss...

    By Blogger patiala pataka, at 10:39 PM  

  • Some times the price looks like a deterrent more than anything :-(

    Have blogrolled you :-)

    By Blogger Arvind, at 10:40 PM  

  • Ways of earning money..what more can one conclude from it...I am sure Singapore has more AR Rahman fans than the U.K or Australia for that matter. Maybe thats why..

    nice blog :)

    By Anonymous Truman, at 11:04 PM  

  • Wat exorbitant rates!! I'd rather buy a good cd of his than go and watch him in concert anyway..

    Sometimes I feel going to concerts is just to tell people you've been there.. The songs on cds sound so much better.. :-)

    By Blogger Leon, at 5:02 AM  

  • I wonder how much the Bangalore concert tickets will cost!!!
    After reading ur post, I have started wondering whether I will be able to afford going to the concert :(

    By Blogger Aravind, at 9:36 AM  

  • Hi Kaps:

    I think its a question of demand and supply. They know that ARR has the name and that people will pay.

    Singapore also probably has a critical mass of Indians which I doubt any of the other cities on the list can match (if nothing else, Singapore definitely has a bigger tamil speaking population than any of the other international venues).

    By Blogger nmk, at 9:44 AM  

  • On the issue of mixed vs segregated language concerts, I doubt if any of the cities other than Singapore has emough of a critical mass of Tamil speakers to be able to sustain such a concert. Plus if you notice he tries to add in some thing for the local populus (some of his concerts in the US have had one or two telegu songs).

    Plus if he is in town to do one concert it is a huge thing, 2 concerts and somehow the appeal fades away (its not so special or unique anymore).

    Personally, I think that some of ARR's greatest works are in Tamil (my opinion, I am not being chauvenistic or militant linguist in any sense of the word), though I do enjoy the the rapid change of languages within the same song (e.g. in some concerts the change from "Kannalane" to "Kehna hi Kya")

    Is anyone going to the concert, or is a mass boycot planned to protest the exorbitant prices?

    By Blogger nmk, at 9:51 AM  

  • He charged the same when he came down here. It has something to do with the organisers. Rahman sets a price and they try to make double of that!

    And there will be ppl who will go - I knew a guy who paid RM1000 for VIP tickets to Mariah Carey show. So yes ppl will go and all this boycott won't really work. We the fans will be sulking one side while the organiser laughs to the bank! ;)

    By Blogger visithra, at 10:18 AM  

  • And they're probably taking into account the currency exchange - the pound is higher in value than the singapore dollar.

    By Blogger visithra, at 10:19 AM  

  • we can probably look forward to more empty seats unless seats - price is a rip off


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:35 AM  

  • Yeah the price is too high. But the organizers seem to know their demand and supply well !

    By Blogger Cogito, at 10:51 AM  

  • @IBH,
    Don't u get ITMM Channel there?

    What a coincidence. I guess there will be some mad fans who will be ready to pay any price.

    Some of the big singers (Hariharan, Sadhana Sargam) should be coming.

    Price it a big deterrent. Thanks for the blogroll...hv reciprocated the same.

    Yeah ARR does hv a big fan following here.

    I still prefer to see it on CD/DVD

    IMO the B'lore concert might cost Rs. 1000 - 5000

    The organizers should have done some groundwork before deciding on the prices. But I still feel that they are extremely overpriced.
    Even if u pay $50/100 u'll end up getting one of the last few seats. The fact that Singapore can host a full fledged Hindi concert by Asha Bhosle / Sonu Nigam proves that there is a critical mass for Hindi concerts. Although the craze might not be this much, the audience would anyday prefer separate concerts for different languages. London / UK also has a significant Tamil audience which would have justified a separate concert. there is a big concentration of SriLankan Tamils as well.

    If someone gives me a complimentary ticket, I wouldn't mind going to the concert :-)

    The costliest ticket for the London show is 75 pounds....this works out to S$ 225 (the exchange rate is 3).
    Given that people in UK are more affluent than the people in S'pore, the S'pore tickets should actually be priced at a discount or atleast on par.
    the highest priced S'pore ticket is S$500......which is more than double the price in UK.

    For this price, I can even fly down to Chennai / Bangalore...meet family /friends and also see the Bangalore concert.

    It's definitely a rip-off.....please stay away

    They can't justify such high pricing by giving demand supply as the reason.

    By Blogger Kaps, at 11:09 AM  

  • hey KAPS there is a L. Subramanian concert on 21st at the esplanade, definitely more cheaper. :)

    And your RSS feeds are really screwed up. Each time you update, it gives me a list of your last 20 posts. while it is entertaining to re-read your posts, it is one time too many. :)

    By Anonymous Ashwin, at 1:28 PM  

  • Yesterday, I met one of the sponsors and was commenting about the extraordinary pricing... the answer I got is that they are spending 10 million $ for this event, which they would like to recover. So, who is making money? Big Q??

    By Blogger Ram.C, at 2:16 PM  

  • sorry, not 10 mln $, but 1 mln $... can you work out the profits, Kaps, like you did for Thiruvasagam release?

    By Blogger Ram.C, at 2:18 PM  

  • Ashwin,
    Thanks for the info about the LS concert.
    I have subscribed to all my feeds and I don't face this problem. Maybe you should try the following feed -
    http://sambharmafia.blogspot.com/atom.xml or http://feeds.feedburner.com/Sambharmafia

    Looks like a very high budget.....they might bring 100 - 150 people for a 3/4 hour concert and put the entire cost on our head. totally unjustified.

    By Blogger Kaps, at 4:11 PM  

  • dude this info just says how great a.r.r is. i mean if a.r.r's concert is 10 time more than that of baratwajs or any other people it just tell a.r.r is the best. it is not like people cant afford it. baratwaj and the other people u mentioned are only know to people in the south. but a.r.r is an international icon. they know him NYC, london, china so quit whining.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:59 AM  

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