Kaohsiung reviews Mayday contract

By Hou Cheng-hsu and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with Staff writer

Sun, Jan 06, 2013 - Page 3

The Greater Kaohsiung City Government is considering whether to renew its contract with popular band Mayday (五月天), or whether to seek another band to represent the city as its spokesperson, the city government said yesterday.

The city government signed a contract with Mayday in July 2011, according to which the band would be the city’s spokesperson for a year, but prior to the contract’s fulfillment last year, the band said that they were willing to extend the contract for another half year without remuneration.

The contract with the band expired on the last day of last year, the city government said.

Mayday is one of the most popular bands among Mandarin-speaking populations around the world and, while it is doubtful that any other group could reproduce the Mayday effect, the economic benefit of having the band promote the city on a worldwide basis is enormous. It has also greatly exposed Greater Kaohsiung to the international community, the city government’s Information Bureau head Lai Rui-lung (賴瑞隆) said.

The bureau is discussing the value of having a spokesperson with people in the tourism industry, Lai said, adding that the discussion would also decide whether the city government would seek another spokesperson.

Rumors have been circulating that other city governments have been seeking to sign Mayday as their city spokesperson, the city government said.

Meanwhile, band members have been strongly endorsing the city, with lead singer A-shin (阿信) saying during the city’s New Year’s Eve party on Monday that the band did not attend the event simply because they were under contract, but because part of them was already wedded to the city.

Ashin also detailed in a post on his Facebook page how he had come into contact with the city, how he had become familiarized with the city and its people, and how he was now a part of the city.

“It all started with my first night in Kaohsiung in 1996,” Ashin wrote.

“Over the course of 16 years the many events in Kaohsiung have made the city an indelible part of me. No matter what reason, whether it’s too hot or too cold, I’m in a blue mood, whatever — I’ll be seeing you guys in Kaohsiung!” he added.