The Greater Kaohsiung Government announced that it would be renewing its contract with popular band Mayday (五月天) for it to continue in the capacity as the municipality’s spokespeople as it attempts to raise its profile overseas.
In 2011, the band signed a contract with the government for the band to be the municipality’s spokespersons for a year and to promote it at international and domestic events.
Greater Kaohsiung Government Information Bureau chief Lai Rui-lung (賴瑞隆) said Mayday is one of the most popular bands among Mandarin speakers around the world and the economic benefit of having the band promote the municipality on a worldwide basis is enormous.
Last year, Mayday’s four concerts, titled No-W-here (諾亞方舟), which were held in Greater Kaohsiung, drew more than 100,000 people and NT$500 million (US$17 million) in extra tourism revenue, Lai said.
An example of how the band promotes the municipality’s products and culture was seen at the Golden Melody Awards ceremony last year.
Having won Best Musical Band, lead singer A-shin (阿信) said: “If friendship could be compared to a lengthy poem, it would taste of bananas.”
He then took a banana from his pocket, took the first bite and then passed it to the other band members, who each took a bite out of it to signify that the bond between them was “ru jiao sih ci (如膠似漆),” as thick as thieves, and also promoting the bananas grown in Greater Kaohsiung’s Chishan District (旗山).
“It was down to Mayday’s efforts that [Greater Kaohsiung] has been brought to the attention of so many international eyes and we hope in the coming years that Mayday will continue to help spread word of the municipality’s greatness,” Lai said.
Lai said that Greater Kaohsiung is set to host a number of international events this year, including the Asia-Pacific Cities Summit, the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles spirits tasting event and a debut event, the World DanceSport Games.