Construction starts on Kaohsiung music center

Staff writer, with CNA

Wed, Mar 05, 2014 - Page 3

A groundbreaking ceremony was held in Greater Kaohsiung on Monday to officially begin the construction of a center that hopes to promote Taiwan’s pop music culture.

The 11.5 hectare Maritime Cultural and Popular Music Center will include a 5,000-seat concert hall and six smaller venues for live music performances accommodating 200 to 1,000 spectators each. Located in Kaohsiung Harbor, the NT$5.45 billion (US$179.84 million) center will also have an outdoor plaza with a capacity of up to 12,000 people, the Ministry of Culture said.

The construction of the Kaohsiung center is part of a plan to upgrade the nation’s pop music performance venues and facilities and boost its pop music industry.

The Taipei Pop Music Center, which began construction in June last year, is also part of the plan. There are currently few large indoor venues in Taiwan suitable for holding pop concerts, such as Taipei Arena, National Taiwan University Sports Center and Nangang Exhibition Hall, and they were not specifically designed to hold rock concerts.

The government believes that building large venues to support Taiwan’s burgeoning pop music sector will further boost concert sales. The output value of Taiwan’s pop music industry reached NT$12.3 billion (US$405.83 million) in 2012, up 75.47 percent from 2009, Minister of Culture Lung Ying-tai (龍應台) said.

Digital music revenues also rose 88.94 percent from 2009 to 2012, while concert revenues grew 133.66 percent between those years, showing the need to establish the centers, she said.

Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) said that once completed, the center will be connected to other major infrastructure projects, such as an exhibition center, wharf and waterfront sky train, and will shape Greater Kaohsiung’s future for decades to come.

The Maritime Cultural and Popular Music Center and the Taipei Pop Music Center are expected to be completed in 2015 and 2016 respectively.