Jody Chiang ticket frenzy: promoter criticized

‘UNPRECEDENTED’::The line in Taipei was 1km long by 7am yesterday, with the promoter and Chiang buying breakfast for fans, many having camped overnight

Staff writer, with CNA

Wed, Jan 07, 2015 - Page 3

The chaotic pursuit of tickets for Taiwanese-language pop diva Jody Chiang’s (江蕙) 16 farewell concerts continued into a second day yesterday, with the singer herself and angry fans admonishing the promoter, while the promoter apologized for the ticketing problems.

Chiang, one of the nation’s most popular singers over a career spanning four decades, set off the frenzy on Friday last week when she announced that she would retire after 16 farewell concerts in Taipei and Greater Kaohsiung between July and September.

When the first group of tickets for six of the concerts went on sale on Monday, long lines formed at the sales office of Kuang Hong Arts Management (KHAM) after its online ticketing site was overwhelmed.

Yet no sooner had the tickets gone on sale at noon than scalpers were offering them at between six and 10 times their face value on online trading platform Ticketbis.

Fans left thousands of angry messages on Kuang Hong’s Facebook page, accusing the promoter of failing to prepare for the large demand, and even Chiang was worried by the mess.

“KHAM Ticket, I beg you to improve quickly. Scalpers, I beg you to have a conscience,” Chiang wrote in a post on her Facebook page in the middle of the night.

Kuang Hong issued a statement on Facebook yesterday apologizing for the inconvenience.

It said that close to 350,000 people tried to log on to its Web site on Monday, a phenomenon it described as “unprecedented” in Taiwan’s music industry.

Long lines appeared outside of ticket offices in Taipei and Greater Kaohsiung early yesterday as fans remained desperate to secure seats to Chiang’s shows.

As of 7am yesterday, the line outside Kuang Hong’s office in Taipei had already reached 1km long.

The company and Chiang bought breakfast for hundreds of the people standing in line. Many of those had been waiting in line since Monday and had camped overnight outside of the office.

Things were also heating up in Greater Kaohsiung.

Fans camped outside of the two ticket offices on Monday night, with sleeping bags and stools fixtures in the lines.

A fan surnamed Lin (林) said she and many of her friends failed to buy a ticket online the previous day, so they decided to go to the ticket office and took turns waiting in line.

All 60,000 tickets for six of the concerts went on sale on Monday at noon.

They were sold out by Monday night.

Tickets for another six concerts went on sale yesterday at noon, while those for the remaining four concerts are to be put on sale today, also at noon.