Two men charged with helping desperate fans sneak into Taylor Swift concert in Singapore

Police are also investigating other tresspassers who have not yet been charged

Maroosha Muzaffar
Thursday 07 March 2024 10:21 GMT
Related: Singapore’s prime minister discusses securing exclusive deal for Taylor Swift concerts

Authorities in Singapore have charged two men for allegedly helping three people illegally enter a Taylor Swift concert.

The two men, identified as Yang Chenguang, 29, and Li Xiao Wei, 45, allegedly distracted the personnel manning the entry gates while the trio, who didn’t have tickets to the Swift concert, slipped into the venue.

One reportedly started talking to guards in order to distract them while the other held onto a turnstile at the entrance to let the three others go through, police said.

Both Yang and Wei are from China.

Singapore police said that a third man has been arrested and is under investigation but is yet to be charged.

This incident occurred during Swift’s highly anticipated Eras Tour, with Singapore being the exclusive Southeast Asian stop.

The sold-out event attracted fans from across the region, with some resorting to resellers.

Court documents indicated that the two accused men purportedly helped Shangguan Linmo, Hu Zhijun, and Yang Junhao illicitly enter the Swift concert, which took place on Monday at 6pm local time.

The concert was the third event of the American singer-songwriter’s Eras Tour in Singapore – a series of sold-out shows spanning six nights at the National Stadium within the Singapore Sports Hub.

A joint statement by the event organiser, Kallang Alive Sport Management,aaab and the police said that both “will continue to work closely to ensure the safety and security of the public at events at the Singapore Sports Hub”.

The statement added: “The police would like to remind the public to only purchase tickets and merchandise from authorised sellers and to only enter the venue with a valid ticket.”

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Among those who entered the concert illegally was Chinese influencer Junhao, who later claimed to have been sold fake tickets.

“This is me after being told I bought fake tickets, and was brought out [of the concert] to be interrogated by the police... I pleaded with the police to let me stay outside the venue so that I can hear Taylor’s voice,” Mr Yang said in a video posted on Douyin.

“I spent 12,000 yuan [£1,300] on the ticket and didn’t know it was fake even after I entered the concert. I only realised it after officers brought us out... I am also a victim, I am stuck in Singapore and assisting in the investigation. It’s a difficult situation.”

Security staff at the Singapore Sports Hub, the location of Swift’s concerts, reported that they detained several people for attempting to unlawfully enter the concert venue on Monday. Police investigations concerning other trespassers are still in progress.

Singapore, known for its strict laws, could sentence those convicted of cheating for up to three years or fined up to $1,121 [or £ 880] or both.

Meanwhile, Singapore prime minister Lee Hsien Loong clarified that securing an agreement with Swift to have Singapore as her exclusive Southeast Asian destination for the Eras Tour was not intended as an aggressive move against the neighbouring countries.

“[Our] agencies negotiated an arrangement with her to come to Singapore and perform and to make Singapore her only stop in Southeast Asia,” Mr Lee told reporters in Melbourne, Australia where he was attending a regional summit.

“It has turned out to be a very successful arrangement. I don’t see that as being unfriendly.”

Last month, Thailand’s prime minister alleged that concert promoter AEG disclosed to him the Singaporean government’s offer of subsidies ranging from £1.6m to £2.4m per show to secure an exclusive deal for Taylor Swift’s performances.

While the Singaporean government had previously acknowledged awarding Swift a grant for her concerts in the city, the specifics of the agreement were not disclosed. However, on Tuesday, Mr Lee confirmed that Swift received “certain incentives” from a government fund aimed at revitalising tourism post-pandemic, though he did not specify the financial details of the arrangement.

The move has sparked discontent among some Southeast Asian neighbours, who argue that they are missing out on the tourism surge that accompanies her concerts.

Mr Lee said: “Sometimes one country makes a deal, sometimes another country does. I don’t explicitly say ‘you will come here only on condition that you’ll not go to other places’.”

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