Vietnamese music fans welcomed 10 well-known foreign singers and bands this year, from senior names like Bob Dyland, Backstreet Boys, Westlife to boybands and girlbands which are at their peak of career like Super Junior and 2NE1.
The Backstreet Boys.
Vietnam is a small music market so it is not a favorite destination of world famous singers. In the 1990s, a number of foreign singers and bands called on the country during their Asian tours, such as Bryan Adams, Michael Learns To Rock, Boney M, Air Supply, Sting and The Moffatts.
However, the showbiz industry in Vietnam has made great leap this year when it successfully organized nearly 10 shows of foreign stars.
Korean girlband 2NE1.
The Backstreet Boy from the US opened the year with its “This Is Us” tour. The band chose Vietnam as its final destination, with two shows in Hanoi and HCM City. Despite some errors in organizing tasks, the two shows by Backstreet Boys were the spectacular opening for 2011.
Only two weeks after Backstreet Boys’ live show, senior star Bob Dylan came to Vietnam to perform at a small concert, held at RMIT University in HCM City.
In early summer, tens of thousands of teens throughout the country flocked to Go Dau Stadium in the southern province of Binh Duong to enjoy Super Show 2 by Super Junior, one of the most favorite Korean bands in Vietnam and many Asian countries. After that, two other Korean bands, 2AM and JYJ, were invited to Vietnam in June.
Vietnamese fans then welcomed three music idols, David Cook (American Idol 2008), Alexandra Burke (The X Factor 2008 winner) in the H-Artistry show and David Archuleta, the runner-up of American Idol 2008 in Idol Music Event. Both programs were held in summer.
In the fall, fans had a chance to see Westlife, one of the most famous boybands in the world, in the only one show in Hanoi on October 1.
In late November, Korean leading girlband 2NE1 closed the year by ‘Going Together Concert in Vietnam with 2NE1’.
Korean boyband 2AM.
The shows by Backstreet Boys were successfully to bring the audience back to memory of the 1990s, when the band was at its peak. Thousands of people raised their voices with their idols when the melodies of popular songs like “I Want It That Way” or “Shape of My Heart” resounded. The event was held in late March but “This Is Us” tour in Vietnam had been advertised nearly two months ago.
Backstreet Boys was no longer at their peak but they have a great number of fans at all ages in Vietnam so their shows in Hanoi and HCM City attracted special attention of the media. The event was well advertised but the show quality was controversial.
The stage was very small and it was very far from the audience. Boys from America only sang, and did not have exchange with viewers; it’s one disadvantage of the show.
Among live shows of Korean singers, “Super Show 3” by Super Junior was the largest, which could rouse up fans. The shows by JYJ and 2NE1 were smaller so the number of audience was limited. The most disappointed event is 2AM show in Hanoi in June.
H-Artistry and Idol Music Event faced a lot of audio problems. Though David Cook, Alexandra Burke and David Archuleta wholeheartedly showed of their talent, the poor quality of sound affected their shows.
Westlife’s “Gravity Tour” is the best of all because it solved all errors in other shows. The four Irish men brought about smiles and tears to their fans through their hits and their friendliness. The gap between singers and fans was narrowed. The stage was well organized to facility fans to clearly see their idols. Westlife especially presented “My Love” - their most famous song to nearly 10,000 Vietnamese fans.
David Cook and Alexandra Burke.
Though the number of international music fans in Vietnam is huge but they do not have the so-called “ticket purchasing culture’. Most of them only want to enjoy free shows.
Rock band Linkin Park planed to organize their live show in Vietnam this September and they made a survey here. The survey result hindered them from coming to Vietnam.
All live shows by foreign singers in Vietnam in 2011 incurred losses. The VIP tickets for Backstreet Boys show dropped from VND2 million ($100) to VND100,000 ($5) several minutes before the show began. It is similar for 2AM and Idol Music Event. Many people waited until the shows began to buy dirt cheap tickets.
Westlife’s Gravity Tour tried to prevent this situation by tightening security control. As the result, ticket prices did not change until the show started, but the organizers still suffered losses.
Music producer and organizer Vu Anh Tuan refused to answer any question about finance related to the show but admitted that this business was not lucrative, but only “a game of music for honor and to pave the way for a new direction in organizing music events.”
Many people said that foreign singers who are invited to Vietnam are has-been stars or nearly rising stars. However, these singers still have huge numbers of fans in Vietnam.
Two shows by Backstreet Boys and Westlife were the most crowded, with fans of various ages. The audience of three Korean bands and three music idols were mainly teens, while Bob Dylan show’s attendants were mainly foreigners in Vietnam or middle-aged people.It is still a far dream for organizers to hold international-standard live shows of foreign singers and earn profit in Vietnam. However, with nearly ten live shows in 2011, Vietnam has been known in the world music market. Though getting losses, organizers have helped ease the ‘thirsty’ of Vietnamese music fans.
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