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Govt vows to review outdoor concert arrangements

2024-01-23 03:18     BY Yuki Lei    Comment:3

This past weekend’s outdoor K-Pop gig at the Olympic Sports Centre Stadium in Taipa by South Korean boy band Seventeen has sparked an intense debate online, and Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture Elsie Ao Ieong U said yesterday: “Since the two days of the concert we have been studying many aspects, and we also welcome all the media, members of the public and small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to give us their views for review and optimisation.”

Ao Ieong acknowledged that before the three-year COVID-19 pandemic, concerts were often held at the stadium, but the beneficiaries were mainly residents, but this time the private organiser mainly targeted tourists.

There are two types of local venues for holding concerts, she pointed out – a venue that is close to homes and residential neighbourhoods, such as the Olympic Sports Centre Stadium in Taipa, or a venue that is far away from residential communities, such as the Macau East Asian Games Dome in Cotai or the site of the soon to be defunct Macau Jockey Club in Taipa.

Ao Ieong, who made the remarks on the sidelines of yesterday’s Chinese New Year luncheon hosted by Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng for the Chinese-language media at Galaxy Macau’s Ritz-Carlton hotel, remarked: “The easiest way for the government or for enterprises would be to hold concerts in an integrated resort, but could SMEs then benefit from them?”

The policy secretary admitted that this past weekend’s two concerts close to a residential neighbourhood had a negative impact on residents’ lives, but, on the other hand, it had a positive impact on the area’s SMEs. She was quick to add that there was a lot of room for the government to review its concert arrangement measures, including transport, concert crowds, volume control, and the performance schedule.

Because of the concert, the government imposed over the weekend a range of temporary traffic arrangements in the stadium’s neighbourhood, including the suspension of several bus stops and an LRT (light rapid transit) station, as well as vehicular traffic control measures.

No chaos or accidents occurred around the stadium on the two concert days (Saturday and Sunday), according to Ao Ieong.

Ao Ieong underlined that a consensus still needed to be reached with civil society on whether it was necessary to attract concert crowds to local neighbourhoods, such as the peninsula’s northern district, adding that some events could also be held in the former greyhound racetrack to attract visitors to explore the community there.

When asked whether large-scale open-air concerts would still be held in the residential neighbourhoods in the future, Ao Ieong said there was a need to first consider the views of residents and SMEs on the matter, come up with a balanced consideration and absorb everyone’s opinions to see whether concert crowds should be brought into residential communities or other locations. She pledged that the respective policy directions on the issue would be formulated based on the various sectors’ different opinions gathered by the government.

The organiser of the controversial K-Pop concert published a notice in a local Chinese-language newspaper yesterday, apologising for the impact on residents’ lives by the gig, including noise and traffic diversions. According to the notice, the two-day concert attracted more than 40,000 concert goers, breaking the company’s neighbourhood concert attendance record. 


Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture Elsie Ao Ieong U speaks to reporters on the sidelines of yesterday’s Chinese New Year luncheon hosted by Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng at Galaxy Macau’s Ritz-Carlton hotel for the Chinese-language media.
– Photo: MPDG


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