Concert tickets in Singapore are not only expensive, they’re really hard to get. Tickets to any half-decent artiste or group are usually snapped up on their launch day.
The trick then, is to get the best credit cards for booking concert tickets — cards that will not only give you good cashback, rewards or air miles, but also priority booking.
And what about attending a concert overseas? It costs less to eat at a restaurant, watch a movie and have a beer in Bangkok or KL than in Singapore. Could it be the same for gigs?
How much do concert tickets cost in Singapore?
In theory, Singapore is surrounded by countries with a lower average cost of event hall rental and manpower. That’s one reason why concerts by the same artiste sometimes cost more to attend than they would in other countries in the region.
Here are the prices of some recent and upcoming concerts in Singapore.
|Musicians and bands||Cat 1||Cat 2||Cat 3|
|Deathcab for Cutie||$148||$128||$148|
In addition, Singapore is very dense and due to the small size of the country, concert halls are accessible to the entire population distance-wise. That means that popular artistes have the potential to command very high demand, driving up prices further.
Is it cheaper to watch concerts overseas?
If concerts in Singapore are expensive, it goes to say that maybe you can save by watching overseas. But does this really play out when you do the math?
Sorry to burst your bubble, but when it comes to travelling overseas just to attend a concert and nothing else, despite the cost savings you’re unlikely to save enough to make the cost of travel and accommodation worth your time.
Here’s a price comparison of the equivalent of Category 3 tickets in various locations.
|BTS||$238||–||5,800 baht ($256 SGD)||3,800 NT ($166 SGD)|
|Black Pink||$198||573 MYR ($188 SGD)||4,000 baht ($177 SGD)||3,800 NT ($166 SGD)|
|Ed Sheeran||$158||298 MYR ($98 SGD)||3,000 baht ($132 SGD)||3,000 NT ($131 SGD)|
|Backstreet Boys||$168||–||4,500 baht ($199 SGD)||3,800 NT ($166 SGD)|
As you can see, concert tickets are often (but not always) cheaper in neighbouring locations than in Singapore, but this is not a given as a lot depends on the venue chosen, the act’s popularity in the country in which it is performing and the seating arrangements at the venue.
For instance, let’s say you were thinking about travelling to KL to see Ed Sheeran. The price difference of Cat 3 concert tickets between KL and Singapore is the starkest, to watch Ed Sheeran live in KL is about $60 SGD cheaper than in Singapore.
Even assuming you managed to get the cheapest return tickets to KL on a coach for about $25 (this would be cheaper than flying), and shared a budget hotel room with a friend for $20 a night, your total cost savings would be only $15 (although there are other variable costs, like the price of a meal and a taxi in Singapore, or the price of travelling to the bus station or airport to go to KL). It’s hardly worth the trouble.
Now, if you had been thinking of going on a holiday anyway, it’s more worthwhile to attend the concert in another country like KL rather than Singapore. You can combine a concert with an overseas holiday, so you can enjoy the experience of going to a concert in a different country too.
Best credit card for booking concert tickets
Well, if you don’t have the budget to travel overseas for a concert, you can still get a good entertainment credit card to book concert tickets in Singapore.
For instance, UOB YOLO offers up to 8% cashback on local and entertainment transactions. Aside from nightlife haunts, it also covers ticket agencies, motion picture theaters and theatrical producers.
OCBC credit cards get to enjoy 3% rebates on tickets for events at National Stadium, Singapore Indoor Stadium, OCBC Aquatic Centre, OCBC Arena, or Water Sport Centre. Particularly, the OCBC Arts Platinum Mastercard gives you 3X OCBC$ when you make purchases at SISTIC Singapore.
Aside from cashback, rewards and air miles, certain cards also give you priority booking. For the Andy Lau concert happening this year in September, AMEX card holders enjoy priority booking, and the more exclusive your card is, the earlier you can book. Of course, the earliest priority is for cardholders of the highly coveted AMEX Centurion Card.
If you are going overseas to watch a concert, use a credit card that rewards you for overseas spend.
What about buying concert tickets on Carousell?
Every time there’s a big-name act playing in Singapore, you’re sure to see tickets popping up on Carousell.
Oftentimes, Carousell ticket prices are severely inflated, especially when the concert has sold out. Sadly, ticket scalpers have made a business out of grabbing concert tickets when they’re released and then reselling them at a higher price on Carousell.
In addition, there are lots of concert ticket scams on Carousell right now. Other than being made to pay inflated prices, you might even end up holding a fake ticket that could see you getting turned away at the door.
In 2017 alone, the police received 120 complaints about concert ticket scams—and you can be sure there were many more that went unreported. You can insist on using Caroupay, but even that is no protection against a fake ticket.
Your safest best is to contact the official ticket seller such as SISTIC Singapore or SportsHub to verify if the ticket is real before you decide to buy.
Do you prefer to attend concerts in Singapore or overseas? Share your views in the comments!