TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Westlife's concert in Palembang on Sunday night, August 18, left promoters and event organizers feeling unhappy. Apart from losing money because tickets were not sold out, the promoter had to deal with special demands from state officials of South Sumatra.
Local officials requested free VIP seats, 500 to be exact. Each VIP ticket is worth Rp1.95 million each. The officials also asked to be given a special line so they can enter the venue without queuing with other concert goers.
The incident went viral after MusiEvent, one of the organizers of, posted a complaint on Instagram about the attitude of some officials who asked for special services. They went on to say that Palembang is not a friendly place for international concert organizers.
"Some people wanted a different line to enter the venue, some demanded special seats, some even asked to be escorted in. It's as if they cannot act like commoners just for one night," the post said.
MusiEvent also said that many officials did not respect and comply with ticket sales procedures, which is a source of income for the promoter.
The VIP seats request was confirmed by Rendy, president director of Neutron Live Asia, another promoter. "That's right," he said on Wednesday night, August 21, adding that the number of seats requested was actually more than 500.
When asked to elaborate about these VIP treatments demanded by the Palembang regional officials, Rendy was reluctant to answer.
Zalmi Kahardani, managing director of MusiEvent and NBE Entertainment, also declined to comment about the Instagram post.