Bonus busters Jennifer Lopez, Elton John, Sting usher in pricey Christmastime

By: - Desk Editor
/ 09:24 PM October 13, 2012

Three big concerts headlining Jennifer Lopez, Elton John and Sting will be held one after the other in Manila in the next two months, but the prohibitive ticket prices could keep fans from seeing the major foreign music acts perform.

Watching Lopez or JLo, whose albums have sold over 80 million copies worldwide, may be very expensive to the average fan. Seats to the VIP section cost a whopping P25,840 apiece, while the cheapest ticket, at general admission, sells for P2,590.


The exorbitant ticket prices could be due to JLo’s talent fee, estimated at $2 million (P84 million), a source familiar with offers made by US talent agents told the Inquirer.

JLo, a New York-born actress, dancer and recording artist of Puerto Rican descent, will perform on Nov. 26 at the SM Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena in Pasay City.


The chance to see British singer-songwriter John playing the piano and singing his classic tunes costs P12,000 per VIP ticket. The lowest-priced seat, at general admission, is not quite affordable at P1,000.

Elton at the Dome

John is performing in Manila for the first time. The cost of bringing him in is approximately $600,000 (P25.2 million), the Inquirer source said.

John, whose string of hit singles and albums, as well as film soundtracks and musical theater collaborations, has made him one of the most successful artists of all time, will play on Dec. 8 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The concert of Sting, another British musician who first found fame as the principal songwriter, lead singer and bassist of the New Wave rock band The Police, costs roughly the same as John’s, added the source.

A ticket to the first 10 VIP rows of his Arena show costs P15,840. The most affordable seat, at general admission, is priced at P1,030.

Sting, who has moved on to release solo albums with jazz and classical influences, will perform on Dec. 9 also at the MOA Arena. His first concert in Manila was held in January 1994.


Bonus season

The concerts will happen at a time when employed Filipinos are due to receive their 13th month pay and Christmas bonuses—giving them the opportunity to buy tickets within their respective budgets.

But even as the JLo show—which also marks the artist’s debut Manila performance—costs an arm and a leg to many of her fans, the concert’s promoter, Francis Lumen, is hardly worried of the financial returns.

Lumen, head of the FM station Radio High and formerly a franchise holder of MTV Philippines, has the backing of corporate sponsors, which are practically bankrolling the JLo concert.

“It’s actually a brand-building exercise for the sponsors,” Lumen told the Inquirer. “For example, a sponsor, like a new beauty salon, is offering free tickets if you sign up for a beauty treatment program. The sponsor is able to attract a customer to try its products and services. At the same time, that customer can watch JLo for free. It’s a win-win solution.”

The concert’s main sponsor, a real estate company, is also offering free tickets via a raffle at its sales pitch sessions, Lumen said. The show, he added, is a good opportunity for the realty company to sell houses.

Risky approach

Renen de Guia, promoter of the Sting concert, has a simpler though risky approach. He does not totally rely on cash sponsorship and would rather sell the performer on his own merits.

“If the artist is good and I myself will enjoy watching the concert, then I will produce it,” said De Guia. “All things considered, I think it’s the right thing to do. If the primary concern is to make money in a good concert, I think it will.”

A member of the Araneta Group, which is producing John’s concert, declined to comment.

The JLo show is the artist’s 43rd stop in an ongoing world tour dubbed “Dance Again.”

John, still active in the touring circuit, has just resumed his Caesars Palace stint and will be coming from a series of shows in Australia, China and Hong Kong, before flying to the Philippines.

Sting’s Arena concert is part of his “Back to Bass” world tour, which will feature him playing his principal instrument—the bass guitar—once again (hence, the tour’s title).

His website,, said the tour also showcases a tight, three-man band composed of Sting’s favorite sidemen Dominic Miller (guitar), David Sancious (keyboards) and Vinnie Colaiuta (drums), plus Peter Tickell (electric fiddle) and Jo Lawry (vocals) “performing his most celebrated songs, stripped down.”

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TAGS: Concerts, Elton John, Entertainment, Jennifer Lopez, news, sting
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