Entertainment, Lifestyle

Filipinos adore concerts, but the experience could be compromised by inadequate venue infrastructure

Better, larger, and more competitive concert venues have benefited economies, particularly in light of the enormous and noteworthy impact that well-known worldwide artists like Coldplay’s World Tour and pop sensation Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour have had on consumer spending and behavior.

The success of these concerts, which attracted tens of thousands of ‘Swifties’ and concertgoers, served as an economic booster for nations all over the world, especially Southeast Asian nations like Singapore and Japan. admirers from the Philippines had to put out a lot of money and travel far to see the superstar Swift perform exclusively in Singapore’s National Stadium; other admirers traveled to Sydney, Australia’s Accor Stadium, and Tokyo, Japan’s Tokyo Dome. The enormous concert performances greatly benefited the retail, transportation, hotel, and entertainment sectors while also boosting the economy of the corresponding nations.

While Singapore’s strategy for a Southeast Asia exclusive Swift performance piqued interest and likewise piqued its neighboring countries, the strategic move sparked conversations and brought to light what the Philippines can improve on in terms of concert venues.

1. Location is key

The Philippines doesn’t lack in big venues. In fact, it boasts of venues that can rival Singapore’s National Stadium and Japan’s Tokyo Dome. Accessibility to the location as well as public transportation and nearby commercial establishments are key.

Photo credit to Stanley Quek. An empty Singapore National Stadium, viewed from the front stage.

2. Concert Experience

Singapore’s pride, the National Stadium, has innovative features such as the world’s largest free-spanning dome, a retractable roof and comfort cooling technology for spectators’ convenience. Its innovation, strategic location, and efficiency bring positive and immersive experiences for enthusiasts and concert fans, making it a magnet for entertainment acts from all over the world. A similar concert venue and experience is something that Filipino concertgoers are hoping the country can replicate.

3. World-class concert amenities and facilities

Architectural “Eyecon” SM Mall of Asia Arena prides itself on having exceptional world-class amenities unique in the Southeast Asia region. –Photo from SM MOA Arena official website

Accessing the venue’s amenities and facilities should offer a premium music experience for concert enthusiasts or convenience in a sporting event.

Take for example the SM Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena – a flexible indoor arena developed in 2012 by leading integrated property developer SM Prime – that has been a top-of-mind venue for all sorts of events and offers a unique concert experience. With a full house seating capacity of 20,000, it has been a haven for thrilling sports events, remarkable OPM shows, and unforgettable international superstar performances. 

FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 held in SM Mall of Asia Arena – Photo from SM MOA Arena official website

Meanwhile, the SMDC Festival Grounds in Parañaque City is likewise an enormous outdoor venue that can accommodate at least 50,000 people. Ed Sheeran’s Mathematics Tour and Rivermaya The Reunion were among the performers that have graced the stage recently.

4. Achieving Filipinos’ concert dreams

One of the most forward-looking plans of SM Prime is its 360-hectare smart city development which is envisioned to bring in a centerpiece to the country’s entertainment and sporting events – larger in capacity and a more enhanced venue infrastructure that would attract legendary icons in the entertainment scene and compete against Southeast Asia and the world’s best. It will feature an estimated 70,000-capacity stadium and concert arena connected to one of the island’s main destination paradises called Central Park. The sizable arena is envisioned to be the Philippines’ biggest concert venue, with world-class facilities and sustainable features, comparable to other big concert venues worldwide. Once that’s built, Filipinos won’t have to fly overseas because they can watch top-tier performances right from the comfort of their home country.

An artist’s render, visual sketch of the proposed concert venue at Pasay 360 project.


Entertainment shows are undoubtedly the lifeblood of Filipinos. Given how enthusiastic we are about concerts, Visa, a digital payments corporation, reports that Filipinos spend the fourth most on concerts in Asia-Pacific. Filipino concert goers will be able to continue to embrace and celebrate live performances with the ease, comfort, and enjoyment they deserve if investments are made in the creation of contemporary, intelligent, and accessible concert venues. Beyond only providing entertainment, carefully planned, astute, and creative music venues may boost the national and local economies of the Philippines by stimulating ancillary local spending in the retail, tourism, and hospitality sectors.

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