Swiftly selling Taylor

nullOfficial fansite president recalls how tickets to the country pop superstar’s concert sold out in two weeks tops
AS Taylor Swift holds her first Philippine concert tomorrow at the Araneta Coliseum, it will be the culmination of a nationwide frenzy that begun late last year: From fans scampering desperately for tickets, to local artists and producers who had to change their plans to give way to 21-year-old singing phenomenon. It might also explain why a lot of couples decided to reschedule their Valentine dates five days later.
“Rumors of her concert first surfaced in September, with the event supposedly scheduled on October 22, 2010,” recounts Ielle Duran, president of the official fansite, Taylor Swift Philippines (www.taylorswiftph.com). It was then she said that their site began to attract a lot of attention and visitors. When the official announcement of her concert date finally came on November 1, the site gained a huge number of hits. More importantly, their members were given the privilege of reserving tickets ahead of the public.
“Actual tickets sales began November 22, 2010, and just three days after that, we already received news that the good seats [the reserved seating in VIP, Lower Box, Upper Box A] were already ‘swiftly selling,’ if not already sold out,” said the site’s Vice President Dada Iñigo. “A week later, only the General Admission seats were left, and by December tickets were already sold out.”
Since then, TicketNet has apparently been flooded with calls from fans asking for more tickets.
“We heard they also released Upper Box Standing tickets, early February but after three days those were sold out as well,” Duran added.
A few weeks ago, reports surfaced that a few hundred VIP tickets were made available for P15,000.
“We were surprised, although we knew Taylor has many fans here,” said concert promoter Renen de Guia of Ovation Productions in a news report. “We were not prepared for the huge demand for tickets.”
So why is Taylor Swift so popular among Filipinos? Farsh Datukon and Tonette Tan, two other officers of the fansite said it was for the same reason she’s popular all over the world—her music.
“A lot of people can relate to her and her songs. Mostly female people yes, but there are a lot of male fans too,” said Santiago.
Tan said she believes Taylor has also become a great role model. “We admire best her honesty, her courage to speak her mind. She’s not letting anyone stop her from reaching for her dreams, and even with the success she’s having now, she’s remained down to earth and the same person she was before all of the fame and fortune. She’s the perfect person for the youth to admire.”
“She gave us the courage to start a fan club for her and do amazing things for many fans,” they added.
The multi-awarded singer has sold more than 16 million albums worldwide and has been recognized as the top-selling digital artist in music history, with over 24.3 million digital tracks sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Her 2006 self-titled album earned her a Best New Artist nomination at the 50th Grammy Awards, while her sophomore release, Fearless, won four Grammys, including Album of the Year, making her the youngest artist to receive the award at age 20. Her third CD Speak Now, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart after its release in October, and so far sold more than 3 million copies.
Besides music, Swift has made her mark in the entertainment industry as she starred in the romantic movie Valentines Day, and was named Entertainer of the Year for 2009 by the Associated Press. She also topped People magazine’s “Most Intriguing People of 2009” list; was named a “Person Who Mattered” by the editors of Time magazine; a “Person of the Year” by NBC; and featured as one of Rolling Stone’s “100 People Changing America.” People named her one of 2009’s “10 Best Dressed Celebrities,” and also one of the year’s “Most Beautiful People.”
To welcome Swift’s arrival in the country, the fansite said they plan to gather at the airport just like what her other international fans did. “We’re also coordinating with the organizers and promoters to make her aware of her fans club here, said Aika Santiago public relations officer of the fansite. “We want to give her a unique surprise gift to make her remember her trip to the Philippines, and hopefully those who won the meet and greet passes could give it to her.”
The fansite was launched on August 20, 2009 by Odette Lia Agustin, a Taylor Swift fan living in Davao City. At that time, there were already a number of different Philippine fansites, but none of them were widely known, nor were they coordinated with one another. Agustin made the move to befriend a few co-web and staff, and eventually Universal Music Philippines recognized it as the official fansite. At present, the site has more than 2,000 members, over 200,000 site visitors (with over 1,000 unique visits a day), and has exceeded 15,000 Facebook fans since November 2009.
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By Ed Uy, Staff Writer

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