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Audiences worried about pricey concerts, albums

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HCM CITY — Many city residents are complaining that music concerts and albums featuring popular Vietnamese singers have become too expensive.

A ticket to pop star Dam Vinh Hung's live show Da Tiec Trang (White Gala) in HCM City last year cost VND4 million (US$200).

VIP tickets for Ha Noi's concert featuring young singers Tung Duong and Le Cat Trong Ly last month cost up to VND3 million ($150).

Audiences even have to pay between VND500,000 and VND2 million ($100) for a mini concert at a music club.

A ticket to concerts organised at theatres or stadiums is also expensive, from VND1 million ($100) to VND2 million ($50) a show, five times the cost two years ago.

"Dam Vinh Hung's show was expensive because we had to pay VND60 million ($3,000) in royalties for 40 songs Hung performed at the White Gala," according to Tieng Hat Viet (Vietnamese Singing) Co., which organised the show.

"We also spent heavily buying modern sound and light systems and advertising," the organiser said.

Many music impresarios pay pop stars like My Linh, Thanh Lam and Hong Nhung handsomely, between $5,000 and $10,000 to perform at their concerts.

Emerging teen singers also earn VND15-20 million for performing two or three songs at a show.

"Vietnamese songs and their singers are winning the hearts of fans. But with higher ticket prices, many music concerts only serve well-off people," Mai Ngoc Anh, a young worker at HCM City's Tan Thuan Industrial Park, said.

Anh said she and her friends could see their pop idols at free concerts reserved for workers organised sometimes at year-end holidays.

Anh's friends said the price of music CDs and DVDs also increased this year.

"With workers' salaries, we cannot afford concert tickets and music albums," they said.

The price of CDs and DVDs featuring Vietnamese singers this year increased 10-15 per cent over the past year, according to producers. An album featuring popular singers costs between VND100,000 and VND200,000.

"Prices of albums are higher due to higher production costs," recording producers said.

The Recording Industry Association of Viet Nam is concerned that prices of music albums will be higher after the decision made last month by the Viet Nam Centre for Protection of Music Copyright to double royalty payments.

The new royalty will increase to VND1 million ($50) from VND500,000 ($25) for an audio recording, and to VND1.5 million ($75) from VND750,000 ($37.5) for a song on a video. — VNS

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