Yup, you read that right.
OPUS 2 JAY in Singapore has been postponed....to 27 December 2014.
I first heard the news from a reliable source on Thursday but the official announcements on the mainstream media came out on Fri, the 17th of October.
And the not unexpected outraged and frustrated responses from the fans flew fast and furious thereafter.
Read the links:
My first reaction was disbelief.
How can SSH (Singapore Sports Hub) postpone such a long-awaited and highly promoted concert just three weeks before the 'confirmed' date??
After all, the CEO of SSH had empathetically stated that the concert would go on, regardless of the pitch conditions and/or clash with certain AFF regulations about the use of the pitch before the Suzuki Cup on 22 November.
But on looking back, the signs had been ominous.
The spanking new National Stadium, or rather its state-of-the-art pitch had not been developing according to plan, ever since the opening in June, when the World Club Rugby 10s matches were the first event. Even then, there were already complaints about the sandy field.
But the premises were new.
All was forgiven.
Many other non-sporting events were subsequently held at the stadium and then came a stunning report about the Asian Football Federation's regulation regarding pitch usage before the Suzuki Cup matches in November viz that stadiums should not be used for any other events, sporting or not, for a minimum of 15 days before the opening matches.
A simple count on the calendar showed that OPUS 2 JAY's 8 November date fell within that window.
And so did an exhibition rugby match on 15 November.
At that point, the belief was that Jay's concert would go on and the rugby match be postponed.
Well and good.
Jay fans did not worry.
Then came the Japan-Brazil friendly match on 14 October and the resultant flak online about the condition of the pitch:
In fact, before the match, the problems with the field were already being discussed:
And then.....came a terse announcement from SSH on its website and Facebook Page that the concert was POSTPONED.
No explanations were given.
Only offers for refunds.
Link to the FB Page and the FURIOUS comments by angry Jay Chou fans (do add yours in if you have not already done so):
If you have been following the JCD Facebook Page, you would have seen all my commentaries about this whole fiasco.
This sorry saga could have been avoided if the SSH management had been more responsible about checking on the AFF regulations in August when the fixtures were announced and knowing that Singapore would be one of the co-hosts.
Of course, as Singapore is also the defending champion, SSH would have wanted to hold the games at the new stadium.
But why in the world did they or their legal team not look carefully at the rules and realise that there were other events lined up before the Suzuki Cup, which might impact on the field??
At the very least, they could then have postponed OPUS 2, which would have given fans enough time to rethink and rebook their end-of-year plans.
But postponing now, just three weeks away from the 'confirmed' date has understandably resulted in a HUGE outcry from the fans.
Those from overseas who have booked flights and hotel rooms.
Those coming back specially for the concert.
Those who had queued long and hard for the tickets.
Those who had gone to great lengths to get good seats for their very first Jay Chou concert.
Those who would and could not be able to attend on 27 December due to prior commitments and travel plans.
I could go on but you get the picture.
One only needs to read the comments on the various news Pages and especially the SSH Page to feel totally upset about this decision.
I am one of the lucky fans who will be able to attend on 27 December, but I feel really awful for the fans whose plans are now in disarray, especially after all the anticipation and preparation.
Getting a refund is not the main issue.
Speaking of which, the procedure of refunding is another problem which SSH will have to handle.
Can't say I sympathise with them, though.
It's the fact that no proper explanation was offered for the postponement AT ALL.
Just that SSH had promised to get the field ready and were pulling out all the stops to do so, while not answering the question about why they were even contravening the 15-day rule in the first place!
Not to mention the timing of the rugby match on 15 November, which is even closer to the Suzuki Cup???
Clearly, somebody in SSH was not doing their job.
This is a real blemish on the reputation of SSH and in turn, Singapore.
And that makes me very unhappy too, as a fellow Singaporean.
NB: To all those unenlightened people who complain that the stadium should only be used for sporting events, I'll have you know that football stadiums around the world are used for concerts and music festivals, without being any the worse for them.
As I write this, the saga is still ongoing and I'm reading more reports about how the AFF and SSH have still not issued any official statements about the use of the stadium for the Suzuki Cup.
On a brighter note, Jay has returned from his Europe trip and is now back to work.
He is now in Wuxi for another event.
More news soon,