Sound Debacle at Jay Chou’s Concert

Stunning set visuals, a 40,000-strong crowd, and the King of Mandopop himself – what more could a Jay Chou fan ask for? Clear sound apparently, which explains the refund petition, negative Facebook reviews, and bad press that have popped up since the Invincible concert on September 3rd.

The online refund petition was started the very next day, asking for refunds by some fans who “only heard muffled sound and strong bass throughout”. Since it began 4 days ago, the petition has garnered over 2,300 signatures.

On Sports Hub’s Facebook page, the sentiment of poor sound quality was echoed by many:
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Even if it got a little over-dramatic at one point:

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Jokes aside, spending $88 – $338 to not-hear your favourite singer would be unpleasant to say the least.

The problem of poor sound is not unheard of for Sports Hub concerts. To quote disgruntled fans of past concerts:

“The sound was very muffled and the bass was too overpowering”

Jay Chou’s Opus Tour (2014)

“… a lot of the time I could not make out what Madonna was saying.”

Madonna’s Rebel Heart concert (Feb 2016)

While organisers can play a part (Mariah Carey visited in 2014, the NDP 2016 used its enhanced sound system, and neither faced the same backlash), the sound situation might be explained by stadium acoustics too. According to the Business Insider, stadiums lack the acoustics for pristine music, with thousands of hard seats creating echoes, and lots of air potentially changing temperature and warping sound. The accounts of Metallica’s concert at US Bank Stadium, and the deja vu-sounding complaints after Eminem’s Wembley Stadium event are food for thought in this direction.

In the meantime the fans want the organiser, Multimedia Entertainment, to go back to its roots and have made it pretty clear where they would like to hear Jay Chou in the future:

Screen Shot 2016-09-08 at 11.16.40 AMScreen Shot 2016-09-08 at 11.18.15 AMScreen Shot 2016-09-08 at 11.18.10 AMWhile we don’t know what the organisers will do next time around, one thing seems certain: Jay Chou will return. It’s only a question of when, and if it’s accompanied by the sweet sounds of Faraway, or yet another exasperated groan from fans.


Written by Vincent Tan