Madonna's gig in Singapore rated R18

Madonna (above) performing on her Rebel Heart Tour in Paris, France, last month.
Madonna (above) performing on her Rebel Heart Tour in Paris, France, last month.PHOTO: REUTERS

An advisory on sexual references has been issued for the American singer's concert, her first here, on Feb 28

Madonna's Rebel Heart tour concert in Singapore on Feb 28 has been issued a rare R18 rating by the Media Development Authority with an advisory on "Sexual References".

Only those aged 18 and older will be allowed entry to the National Stadium for the concert, according to a press release on Wednesday by local coordinators Mediacorp Vizpro International.

The Rebel Heart tour setlist includes a segment in which she performs a mash-up of her songs Holy Water and Vogue, involving scantily clad nuns pole-dancing on cross-shaped stripper poles. Madonna herself takes a turn on the pole, before joining her dancers on a Last Supper-style table.

This is not the first time a pop concert in Singapore has received a rating for mature content. Adam Lambert's 2013 concert in Singapore at the Star Performing Arts centre was given an "Advisory 16 and above (some mature content)" rating by the Media Development Authority, while Lady Gaga's Born This Way Tour in 2012 carried the advisory "some controversial religious content".

  • BOOK IT / MADONNA

  • REBEL HEART TOUR

    WHERE: National Stadium

    WHEN: Feb 28, 8pm

    ADMISSION: $108 to $688; VIP tickets at $1,288 each

    INFO: Tickets available at Sportshubtix.sg (call 3158-7888) and on site at the National Stadium box office and all SingPost outlets. Public sales start at 10am next Tuesday

Singapore is one of several stops on the Asian leg of the Rebel Heart tour, which includes Japan, Hong Kong, Taipei, Macau, Bangkok and Manila. Both dates in Hong Kong are sold out.

  • 10 most expensive gig tickets here

  • 1 MADONNA

    Where: National Stadium

    When: Feb 28, 2016

    Admission: $1,288 for VIP, $688 for the next tier

  • 2 G-DRAGON

    Where: Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre

    When: October 2013

    Admission: $1,000 for concert tickets with meet-and-greet, $120 for just concert tickets

  • 3 RAIN

    Where: Singapore Indoor Stadium,

    When: January 2007

    Admission: $888 (given to sponsors), $488 for the next tier

  • 4 THE ROLLING STONES

    Where: Sands Grand Ballroom, Marina Bay Sands

    When: March 2014

    Admission: $700

  • 5 Berlin Philharmonic

    Where: Esplanade Concert Hall

    When: November 2010

    Admission: $680

  • 6 STING & EDIN KARAMAZOV

    Where: Esplanade Concert Hall

    When: December 2008

    Admission: $600

  • 7 THE POLICE

    Where: Singapore Indoor Stadium

    When: February2008

    Admission: $600

  • 8 A.R. RAHMAN

    Where: Gardens by the Bay - The Meadow

    When: April 2014

    Admission: $598 for VIP, $298 for the next tier

  • 9 ANDREA BOCELLI

    Where: Singapore Indoor Stadium

    When: May 2004

    Admission: $500

  • 10 SHAH RUKH KHAN

    Where: Singapore Indoor Stadium

    When: November 2003

    Admission: $500

    Eddino Abdul Hadi

Tickets cost from $108 to $688, while VIP tickets are going at $1,288 each. Details on what the VIP tickets will get buyers are not available yet. The VIP tickets are the most expensive concert tickets in Singapore to date.

In 2013, K-pop star G-Dragon charged $1,000 for concert tickets that included a meet-and-greet session, although fans paid $120 for just the show tickets.

In 2007, another Korean superstar, Rain, made headlines when his top tickets were advertised as $888. Organisers later clarified that these were not sold, but given to sponsors and Rain's management instead. The highest amount fans paid for that show was $488.

Other high-priced gig tickets here include The Rolling Stones in 2014, capped at $700 for VIP tickets, and Berliner Philharmoniker (Berlin Philharmonic) in 2010 at $680. In 2008, English singer and musician Sting played two concerts here that cost up to $600, a classical show at the Esplanade and a rock show with his old band The Police at Singapore Indoor Stadium.

Madonna's Singapore VIP ticket prices are cheaper than those at some of her other regional stops.

At HK$11,888 (S$2,197), Hong Kong's VIP tickets are the most expensive, although the regular prices range from HK$688 to HK$2,488. In Macau, VIP tickets are MOP10,588 (S$1,900) while the regular tickets go from MOP2,588 to MOP8,888. Manila's VIP tickets peak at PHP57,750 (S$1,760) while regular tickets cost between PHP3,150 and PHP29,400.

Tickets here will be available at Sportshubtix.sg (call 3158-7888) and on site at the National Stadium box office and all SingPost outlets.

Pre-sale tickets for the Madonna Icon Fan Club go on sale from 10am todayto 5pm tomorrow. Fans who buy the US$20 (S$41.60) Icon Live Pass get access to pre-sale tickets for this week, membership of Madonna's official worldwide fan club, access to a fan forum on the tour and an exclusive tour gift.

Citibank credit cardholders will be able to buy pre-sale tickets from 10am on Saturday to 5pm on Sunday. Pre-sale for OCBC credit cardholders will be next Monday from 10am to 5pm. Public sales start on Tuesday at 10am.

Madonna's upcoming concert will be her first in Singapore.

The 57-year-old American singer was banned from performing her controversial Girlie Show World Tour here in 1993, when police said that her performances in the show "border on the obscene... (and are) known to be objectionable to many on moral and religious grounds".

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 07, 2016, with the headline 'Madonna's gig in Singapore rated R18'. Print Edition | Subscribe