JJ Lin Sanctuary Finale Virtual Concert marred by technical issues; Sistic to offer refunds

JJ Lin opened the show in a snazzy futuristic white outfit.
JJ Lin opened the show in a snazzy futuristic white outfit.PHOTO: JJ LIN/INSTAGRAM

SINGAPORE - It was meant to be a grand finale to Singaporean superstar JJ Lin's Sanctuary World Tour, which has toured 43 cities, including Singapore.

The two-hour JJ Lin Sanctuary Finale Virtual Concert, which started at 8pm on Saturday (July 10), was spectacular but let down by technical issues. Many viewers experienced severe lagging when trying to access the show's live stream, leading them to flood the Facebook page of streaming partner Sistic with angry comments and demanding refunds.

At 9.10pm, Sistic posted on its Facebook page that it was experiencing technical difficulties. It said: "Please give us a few moments as we work to resume this live stream. We apologise unreservedly to all those affected by tonight's technical difficulties."

In the early hours of Sunday (July 11), Sistic issued a media statement saying it was "devastated" at being unable to resolve streaming issues with its technical partner, whom it relied on for certain aspects of the concert's live broadcast, despite its best efforts.

It said: "Despite our best preparations including conducting stress tests, load tests and catering for double the anticipated demand, the Sistic team encountered unforeseen issues with our technical partner which we immediately investigated but were not able to resolve in a satisfactory manner."

Sistic chief executive officer Joe Ow said: "As disappointed as we are about the outcome, we believe the disappointment of JJ fans is much greater. I would like to apologise unreservedly to JJ Lin, his fans, JFJ Productions, Unusual Entertainment, Isotope Productions, partners and all crew members who worked so hard to make this highly anticipated show a reality."

The ticketing service provider said it will be offering a refund to all affected patrons, as well as the opportunity to view the concert at a later date. Patrons will be notified by e-mail.

Lin, 40, acknowledged the hiccups at multiple times during Saturday's show. During a segment thanking the various partners behind the concert, he said: "I will definitely communicate this to them and hope that they, Sistic, give everyone a good reparation."

In a fan interaction segment later, he also said: "We will make sure that those who have bought tickets from Sistic... we will work out something to make sure that you guys are able to watch the concert."

He had opened the show in a snazzy futuristic white outfit, singing the song Sanctuary. Later on, he changed into an all-black trenchcoat to sing The Key and Longing; and wore a gaudy matador-like outfit when crooning the ballad Small Dimple.

Known for his pitch-perfect live performances, Lin gave repeat performances of She Says, River South and Twilight, just like he did at the National Stadium in 2019.

From his latest album Drifter • Like You Do, released last year (2020), he sang the Mandarin number No Turning Back while tickling the ivories on a white grand piano. And he played the electric guitar as he sang the heady English song Not Tonight.

Whether it was his vocals, versatility with musical instruments or presentation, there was no doubting Lin's talent and showmanship. It was a pity technical difficulties prevented this brilliance from reaching many fans.