Kaohsiung pop music center begins construction
Central News Agency
2014-03-03 11:00 PM
Kaohsiung, March 3 (CNA) A groundbreaking ceremony was held in Kaohsiung on Monday to officially begin the construction of a center that hopes to promote Taiwan's pop music culture. Speaking at the ceremony, Premier Jiang Yi-huah expected the Maritime Cultural and Popular Music Center to greatly increase job opportunities in Taiwan's performance and cultural and creative industries. The 11.5-hectare center will include a 5,000-seat concert hall and six smaller venues for live music performances accommodating 200 to 1,000 spectators each. Located in Kaohsiung Harbor, the NT$5.45 billion (US$179.84 million) center will also have an outdoor plaza with a capacity of up to 12,000 people, according to the Ministry of Culture. The construction of the Kaohsiung center is part of a plan to upgrade Taiwan's pop music performance venues and facilities and boost its pop music industry. The Taipei Pop Music Center, which began construction in June last year, is also part of the plan. There are currently few large indoor venues in Taiwan suitable for holding pop concerts. Taipei Arena, National Taiwan University Sports Center and Nangang Exhibition Hall are among the only ones, and they were not specifically designed to hold rock concerts. The government believes that building large venues to support Taiwan's burgeoning pop music sector will further boost concert sales. The output value of Taiwan's pop music industry reached NT$12.3 billion (US$405.83 million) in 2012, up 75.47 percent from 2009, Culture Minister Lung Ying-tai said. Digital music revenues also rose by 88.94 percent from 2009 to 2012, while concert revenues grew by 133.66 percent between those years, showing the need to establish such centers, she said. Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu said that once completed, the center will be connected to other major infrastructure projects, such as an exhibition center, wharf and waterfront sky train, and will shape Kaohsiung's future for decades to come. The Maritime Cultural and Popular Music Center and the Taipei Pop Music Center are expected to be completed in 2015 and 2016, respectively. (By Sabine Cheng and Christie Chen)
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