A shortage of artists and performers to fill a growing number of empty spaces in Macau’s non-gaming entertainment sector will create a new challenge for operators as they enter a post-COVID world, according to former Executive Creative Director of Sands China, Tomos Griffiths.
“There are not that many artists to go around, so it’s going to be really interesting times,” Griffiths said during a presentation at the third AustCham Macau Power Hour, held at St. Regis Macao on Wednesday.
“Competition is going to be fierce … it’s going to be a interesting when it comes negotiations because partisan control will now be in the hands of the artists here in Asia, and there will be an opportunity as well for the Westerners.”
Macau’s showbiz industry has been severely impacted by COVID-19, with the government’s early prevention measures including the closure of all entertainment venues such as theaters, nightclubs and cinemas. City of Dreams’ iconic resident show, “The House of Dancing Water,” was suspended for seven months from June with Melco Resorts & Entertainment taking the opportunity to renovate the theater due to low audience numbers during COVID.
Griffiths, who worked for Sands China from 2008 to June 2020, told attendees of the AustCham Macau event, titled “Macau Entertainment: a Work in Progress,” that resurrecting Macau’s non-gaming attractions as visitation returns could be easier said than done.
“As an artist, it’s a great time to be a local artist because you’re going to be in huge demand,” he said.
“Now is the time to develop those things, develop those shows, that material on that repertoire that will make you more available in the future.”
Griffiths also encouraged local Macau artists to take the opportunity to produce their own shows.