A star-studded charity concert to raise money for roads and other projects in Phnom Penh collected $10,000 in ticket sales, organizers said Sunday.
The concert, held Saturday and Sunday at Hun Sen Garden, drew an unknown number of onlookers. An exact audience figure was not available because many could not afford the $12 entrance fee.
While more than half of the seats remained empty, crowds pressed against the edges of the concert venue to listen to the music and gaze at the elaborate stage, on which more than 30 of Cambodia’s most famous stars performed.
The empty seats did not affect pop singer Preap Sowatch, who said, “The stage is big, and it’s a good one. My job is to perform.”
She said selling tickets was the responsibility of the organizers.
Singer Srey Touch Chamnan said she didn’t realize at first that the seats were empty because it was dark and she couldn’t see the audience.
“But afterwards, when [I knew] there were only people in the front rows, I lost my motivation. Maybe the tickets were too expensive, and ordinary people couldn’t afford them.”
Those who could not afford tickets managed to have a good time.
One woman in the crowd outside the concert venue began dancing to the music, drawing applause from her neighbors who watched her instead of the show.
Others said that although the official event was a good show, it was playing to more empty seats than humans. At one point, as performers pleaded with the crowd to buy more tickets, one person yelled, “We can’t! We don’t have the money!”
The show was broadcast live on CTV Channel 9.