|VOV Vice President Ngo Minh Hien addresses the press conference to introduce the program of the contest.
The ASEAN+3 Song Contest is scheduled take place in Ha Long city in the northern province of Quang Ninh from July 26-29. The regional song contest is open to entries from professional pop singers aged between 18 and 35 from 10 Southeast Asian nations.
According to VOV Vice President Ngo Minh Hien, who is also the head of the organising board for the competition, in preparation for this year’s event, VOV assigned a number of units to assume different responsibilities in order to undergo a wide range of tasks simultaneously in terms of logistics, program agenda, and advertisements for the regional cultural event.
Working sessions between VOV and the Quang Ninh province People’s Committee has received enthusiastic assistance in arranging the venue and ensuring that issues relating to transportation, security, health, food hygiene, safety, and reception work, had adequate solutions.
The national broadcaster has already laid the groundwork for the occasion and is ready to welcome the judges, contestants from 10 ASEAN member states, and four guest singers from the Republic of Korea (RoK), Japan, and China.
The VOV leader emphasised that VOV has made improvements in terms of organisation ahead of this year’s contest. For example, an agenda was drawn up at an early stage of planning to get contestants involved in environmental protection activities in the local area while tours to Ha Long bay and the Quang Ninh museum have been arranged for contestants.
VOV will make video clips featuring these activities as a way of promoting tourism, culture, and the image of Ha Long city. Furthermore, 22 candidates from 10 nations will be wearing their national costumes with cultural diversity being a highlight of the event, noted Mr Hien.
VOV and the Quang Ninh province People’s Committee have chosen the Quang Ninh Exhibition of Planning and Expo Centre as the venue for the competition’s semi-finals and final.
He added that this is a popular venue suitable for holding events of an international stature before promising that this year’s ASEAN+3 Song Contest will prove to be an unforgettable memory for all contestants.
Some of the preparations completed by VOV include the design of a logo for the contest and arrangement of booths at the venue where young people can take photos.
With regard to the quality of contestants and challenges involved in inviting international judges and guest singers, Mr Hien said the quality of this year’s participants is better than that of the 2017 version with each performance being carefully prepared for and coupled with beautiful images.
Embassies of ASEAN member states have been working in collaboration with the Ministries of Culture in their respective nations to tighten the selection process in order to choose the best candidates possible for the contest, Mr Hiein noted.
Mr Hien added that VOV had set up a selection council and worked vigorously in order to choose 22 contestants from 10 ASEAN member states to participate in the semi-final round on July 27 and the final round on July 28. Each nation will have two candidates while Vietnam and the Philippines will have three contestants.
The judging panel will also include a wealth of talent and experience with prestigious artists from Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines being involved who all have plenty of previous experience at international competitions. Vietnam will have two representatives among the judges, namely People’s Artist Trong Dai and diva Thanh Lam, who are both famous names within the Vietnamese music scene.
The VOV Vice President held that the four guest singers from the RoK, China, and Japan are all well-known in their own countries and have won several international awards and received plenty of praise from the public.
He went on to say that their presence will be an important part in strengthening cultural and music links among contestants within the ASEAN bloc along with the RoK, China, and Japan.
|VOV Vice President Ngo Minh Hien grants an interview to a VOV reporter.
Regarding the prizes for the competition’s winners, Mr Hien noted that aside from a cash prize of US$3,000 for the first-place winner, US$1,500 for the second-place artist, and US$1,000 for the third-place finalists, VOV will be recording and producing CDs to send to broadcasting and television stations throughout the region.
This will serve to elevate the image of the winners as VOV is a multimedia agency that has developed relationships with a number of major broadcasting and television stations throughout the world.
The winner of the previous version, first-prize winner Darlin Joy Baje from the Philippines, received ample support from VOV in his artistic activities.
For local singers who win the top prizes at the event, their achievements will be recognized by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism through future voting for People's Artist and Meritorious Artist titles.
Mr Hien revealed that aside from broadcasting performances by contestants on VOV’s channels such as Vietnam Journey, VTC, VOV3, and VOV5, the national broadcaster has also designed a special website titled ASEAN Song Contest in both English and Vietnamese at https://aseansongcontest.com . The website is to include video clips and the performances of singers which will be easily accessible for audiences at home and abroad.
In response to plans to expand the contest out of the ASEAN bloc,he stated that VOV will only arrange the competition within the ASEAN bloc as the occasion offers a good opportunity to strengthen mutual understanding and cultural exchanges among member states. In addition, the event also serves to create a platform for talents within the ASEAN community’s music industry.
Mr Hien also mentioned the possibility of organising the event on a larger scale depending on the demand from the public and the overall quality of the competition in the future.
He noted that Vietnam will soon assume the ASEAN Chairmanship with the contest playing a part in elevating the nation’s image, in addition to ASEAN in general, and also contributing to developing a prosperous ASEAN community.