Rain Delay

It looks like at least part of the Asian wave discussed in Pollstar’s June 18th Hotstar feature isn’t on its way just yet. K-pop star Rain, whose real name is Jung Ji-Hoon, has been forced to postpone all but one of his upcoming U.S. shows. The singer’s Los Angeles gig at the Staples Center was still expected to happen.

While news reports, bloggers and fan sites have been rife with speculation about the reason behind the postponement, the primary cause is a lawsuit.

Jung, JYP Entertainment and Star M – the Korean company that owns the rights to the singer’s world tour – are all being sued by Rain Corporation, a Nevada company that represents Rain: The Beatles Experience, a Fab Four tribute band.

The suit alleges trademark infringement, asks for an injunction and seeks damages plus "three times the profits attributable to the Defendants infringement of the Mark."

Representatives for Rain Corporation declined to comment on the suit.

Revolution Entertainment’s John Yi, the promoter responsible for Jung’s shows in Hawaii, Atlanta and New York, said the decision to postpone was difficult but necessary.

"We couldn’t take a chance," Yi told Pollstar. With a hearing on the case scheduled for June 14th, the timing was too close to be able to fix things if the ruling didn’t come out in Jung’s favor, he said.

"We asked Madison Square Garden whether it was possible to move the dates, and they said it was OK because they know all of the things that are going on."

Yi hopes to reschedule the shows in September or October.

V2B’s Andrew Kim, who is responsible for the singer’s Los Angeles show, said that in the end, the lawsuit wasn’t the only problem facing the tour.

"It is the lawsuit," Kim told Pollstar. "But a lawsuit isn’t enough to stop the [Los Angeles] show, because it’s just a matter of changing the name."

He said Jung’s Korean team was concerned that it wouldn’t be possible to move the singer’s massive production, which was designed by Roy Bennett, from city to city quickly enough. Bennett also designed Madonna’s Confessions tour stage.

"They were trying to do too many venues for too big a show," Kim said. "It’s a huge show with a lot of video and a lot of pyrotechnics.

"Although we anticipated that it could be done, in the end we just felt that the timing would be too close."

He pulled a show originally planned for San Francisco because he didn’t think it would be possible to move 18 truckloads of equipment to Los Angeles and get everything set up within the three-day window he had to do it.

"Imagine trying to do that from New York to San Francisco," he said.

Kim said that Star M also had unrealistic expectations of the kind of cooperation they would get from U.S. venues in setting up for each show.

"The biggest issue wasn’t the ability to get the equipment there," he said. "It was the fact that, in Asia, you get about a week to set up your show. Here, you get less than 24 hours."

Kim, who in addition to his promotion duties is a friend of Jung, said the singer is disappointed, and if it was up to him he’d be doing all of the scheduled shows.

Jung apologized in a statement issued to his Korean fans and promised he would make things right.

"Until now, I worked hard on this tour, and I think it was a success so far," Jung said. "But at the end of the journey, [on the] U.S. tour, we faced a problem with the name issue and some disagreement between promoters. I want to bring it to a successful conclusion.

"Fans shouldn’t suffer in any way because of this. I am deeply stressed over this. I will try to find a way to solve this problem in every aspect for fans."