Tough Times In Korea

The worldwide financial crisis seems to be hitting the Korean concert industry particularly hard.

Two major multi-artist concerts were canceled in the past month, reportedly because of sponsorship problems. An event billed as the Super Concert and scheduled for Seoul’s Bucheon Stadium Oct. 25 was canceled Oct. 24.

Some of the peninsula’s biggest pop groups, including DBSK, Super Junior Happy and JunJin, were booked to perform.

Korean media reported the sponsors are suffering mightily under the current global credit crunch and couldn’t come up with the cash to pay the performers. That led to the management companies pulling their artists from the lineup, causing the organizers to cancel the event.

Many fans from other countries, mainly Taiwan, had already booked flights and hotel rooms to attend the show.

A few weeks earlier, the MBC Big Music Fiesta, scheduled for the city of Ulsan on Oct. 11, was canceled for the same reasons only three hours before doors were set to open.

Korean entertainment companies are seeing their domestic business shrink considerably, and with the local currency losing value on a daily basis, the overseas market is becoming more and more important.

That’s why the biggest name in K-pop at the moment is Big Bang, a boy band that’s doing extremely well in Japan as it prepares to release a second album.

In recent weeks, the group has appeared on almost every major music-related television show in Japan and sat for numerous media interviews.

Big Bang also did a successful small arena tour last week. After Japan and the rest of Asia, Big Bang plans to try to conquer North America as well.