Late And Seatless

Korean movie star Lee Byung-hun apologized to about 20,000 Japanese fans at Saitama Super Arena outside Tokyo June 3 for the “Dramatic Live Stage Iris,” which featured Lee and his co-stars from the big-budget Korean TV series “Iris.”

The start of the event was delayed one hour because an additional stage had been set up by the organizer just before the show in an area previously reserved for standing room only ticket-holders.

As a result, 2,800 people were left without a place to stand, or sit, for that matter. Apparently, the organizer wasn’t aware of the situation until right before the doors opened and the seatless masses, mostly women in their 40s and 50s, protested loudly.

According to reports, 15 police had to be called in to quell the eruption.

Seats were eventually found in the upper tiers of the cavernous arena, but Lee felt bad enough that he promised to “perform more than I had prepared to.”

“Performance” may be stretching it a bit. Though Lee and his co-stars did sing several songs associated with the TV series, most of the evening was taken up with interviews and questions from the audience, as well as reenactments of scenes from the show.

It was a huge hit in Korea last year but has proved to be something of a ratings dud in Japan so far.

Speaking of the Saitama Super Arena, part of the lineup has been announced for the 2010 version of Asia’s premier metal festival Loud Park, which will be Oct. 16-17 at the arena.

The first batch of artists includes Ozzy Osbourne, Korn, Motorhead, Avenged Sevenfold and Angra. Metallica will visit the same venue Sept. 25-26. No other Japanese Metallica shows have been announced so far.