Ansan Valley Festival Canceled

South Korean entertainment agency CJ E&M has canceled the Ansan Valley Rock Festival, scheduled for the weekend of July 25-27, in a show of solidarity with the country in its grief over the Sewol ferry disaster.

Photo: AP Photo / Lee Jin-man
Messages wish the safe return of those still missing in the Sewol ferry sinking. 

As of April 24, when the announcement was made, 160 passengers, mostly students, had been declared dead with 140 still missing.

“Our nation is in a time of grieving, [so] it is unjustifiable for us to hold a festival, especially considering the relocation of the festival starting last year,” said CJ E&M’s music division chairman, Ahn Suk-joon.

Ansan is the location of the high school that many of the victims attended. “It is true that our festival’s brand will take a big blow by skipping a year. However, that loss cannot even be compare to the weight of our citizens’ heartbreak and that takes priority,” Ahn Suk-joon’s statement continued.

Though CJ E&M had not announced a lineup, the festival was to take place the same weekend as the Fuji Rock Festival in Japan.

In recent years the two festivals have shared artists and, presumably, costs to bring those artists to Asia.

Fuji has continued to add artists to its roster.

Arcade Fire was announced as the headliner for Saturday night, and The Flaming LipsHuun Huur TuChet Faker and more than a dozen Japanese acts were added to the bill in recent weeks.

Also, Franz Ferdinand was promoted to main headliner on Friday night. Kanye West was supposed to headline Friday but canceled several weeks ago.