Zepp Halls Continue Expansion

Sony Music Entertainment Japan has reinforced its plans to expand its network of Zepp concert halls.   

At present, the Japanese company’s Zepp Hall Network is made up of six 2,000-seat venues in Japan, and earlier this year it announced that in June it will open its first hall overseas, in Singapore, and in 2020 will add facilities in Kuala Lumpur and Taiwan.

Now, Sony says it will also build halls in Seoul, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Bangkok and Manila by 2023, according to the Nihon Keizai Shimbun newspaper.

These new facilities will be partly paid for by the Cool Japan Fund, a public-private scheme to promote Japanese pop culture content in other countries.

Cool Japan says it will invest up to 5 billion yen ($45 million) in the project, giving it a 49 percent stake. Consequently, the halls in foreign countries will mostly put on J-pop concerts.

The sound systems will be the same for all the venues, and each one will employ a full-time engineering staff, thus reducing costs for artists who play there. The newspaper says that one of the problems J-pop has had in gaining popularity throughout Asia is the lack of medium-sized state-of-the-art concert halls.