Asia: Road To Ultra, Ian Hunt, EDM

OD Reports At Road To Ultra

One person died and three others were hospitalized reportedly due to drug use at the Road to Ultra EDM festival that took place in Hong Kong Sept. 16.

All four victims are natives of Hong Kong and fell ill at different times on Saturday afternoon and Saturday night, according to The South China Morning Post. Police say, however, that none of the four had “carried … illegal drugs.”

The three who were hospitalized – one woman and two men in their 20s – were still in critical condition as of Sept. 18. The woman is said to have a chronic heart problem.

Though no drugs were found on the persons of the victims, police did find two plastic bags containing ecstasy and the tranquilizer Midazolam on the event site Sunday morning.

Road to Ultra was held outdoors in the Nursery Park of the West Kowloon Cultural District, whose authority told the newspaper that “security measures adopted by event organizers were considered when deciding whether to rent a venue to applicants.”

In light of the situation, the authority said it would review “details of the admission process, including security checks and personnel arrangements for events to be held at the arts hub.” About 100 security personnel were working at the venue during the festival and all attendants underwent security checks. The park has three first aid stations. 

Ian Hunter & The Rant Band
Scott Legato /
– Ian Hunter & The Rant Band
DTE Energy Music Theatre, Clarkston, Mich.

In addition, the authority stressed that “external hirers” had to show “zero tolerance” for illegal activities. This is the second time Road to Ultra has been held in Hong Kong.

Ian Hunter Shows Canceled 

Ian Hunter and the Rant Band were scheduled to play two club concerts in Tokyo last week, but the shows were canceled less than a week before the planned dates.

According to Hunter’s Facebook page, the concerts were canceled by the local promoter, but the promoter’s own Facebook page states that the decision to halt the shows was reached through an agreement between Hunter, his management and the promoter.

The promoter also said the shows were postponed, not canceled. One Japanese commenter on Hunter’s Facebook page stated that a ticketholder had called the promoter to find out why the concerts were canceled and was told that it may have had something to do with “military tensions on the Korean peninsula.”

Hunter did not reply to a request for clarification on his Facebook page from a Japanese journalist.

EDM Thriving After Dance Law Revoked

With the end last year of Japan’s infamous “dance law,” which seriously curtailed the operations of late-night clubbing activities, the EDM scene in Tokyo and other Japanese cities has become a booming business.

As a result, the electronic music e-ticketing service iFlyer, which recently formed an alliance with Sony Music Entertainment, has seen its own business blossom. Last week, iFlyer also announced it would be cooperating with EventChain, a ticketing service that uses blockchain technology.

According to, EventChain uses “a unique smart contract ticketing system” called SmartTickets “to enable ticket buyers and event managers to purchase or sell tickets using the platform’s own EVC tokens or any other payment option. It offers a simple user interface for managing ticket sales powered by blockchain technology and EVC tokens, providing a real P2P network for selling and buying tickets worldwide.”

Blockchain technology is already being touted as a more secure means for conducting commercial transactions over the internet using cryptocurrencies. Several Silicon Valley entrepreneurs with experience in Bitcoin have recently joined EventChain to help it develop the ticketing project.

Malek Nasser, the CEO of iFlyer, said in a statement, “Our goal is to reduce fraud and create a safe facility for legitimate transfer ownership. Integration will begin in the second quarter of 2018 in Japan, and then into other territories in Asia, then globally.”

Olympics Tickets Slow

Pyeongchang Winter Olympics Plaza
Lee Jin-man/AP
– Pyeongchang Winter Olympics Plaza
Construction on the venue to host the opening and closing ceremonies at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in 2018.

The International Olympic Committee has urged the organizers of next year’s winter games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, to boost promotion and ticket sales, according to Reuters.

The games, which start in February, face an extra hurdle with the escalating North Korean crisis, which has prompted the UN Security Council to strengthen sanctions against the Pyongyang regime. The IOC acknowledges that all the basic ingredients are in place for the games and that now the focus should “shift to operational readiness, promotion and legacy.”

Reports say that sales of tickets have been slower than expected, and the chief of the games, Lee Hee-beom is now talking to local governments and schools to increase sales in order to guarantee fuller venues. Some events, such as short track, figure skating and ice hockey, have shown healthy sales, but others, in particularl snow sports, cross-country skiing and Paralympic Games, are seeing less than 20 percent sales.

International sales are stronger, with about half of the 320,000 international tickets gone. However, with the North Korean crisis ongoing, it may be difficult to increase that number.