Asia: BTS, X Japan, Ticketing Attack

Skrillex and Yoshiki at Fuji Rock Japan
Courtesy Prime PR
– Skrillex and Yoshiki at Fuji Rock Japan

X Japan Back
X Japan made headlines in the band’s home country when announcing three upcoming concerts on consecutive nights at the Makuhari Messe Convention Center in Chiba, just east of Tokyo. 
The shows will take place Sept. 28-30. Competition for tickets immediately became big news, since the last time the group played such massive shows in Japan was 2010’s two-day soccer stadium run in front of 130,000 fans. 
The band’s leader, L.A.-based drummer/pianist Yoshiki, released a statement saying, “I had a lot of personal conflicts, both mentally and physically after surgery, and I wasn’t sure about these shows until the very last minute. But I think we should try to move forward. We’ll decide the future of the band based on these concerts.”
Yoshiko has suffered from debilitating back and neck problems for decades, and some have feared that X Japan would call it quits, which it has done in the past in a more informal way.
Asian Games Opening Ceremony
AP Photo / Achmad Ibrahim
– Asian Games Opening Ceremony
Fireworks explode over the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium during the opening ceremony for the 18th Asian Games at in Jakarta, Indonesia, Aug. 18.
Asian Games Snafu Pt. 2
Ticket sales continued to be a problem at the Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia. ChannelNewsAsia reports that fans have expressed anger at their inability to secure tickets for desired events even as “thousands of seats” for these events remain empty.
The problem seems to be the excessive number of seats allocated for VIPs, who then do not show up. The Olympic Council of Asia has lodged a formal complaint with the Indonesian organizers of the games and asked them to “reduce the number of places reserved for officials.” In some venues, VIP allocations are as high as 40 percent. In addition to causing grief for people of lesser means who want to attend, it “does not look good on the broadcasting when there are empty seats,” the OCA said in its letter to the organizing committee.
In addition, just before the games started the original online ticket vendor’s server broke down, forcing hundreds to line up for hours to secure tickets. The organizers quickly switched to a new e-commerce company to handle online sales, but it wasn’t enough and subsequently they had to bring in two additional sites to sell tickets. Since each site would have a quota of tickets to sell, fans may have to visit all three sites to find the exact seats they want. Also, some events on certain sites are said to be sold out when they actually aren’t. 
E-ticketing is important in preventing scalping. There are no specific laws in Indonesia that make scalping punishable. The games end Sept. 2.

Ticketing Attacks In China
Buying tickets for top concert draws is becoming dangerous in China. The Apple Daily reports that a number of people who were camping out in the city of Chai Wan to buy tickets for an upcoming tour by superstar actor and Cantopop singer Andy Lau were attacked. 
One 58-year-old man was stabbed and required hospitalization. He had been waiting two weeks for tickets when he was attacked at 4 a.m.
The men who approached the victim reportedly asked him to leave the area, and when he refused one took out a knife and cut him on his left arm and ear. Another man waiting on line told Apple Daily he was also attacked by the two men, though not with a knife. The man did as he was told and left, but returned the next day with his tent and resumed his vigil.
Lau heard about the attacks and posted a video on Facebook urging his fans to “stay safe” when lining up for tickets. He had been set to perform some shows last year but had to cancel after a horse-riding accident. The upcoming tour will run Dec. 15 to Jan. 3. Even before tickets went on sale for the general public, some appeared on third-party websites for as much as 10 times face value. 

Director Irks BTS Army
Joseph Kahn, a Korean-American music video director who has worked for Taylor Swift, uploaded a photo of the hot K-pop group BTS on his Twitter account with the caption, “They all have plastic surgery. They are all wearing lipstick. This is what Crazy Rich Asians actually look like.” 
The last sentence is a reference to the romantic comedy that has been the No. 1 box office hit in the U.S. for two weeks running. Later, he uploaded another tweet saying, “Asian Americans: Stop feminizing our men. Asians are macho too.” According to the Korea Times, fans of the group immediately accused Kahn of spreading unfounded rumors, objected to his characterization of Asian men as not being masculine, and criticized him for being intolerant of “men breaking gender norms.” Later, Kahn reacted to the backlash by saying he was “only kidding,” though he didn’t apologize.
Coincidentally, BTS’ video for its new single, “Idol,” was viewed on YouTube 45 million times within the first 24 hours that it was available, breaking the previous debut record for Taylor Swift’s “Look What You Made Me Do,” which racked up 43.2 million views during the same initial time period. And the video version of “Idol” doesn’t even feature Nicki Minaj, who appears on the album version of the song. 
BTS begins its first official U.S. tour in September at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. On Aug. 18, the band announced it had sold out 40,000 tickets to its gig at New York’s Citi Field, the final stop of the tour, which takes place Oct. 6.