Asia: Eric Clapton, Summer Sonic, Hard Rock International, Jacky Cheung

Eric Clapton
Greg Allen /
– Eric Clapton
Eric Clapton plays Madison Square Garden Arena in NYC March 19.

Clapton To Do Five Nights At Budokan
Though Eric Clapton has said he will no longer tour, he apparently will still make time for extended concert residencies in countries he loves. In mid-January, Udo Artists announced that Clapton will be playing five nights at the legendary Budokan Arena in Tokyo: April 13, 15, 17, 18 and 20.
 They will be his only Asian shows this year, as far as his schedule indicates at the moment. 
Tickets go on sale in early February.
RCHP, B’z, Chainsmokers For Summer Sonic
Creativeman Productions has announced the three headliners for this year’s Summer Sonic festival, which will be in Tokyo and Osaka simultaneously Aug. 16-18. 
The Red Hot Chili Peppers will appear one of the nights. The hugely popular Japanese rock duo B’z will appear on another night, and The Chainsmokers round out the headliners. 
The 2019 edition of Summer Sonic marks the 20th anniversary of the festival, and so Creativeman is expanding it from the usual two days to three. Internet buzz was intense over the announcement, though some people commented that there were no real surprises. 
The Chili Peppers also headlined the 20th anniversary edition of SS’s main rival, the Fuji Rock Festival, several years ago and B’z inclusion was obviously a bid to guarantee ticket sales, as they’re immensely popular and SS rarely features a Japanese act as a headliner. 
B’z will be touring stadiums and arenas in Japan off and on during 2019. The Chainmokers are seen to be a means of bringing in people who prefer large-scale electronic dance festivals, which Creativeman also promotes.
Hard Rock Hoping For Tomakomai
Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido held an Integrated Resort Showcase Jan. 9 with one of the presenters being Jim Allen, the chairman and CEO of Hard Rock International. Allen unveiled a scale model of Hard Rock International’s Entertainment Resort Concept for the city of Tomakomai, which is hoping to get approval for casino-inclusive integrated resorts from the Japanese government. 
The Hard Rock resort will include monorail access from Chitose International Airport, Hard Rock’s iconic guitar-shaped hotel, a Four Seasons Resort, a Hard Rock Live venue, multi-purpose Broadway-style theaters, a state-of-the-art wellness center and 215,000 square feet of retail and dining space. It will also include an Ainu village experience that is designed to raise awareness of the local indigenous Ainu people. 
In order to promote the IR proposal, Hard Rock International announced its participation in the Sapporo Snow Festival, which is celebrating its 70th anniversary in the city of Sapporo, the capital of Hokkaido. As part of the festival Hard Rock International constructed a massive, four-story snow sculpture showcasing the animated J-pop star Hatsune Miku. Hard Rock is also co-sponsoring a local professional soccer team and donated money to the Hokkaido Earthquake Charitable Relief Fund, which provides aid to residents who suffered losses in the large earthquake that struck the area last year. 
In the past few years, Hokkaido has become a very popular tourist destination for Asians, especially tourists from China and Taiwan. Hokkaido’s ski resorts are world famous. 

More Ticket Attacks
In the early morning of Jan. 16, two men from mainland China visiting Hong Kong were beaten and robbed of HK$141,000 ($18,000) after being lured to the city to buy tickets for concerts by Canto-pop star Jacky Cheung.
According to the South China Morning Post, the robbery took place outside the Nam Cheong MTR station at about 1:00 a.m.. The victims, aged 16 and 33, had been put in contact with a woman through the mobile messaging service WeChat and were offered 92 concert tickets for HK$122,000. The meeting for the transaction was to take place outside the MTR station, but according to police, when the victims arrived they were “beaten with iron rods … by four masked South Asian men and robbed of a rucksack” that contained the cash. The attackers then fled by automobile driven by “a Chinese man.” By the time police arrived, the car was gone. 
The two victims were injured but not enough to require hospital treatment. The police believe the whole transaction was a set-up from the beginning. 
Cheung is currently carrying out a 15-concert run at the Hong Kong Coliseum until Jan. 29. About 70,000 tickets had been sold to the shows, ranging from HK$380 to HK$980. However, the victims of the attack were going to pay an average of HK$1,326 per ticket. Lately, there have been several attacks on people who have bought tickets to prominent pop shows in China and Hong Kong.