Asia: Tokyo Disney Extends Closure, BTS Streaming, Beijing Clubs Struggle

Tokyo Disneyland
AP Photo / Jae C. Hong
– Tokyo Disneyland
Leaving Tokyo Disneyland in Urayasu, near Tokyo, Feb. 28.

Universal Japan, Tokyo DIsney Extend Closure

Japan’s three biggest theme parks, Universal Studios Japan and the two parks that make up Tokyo Disney Resort, have extended their closures through to May. All three parks have been closed since Feb. 20. 
USJ, which operates the only Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction in the Universal Studios family of parks, originally planned to reopen on April 12, but following the Japanese government’s coronavirus state of emergency declaration on April 7, which covers seven prefectures, including Osaka where USJ is located, the operators of the park extended the closure until at least the “middle of May,” according to a USJ press release. All tickets purchased for the park in April and May are fully refundable. 
Tokyo Disney Resort, which is located in Chiba Prefecture, also subject to the SOE declaration, likewise extended its closure notice until late May in light of the declaration. Oriental Land Co., which operates Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea, originally said they would reopen the two parks on April 20. 
Universal Studios Singapore, the smallest Universal Studios park in the world, is also closed indefinitely, but will offer a Virtual Theme Park Trip over the internet courtesy of Theme Park Insider. 

BTS Streaming

at MetLife Stadium MetLife Stadium in New Jersey May 18.

The top K-pop band of the moment, BTS, like all music endeavors, decided to cancel its upcoming tours, disappointing fans who hoped for a mere postponement. The shows, which had already been scheduled, were long sold out before being canceled, along with the group’s North American tour, which has been postponed 
In the meantime, BTS will be streaming existing concert footage on April 18-19 in day-long celebrations called Bang Bang Con, a Korean term used to describe events centered on a single idea. 
According to Forbes, the concerts will be posted on BTS’s YouTube channel, BangTan TV, along with some “exclusive” content. The first day of the festival will feature videos from shows that BTS performed from 2014 to 2016. The second day will highlight two shows from 2017 and one from 2019 filmed during their massive world tour. The exclusive content consists of special concerts that were performed only for the group’s official fan club and which include deep cuts from their catalogue as well as conversations with the audience, skits and even games. All of the content will be free and available worldwide. 
Rainbow Disco Club Goes Virtual
Rainbow Disco Club is one of the first annual events of the Japanese music festival season and like all such events this year it’s been canceled due to the coronavirus crisis. The festival takes place in the verdant coastal forests of Shizuoka Prefecture south of Tokyo, but instead of leaving the artists and fans out in the cold, the organizers, with help from local e-ticketing platform Zaiko, will put on a virtual version of the festival on April 18. 
The main idea, according to a representative of Zaiko interviewed in the Japan Times, is to “support all the people who come together to make this festival and to keep the spirit alive.”
A number of artists who are already slated to appear in Shizuoka will show up as planned and play their sets, only without an audience. Fans can pay money to stream the 12-hour event online, which is being produced by the Japanese company that usually puts together the post-festival concert film. Vendors will also be able to sell merchandise online during the streaming. 
So far, eleven artists have agreed to appear online, including DJ Nobu, Soichi Terada, Wata Igarashi and Machina. Zaiko also says that they will provide a “virtual dance floor” on the teleconferencing app Zoom during the festival, which will allow streaming ticketholders to interact with one another. 
Beijing Club Scene Struggling
As in all cities throughout the world, the club scene in Beijing has been devastated by the coronavirus crisis, but owing to its relatively short history it hasn’t received a great deal of attention.
 Nightclubs come and go as a matter of course in the Chinese capital owing to very high rents, so the increased number of closures isn’t seen as a significant change. However, according to the local English-language blog The Beijinger, some venues are fighting hard to stay afloat even as the lockdown continues. 
As in Japan, some clubs are reaching out to regular customers for donations to keep them from going under. One club, Zhao Dai, which has been instrumental in defending the LGBT community and “experimental-leaning techno,” is asking followers to contribute money directly to club, which still has to pay the rent, and in return the contributors will “receive double [their] money in credit to be spent at the club once it reopens.” 
The response, apparently, has been impressive, and a representative of the club told the blog that the experiment showed how crowdfunding in China could work once a certain “shameful barrier” was overcome. The representative says that the success of the campaign proves that the club has had a valuable impact on the community, especially during these trying times. Zhao Dai has even managed to continue with some fairly extensive renovations to the club that began before the crisis started. The club says it hopes to reopen by late May or early June.