Asia News: K-Pop Execs Meet With South Korean Government

Rich Polk/Getty Images for Capitol Music Group
– SuperM
Taemin, Kai, Taeyong, Baekhyun and Ten of SuperM perform onstage during SuperM Live From Capitol Records in Hollywood at Capitol Records Tower on October 05, 2019 in Los Angeles,

K-Pop Execs Meet With Korean Government
Eight executives from the top five K-pop companies met with South Korea’s culture minister on June 19 to discuss their financial difficulties in the face of the ongoing coronavirus crisis The Korea Herald reports. The five companies were S.M. Entertainment, JYP Entertainment, Big Hit Entertainment, FNC Entertainment and Starship Entertainment. 
Most of the meeting focused on losses due to cancellations and uncertainty in the concert segment of the companies’ business. All the companies confirmed that they had called off all live performances in front of audiences since February. With that in mind, the executives asked the Culture Ministry to “provide specific guidelines for holding offline concerts during the second half of the year.” 
The ministry said that it was currently looking at measures that would permit concerts to be held in four cities outside of Seoul that have been targeted as “tourism hubs.” The ministry is now discussing the matter with the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 
With an eye on expanding the so-called Korean Wave as South Korea leaves the coronavirus era sometime in the future, the entertainment companies asked the government to create a separate fund that would support Korean pop culture. In response, Culture Minister Park Yang-woo suggested government subsidies, tax incentives and looser regulations regarding export of entertainment-related products. 
Citing two very successful online concert events that have taken place in recent weeks, SM’s “Beyond Live” and Big Hit’s “Bang Bang Con,” Park said the industry already seemed prepared for a post-coronavirus era. “Beyond Live,” featuring the group SuperM, was watched by 75,000 people in 109 countries, and “Bang Bang Con,” featuring BTS, was streamed by 756,000 people in 107 countries. Both were fee-based online events. 
Wanderland Cancels In Philippines
The Wanderland Music and Arts Festival, which was originally scheduled for March at the Filinvest City Event Grounds in Metro Manila, Philippines, was officially cancelled on June 22 after having been postponed indefinitely in March due to the coronavirus pandemic. 
Among the acts that were originally scheduled to perform were Foals, August Wahh, CRWN, Omar Apollo, Nick Murphy (Chet Faker), Ari Lennox and Joji. The organizers of the festival said in a prepared statement that the festival was being “rescheduled to 2021.”  Ticket holders can demand a refund or hold on to their tickets for the 2021 version. 
Dentsu Sued By Woodstock Organizers
Japan’s biggest advertising agency, Dentsu, is being sued by the organizers of Woodstock 50 for “destruction of the festival” and “sabotage,” according to Rolling Stone. The complaint was filed on June 17 in the New York Supreme Court and asks for “tens of millions of dollars in compensatory and punitive damages.”
The festival was scheduled to take place August 16-18 last year in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the original Woodstock festival. In April of 2019, however, Dentsu, one of the biggest financial backers of the event, and its affiliate, Amplifi Live, pulled out of their commitment and unilaterally cancelled the festival. 
The organizers claim that Dentsu had no legal right to cancel it. A representative of Dentsu told Rolling Stone that the claims against it are false, and that it was Woodstock 50 that “breached the agreement.” 
A court initially agreed with Amplifi Live that “a safe and profitable festival could not be mounted,” and said that, in effect, the company did not need to continue funding the project. The decision was confirmed upon appeal.
Dentsu and Amplifi say that the two opposing sides are set to start arbitration hearings, but that Woodstock 50 would prefer to make “baseless claims” to the press rather than have the dispute settled through arbitration. Amplifi also said that Woodstock 50 does not represent the Woodstock brand because it no longer holds the license. 
Woodstock 50’s complaint says that after Dentsu pulled out of the festival it “interfered” with Woodstock 50’s attempts to stage the event alone. 
Dentsu is one of the most powerful companies in Japan, and is said to be the main driving force behind the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, which has been postponed until next July. 
Creativeman Sets Up Crowdfunding For Supersonic
Major Japanese music promoter Creativeman Productions has set up a crowdfunding project through the Campfire platform in Japan. 
The purpose of the project is to raise money to “prepare an environment” for its three-day, two-city music festival, Supersonic, which takes place in September. 
According to the Campfire explanation, the money will be spent on “installing thermography equipment and providing disinfectants” and otherwise renovating the venues so that social distancing can be carried out if the government deems that such measures should continue through the fall. 
A number of major foreign artists, including Black Eyed Peas, Liam Gallagher, Fatboy Slim, The 1975 and Steve Aoki, are slated for the festival, and the main concern is that restrictions for foreign guests may still be in place come September. 
That is the main reason why the Fuji Rock Festival, which was supposed to take place a month earlier, was cancelled. Creativeman says it is hoping that Supersonic could be the first major rock festival in the world to be held this year, if not the only one. 
As of June 22, the Campfire project had raised about 10.8 million yen ($101,000), thus exceeding the its goal, which was 10 million yen.