Asia News: Summer Sonic’s ‘Complete Revival’; Famed Nightclub Closes; K-pop Goes Green

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DJ Daishi Dance performs on Sebu Railway Company special event train collaboration with ageHa, one of Japan’s top dance clubs, in 2015..


Summer Sonic’s ‘Complete Revival’
Creativeman Productions announced Feb. 15 the first series of artists slated to appear at the revived Summer Sonic festival, which will return to Tokyo and Osaka this August for the first time since 2019. 
The headliners for the two-day event are The 1975 and Post Malone. Also on the roster are Carly Rae Jepsen, Kasabian, The Libertines, Maneskin, Megan Thee Stallion, One OK Rock, The Offspring, Primal Scream, St. Vincent, Yungblud, All Time Low, Beabadoobee, Easy Life, Fishbone, Kacey Musgraves, Inhaler, Kula Shaker, Rina Sawayama, Squid and the Linda Lindas. 
Creativeman pledged that this year’s Summer Sonic will be a “complete revival” of the annual festival, and says that it will announce “regulations” as the date of the event approaches. As of the middle of February, there is still a general ban on non-resident foreigners entering Japan, though the government has said it plans to ease such restrictions this spring. 
Summer Sonic takes place Aug. 20-21 simultaneously at Zozomarine Stadium & Makuhari Messe Convention Center in Chiba, a suburb of Tokyo, and at the Maishima Sonic Park in Osaka. 
Renowned Nightclub ageHa Shutters
One of Tokyo’s largest and most renowned nightclubs closed its doors on Jan. 30 with a huge party. ageHa, located within the Studio Coast live music venue, which is also closing, was, as one prominent DJ told the Japan Times, the “temple of Japanese club culture” since it opened in 2002. 
On its closing day, local star DJ Emma held forth for nine hours entertaining hundreds of electronic dance music aficionados who were given vials of sand and water from the club’s pool as parting mementos. 
ageHa became the nexus between the international and the local club scenes in Tokyo. It was ageHa where local DJs were able to rub shoulders with international artists. 
Many Japanese producers used it as a launching pad for lucrative international careers.
The loss of ageHa will be felt immediately, as there is no comparably sized venue of its kind in the city dedicated to club music, which means large international acts will be limited to playing at festivals like Ultra Japan if and when they play in the city at all. 
K-pop’s Green Revolution
Korea Times reports that the K-pop industry is making a concerted effort to bring about a green revolution in the South Korean music scene. In a recent interview with the newspaper Choi Kwang-ho, the secretary general of the Korea Music Content Association said he and his colleagues “will spare no effort to tackle environmental issues in cooperation with record labels, fans and the government.” 
As a first step, the KMCA will promote environmental messages at all the public events it is involved with.
Much of this effort is being pushed by fans themselves. In December, about 10,000 K-pop followers from 83 countries sent a message to industry heads attending a national conference on sustainability to put more effort into “saving the earth.” 
There is even a climate action platform, Kpop4Planet, driven by fans who insist that K-pop “should take more responsibility in resolving global issues such as climate change, considering its worldwide influence,” according to the Korea Times. “There will be no K-pop on a dead planet,” said the platform’s leader.
Venues will be encouraged to install sustainable lighting, improve heating and cooling efficiency and buy their electricity from renewable sources. s