Asia News: KCON Returns; Singapore Restrictions Eased


KCON Returns Live

After a two-year hiatus the global K-pop festival KCON will return to South Korea, Japan and the United States as a live, in-person event, according to South Korea’s Yonhap news agency.

The festival’s organizer, CJ ENM, announced on March 17 that the festival would touch down in Seoul, Tokyo and Chicago in May, go to Los Angeles in August and then return to Tokyo in October this year.

Among the acts slated to appear are Monsta X, STAYC, NiziU and The Boyz. The last time KCON was held offline was in September 2019.

For the past two years it was replaced with a downsized online event as the COVID-19 pandemic raged.

CJ ENM also said that “some programs” would be presented online this year as well in order to reach as many international K-pop fans as possible.


Restrictions Lifted For Small Venues

As of March 15 live performances in Singapore are no longer subject to COVID restrictions, The Straits Times reports. That is, as long as the number of audience members does not exceed 1,000.

Consequently, theaters and concert promoters quickly started to work on ticket sales for larger capacities than they had been selling in the recent past.

With smaller venues it means that organizers can work toward full houses for the first time in more than two years.

Though live performances have been permitted in Singapore for some time, restrictions have been severe, affecting not only audience numbers and seating, but how many performers could be present on the stage at one time.

In addition to higher audience capacities, limits for performers and crew have been lifted entirely. That, however, is subject to certain requirements, including testing for some performances.

Ross Knudson, co-owner of Singapore-based promoter LAMC Productions, told the paper, “It’s a welcome step forward but we still need 100 percent capacity for most international acts. The costs are just too high to make it work on a 50 percent venue cap.”