Asia News: Korea Makes Room For K-pop; Psy’s Big Summer; Hong Kong Nightclub Rules


Making Room For K-pop

Asia Psy
SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA – APRIL 29: Singer PSY attends the press conference of his new album “Psy 9th” at Fairmont Ambassador Hotel on April 29, 2022 in Seoul, South Korea. Singer-rapper Psy has co-produced the lead track on his upcoming ninth full-length album “Psy 9th” with Suga of K-pop group BTS, Psy’s agency said. (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

Though K-pop artists have become guaranteed concert draws worldwide, in South Korea there is still a paucity of venues that can accommodate fans. According to various media, however, one sports complex plans to expand its purpose to accommodate these fans.

Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul, which normally is home to the LG Twins and the Doosan Bears, is to be renovated as a multi-purpose indoor arena that can be used to host K-pop concerts during the off-season.

At present, Jamsil Stadium is an outdoor venue with a capacity of about 25,000. In the past, it has been used without modification for outdoor K-pop concerts by the likes of BTS.
After the makeover, however, the stadium will sport a dome and its capacity will increase to 30,000.

The model is, apparently, Japan’s Saitama Arena, located north of Tokyo, which is considered the second-biggest indoor arena in the world.

Saitama Arena, for example, has and has hosted major K-pop acts such as Super Junior, SHINee, Girls’ Generation, BTS and Twice.

Psy’s Latest Show Is All Wet

Psy, who at one time was the most popular Korean musician in the world, is returning to action in a big way this summer.

In addition to a new single, the “Gangnam Style” performer will also mount a major tour of South Korea called “Summer Swag,” his first in three years.

According to the fansite Allkpop, one of the features of Psy’s summer shows is lots of water that is continually sprayed on the audience to keep them cool, though the water is also part of the show’s visual component.

This year, however, the stunt has been met with criticism, since South Korea has been enduring an extended drought.

According to the artist, when interviewed on a local radio show, the concerts use about 300 tons of drinkable water for each performance.

Immediately, people on social media expressed concern over the waste of such resources and have demanded that Psy remove the water component of his concerts.


Nightclubs Face New COVID Rules

The South China Morning Post reports that Hong Kong’s night clubs are concerned over new rules imposed by local authorities following the discovery last month of COVID infections in the city’s entertainment district.

The rules don’t mention DJs, though “live performers” are regulated. Consequently, many venue managers didn’t enforce social distancing and vaccination rules when presenting DJs. Now they may have to.

Currently, in live music clubs, staff must wear masks and keep a certain distance from customers. Bars, pubs and nightclubs without live music can remain open until 1:59 a.m. as long as there is no dancing.

As a result, there has been confusion at some nightclubs that employ DJs, which the management did not consider live performance. Authorities have now said they will “look into whether regulations need to be tightened or if rules had been broken.”