Asia News: Fuji Rock Celebrates 25 Years; Dancer Hit By Video Screen In Critical Condition


Fuji Rock Celebrates 25 Years

Fuji Rock Festival, which took place July 29-31 at the Naeba Ski Resort in the mountains of Niigata Prefecture, was blessed with excellent weather this year, which happens to be the 25th anniversary of the event. 

The promoter, Smash, positioned FRF22 as a return to form after canceling the festival in 2020 and restricting the roster to Japanese acts in 2021. Though several scheduled artists pulled out during the months leading up to the festival, only one canceled after it had begun: the Korean indie rock band Say Sue Me, after one member tested positive for COVID.

The total number of attendees for the festival, including the free pre-fest party, stood at 69,000: 10,000 for the pre-fest party, 18,000 for July 29 (Vampire Weekend headliner), 21,000 for July 30 (Jack White) and 20,000 for July 31 (Halsey). 

3 Asia HongKong VideoScreen
Two dancers receive medical treatment at a concert of Cantopop boy band Mirror in Hong Kong, Thursday, July 28, 2022. Hong Kong officials say they will open an investigation into the concert accident in which a giant video screen fell down onto the stage and injured two dancers. (AP Photo)


Dancer Hit By Video Screen Critical

A week after a suspended video screen fell during a July 28 performance by the Hong Kong Canto-pop boy band Mirror at the Hong Kong Coliseum, one of the two dancers struck by the screen remains in critical condition in a city hospital, and media reports say he may end up being paralyzed from the neck down. 

The South China Morning Post says that the third and fourth sections of Mo Lee Kai-yin’s vertebrae had been dislocated by the falling screen. 

The concert’s promoter, MakerVille, is now under investigation for a possible breach of health and safety. 

It was revealed that the accident was caused by a snapped wire. 

As a result, the authorities are considering a temporary ban on concerts that incorporate large sets. 

An unnamed performer was reportedly injured during a rehearsal several days before the screen accident, and one member of Mirror fell off the stage while giving a speech to the audience during a previous performance. 

In another incident that was shown briefly online, several members of the band lost their balance while crossing a rising platform and missed dance steps during a show, which led to 10,000 fans signing a petition demanding better safety protocols. 


Lolla Comes To Mumbai

Lollapalooza will make its Asian debut next year when an edition of the popular American music festival is held in Mumbai. 

In a statement, festival founder Perry Farrell of Jane’s Addiction said, “The music of India is transcendental, it draws our spirits East. Lollapalooza is an instrument for unity, peace and education utilizing the universal languages of music and art to find common ground. 

“You may be excited, and we are equally as excited.”

The festival will take place Jan. 28-29 at a venue to be announced in central Mumbai. 

The promoter is a local outlet of ticketing platform BookMyShow with help from Farrell, WME and C3 Presents, which is part of Live Nation. 

Currently, it is projected that 60,000 people will attend each day of the festival and that 60% of the 45 yet-to-be-announced artists will be “international.”

India will be the seventh country outside the U.S. to host Lollapalooza. 

According to some reports, India was chosen because it is one of the few countries in Asia that doesn’t already have a raft of annual music festivals and thus has a larger potential market. Apparently, the festival was already in the works before the pandemic. Early bird tickets have already gone on sale for about $88 apiece.


Summer Swag Returns, Investigation Opened

Korean pop star Psy’s famous summer concert series, “Summer Swag,” has returned this year in full force after laying low because of COVID.

However, because the concerts feature a lot of water usage – approximately 300 metric tons per show is being sprayed over sweltering crowds during the set – the series has been met with some pushback. South Korea is experiencing an acute water shortage this year.

Despite one show being canceled because of the water usage concern, others have gone ahead as planned.

In another potential blow,  on July 26 the country’s Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters announced that it has started an investigation of Psy’s company, P Nation, following a COVID spike.

It’s been reported that a number of attendees had contracted COVID – suspected, in at least some cases, of being a direct result of the water usage.  

P Nation has been giving out special waterproof masks to all concertgoers. Some experts think that wet masks may help spread the virus more easily.

According to the Korea Joongang Daily newspaper, authorities have asked concert organizers to “refrain from spraying water during music concerts or festivals.”

The concert series fell under a darker cloud when newspapers reported on Aug. 1 that a construction worker died after falling 15 meters while dismantling the set of Psy’s show the previous day at the Gangneung Stadium in Gangwon-do. 

The man, a Mongolian national, was working for an outsourced agency.

Psy’s concert series continues in various South Korean cities through August 20, when it wraps up in the southern port city of Busan. 

As it stands, South Korea is experiencing a sudden increase in COVID infections due to the prevalence of the new Omicron BA.5 variant strain. 

As a result, K-pop boy band NCT Dream canceled its three-day concert series The Dream Show2 at the Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul, which was to start July 29, after two members of the group tested positive for the coronavirus.