Asia News: Tokyo’s New Entertainment Complex; BTS Show Moved; Free FIFA Concerts


Tokyo’s Next Big Entertainment Complex

The new Tokyo Kabukicho Tower, which will open in the Shinjuku district sometime next year, will be the largest hotel and entertainment complex in Japan, with cinema screens, two luxury hotels, a concert venue, a food hall and more comprising 48 floors plus five basement levels.

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BUSTLING: Tokyo, Japan’s Shujuku District will be the site of the new Tokyu Kabukicho Tower and Zepp Tokyo, a major concert venue. (Photo by Jose-Fuste RAGA/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

Time Out Tokyo reports that the tower will also be the new home for Zepp Tokyo, a major concert venue that closed its original outlet on the Tokyo waterfront earlier this year.

Zepp will take up basement levels 1 through 4 and hold approximately 1,500 people, making it the largest music venue in Shinjuku, which is traditionally an entertainment district.

In addition, the food hall on the second floor will also be equipped with facilities for holding music events, such as a stage, a DJ booth, a disco area and karaoke systems.


BTS Free Show Moved To Larger Venue Over Safety Concerns

After a week of intense media scrutiny over possible safety issues, Hybe and BigHit Music, the companies that manage BTS, the world’s top K-pop act, have announced that the group’s free concert in the southern Korean port city of Busan scheduled for Oct. 15 will be moved from the Ilgwang Special Stage to Busan Asiad Main Stadium.

The purpose of the “Yet To Come in Busan” concert is to boost publicity for Busan’s bid to host the 2030 World Expo, of which BTS is a bid ambassador.

However, since details of the concert were announced Aug. 24, the project has been dogged by controversy.

Firstly, hotels in the vicinity have increased their normal rates up to tenfold during the weekend of the concert.

After the city of Busan announced the site of a former glass factory as the venue for the concert, which is expected to hold 50,000 seated and an equal number of standing fans, residents voiced concern over the makeshift venue’s safety measures.

According to the South China Morning Post, the main worry was that plans for the venue provided only one gate for access to the site from the nearest train station.Most of the people attending the concert will likely arrive by train, since there will be no automobile access to the site.

Apparently, the organizers had considered a ban on food, which didn’t make sense because people would be allowed in as early as 9 a.m. for a 6 p.m. concert.

The issue with moving the concert to an existing facility is that the Busan Asiad Stadium holds 60,000 people, and organizers and the city promised fans that 100,000 people could attend the concert free.

K-pop Finding Venue Shortage In Home Market

K-pop companies are reportedly having a difficult time finding available and appropriate concert venues for their charges as the effects of the COVID pandemic wane and South Korea opens up more.

In particular, larger venues like Jamsil Sports Complex and Gocheok Sky Dome, both in Seoul, are booked for the rest of the year and beyond, according to Korea BizWire.

Consequently, concert organizers are turning to locations that, in the past, were not typically used for pop concerts, such as university halls and auditoriums. One music industry insider told Bizwire that many companies are desperate.

“Concert sales account for a significant portion of our earnings,” said the official. “If we don’t hold any concerts, it will be a huge loss.”

However, with the push to find new venues comes another concern regarding safety.
Places that don’t normally hold concerts have to be specially outfitted for pop music performances, which means experienced workers may end up rushin preparations during setup.


FIFA Promises Free Concerts For Fans At World Cup

FIFA promised Wednesday to stage free concerts with international stars for visitors to the official Fan Festival in Qatar during the World Cup.

FIFA said the Al Bidda Park in central Doha will host “concerts starring top global and local music acts and live works by internationally acclaimed performance artists” during the 29 days of World Cup games. The tournament starts on Nov. 20.

The festival site next to the Corniche waterfront and close to the West Bay neighborhood will be the official viewing area for fans to watch the 64 games on giant screens.

A policy on alcohol consumption was confirmed Saturday that will allow sponsor Budweiser to serve beer after 6:30 p.m.

FIFA said it also plans to hold soccer games at the venue featuring former World Cup stars who are part of its Legends program.

More than 1 million visitors are expected at the first World Cup hosted in the Middle East.
FIFA said official fan festivals are also planned in other cities worldwide during the tournament.No music acts have yet been confirmed for the Doha venue.

Since the 2006 World Cup in Germany, FIFA has run fan zone viewing areas with local organizers in host nations. The first edition included a pre-tournament show in Berlin featuring Nelly Furtado and Simple Minds.

At the 2012 European Championship co-hosted by Poland and Ukraine, Elton John gave a free concert at the official Kyiv fan zone one day before the final. The concert was also an AIDS charity benefit.