Asia News: Yukihiro Takahashi Dies, New Vietnam Ticket Site Launches, China Performance Permits

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LIVE EARTH: Yellow Magic Orchestra’s Yukihiro Takahashi performs during the Live Earth concert series to combat global warming, at Toji Buddhist Temple on July 7, 2007, in Kyoto, Japan. The Japanese star’s death was reported Jan. 14.


Electronic Star Yukihiro Takahashi Dies

Influential Japanese electronic music artist Yukihiro Takahashi has died, according to a Jan. 14 announcement. The exact date and cause of death was not revealed.

However, Takahashi underwent surgery to remove a brain tumor in 2020 and last year, according to the Japan Times, he tweeted that he was still receiving treatment for cancer. Takahashi’s main claim to fame was as the drummer and vocalist of Yellow Magic Orchestra, which included two other famous Japanese musicians, Ryuichi Sakamoto and Haruomo Hosono.

At the time that YMO formed in the late ‘70s, Takahashi was already an international star as the drummer for the Sadistic Mika Band, which was very popular in the UK where they appeared on TV and opened for Roxy Music.

Takahashi became an in-demand session player with many artists in Japan following the Sadistic Mika Band’s breakup in 1975, and then helped form YMO in 1978. In the late ‘70s and early ‘80s YMO was arguably the most popular Japanese band in the world. Takahashi also released solo albums and wrote songs for many other Japanese acts.

He was also an actor in various films. One of his most notable recent achievements was the formation of the supergroup Metafive with other electronic stars such as Towa Tei, Yoshinori Sunahara and Keigo Oyamada, better known as Cornelius.

Since Takahashi’s death was announced, countless musicians in Japan and throughout the world have tweeted their condolences and how he influenced their own work. His former bandmate Sakamoto, who is currently undergoing treatment for cancer, tweeted a simple grey box.


Hanoi Nightclub Launches Ticket Website

A new ticketing website, Likdo, has launched in Asia to serve the region’s club-going community, according to Resident Advisor. Established by the Hanoi nightclub Savage, Likdo’s purpose is to be the “one-stop shop” for Asian electronic musicians and fans. The site will provide a directory of upcoming parties and club events taking place in Southeast Asia and North Asia categorized by genre, location and date.

The ticketing system will adhere to local prices, and promoters can freely upload events onto the site. The site will officially go live at the end of the month following a launch party at Savage Jan. 14.


Performance Permit Applications Being Taken

Entertainers from Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan will be able to apply for permits to perform in mainland China starting Feb. 16, according to a report by the South China Morning Post.

In a further step toward relaxing COVID restrictions, China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism announced that it will allow provincial departments to resume vetting and approving performance applications for artists from these three areas.

The directive does not apply to foreign entertainers and staff unless they are already present on the mainland. In the same directive, the ministry instructed all departments to ensure that they are enforcing “effective pandemic control measures” at concerts and shows.

Live entertainment had become big business in China prior to the pandemic but has been effectively halted over the last three years under the “zero-COVID policy.” Since last year, restrictions have been gradually lifted. Despite skyrocketing infections, there has been no move to reinstate those restrictions.