Asia News: Festival Lineups Expand, Seat Maps Challenged, Suga Goes Solo, Taiwanese Singer Fakes Death

3 ASIA WetLeg
SUMMER SONIC BOUND: Hester Chambers and Rhian Teasdale of Wet Leg perform at SWG3 in Glasgow, Scotland. The buzz band of 2022 is added to the lineup of Summer Sonic 2023 in Tokyo and Osaka, Japan.(Photo by Roberto Ricciuti/Redferns)


Knotfest, Summer Sonic Lineups Grow

Japanese promoter H.I.P. announced additions to this year’s Knotfest Japan, which takes place April 1-2 at the Makuhari Messe convention hall near Tokyo and headlined by Slipknot and Korn. Additions include Enter Shikari, Rottengraffty, Red Orca, Band-Maid, Noisemaker and Paledusk.

A new set of artists was also announced for Summer Sonic, Aug. 19-20 in Tokyo and Osaka. Two Door Cinema Club, Wet Leg, Honne, Slowthai, The Kid LAROI and several Japanese acts were added to the roster topped by Blur and Kendrick Lamar, with more to be added in the coming weeks.

Consumer Affairs Takes On ‘Misleading’ Seat Maps

Japan’s Consumer Affairs Agency has ordered three companies to “take preventive measures” under the Law Against Unjustifiable Premiums and Misleading Representations in line with the sale of tickets for a concert by the veteran “visual-kei” band L’Arc-en-Ciel.

The Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper reports that the companies – which include concert planner On The Line and artist management firm Maverick DC – misled ticket buyers with a venue map on the ticketing website for L’Arc-en-Ciel’s 30th anniversary concerts at Tokyo Dome May 21-22, 2022.

According to the agency, the map outlined areas of seating and standing for various ticket categories and prices, but in some cases the seating indicated for the highest class of tickets “appeared closer to the stage” than they actually were. Some 24,000 ticket buyers who thought they would be sitting in stands on the floor of the Dome instead ended up in the first floor balcony or even the second tier seats.

Apparently, the seat location of this premium category of tickets was expanded into those of the less desirable ticket categories three days out without any of the affected ticketholders being offered a price reduction despite the section being oversold.


K-Pop Tickets Overwhelm In UK

K-pop fans in the UK are struggling to come up with enough money to pay for the high ticket prices to upcoming concerts, according to a recent article in The Guardian.

The K-pop juggernaut has been late to Europe for various reasons having to do with the pandemic and the prioritizing of Asian fans and the more lucrative U.S. market. Now that it’s finally coming to the British Isles, it’s literally too much too soon. A half-dozen major K-pop acts are to perform in the UK in the coming months, and the combination of high tickets prices and short notice has hit K-pop fans’ wallets.

At issue is K-pop companies’ inherent need to generate as much cash as possible in a short space of time to pay for elaborate productions. Management companies don’t always have cash in reserve, so they typically do not provide long lead times for ticket onsales announcements, giving fans less time to get their affairs in order when planning to attend concerts.

Many concerts are announced even before the headlining group has been confirmed for them. Tour routings are usually made on the fly, resulting in some cancellations because of logistical problems such as visas.

One fallout from this strategy is that scalpers are better prepared to shell out lots of cash at a moment’s notice, which forces the price of tickets sky high on secondary ticket platforms.


Singer Fakes Death So People Won’t ‘Bother Him’

The former manager for veteran Taiwanese singer Liu Wen-cheng announced Feb. 15 that the artist died in November of a heart attack. The next day, however, the same ex-manager said Liu was alive and well and living in the Philippines.

In an interview with Taiwan’s EToday, the manager claimed Liu had “faked his death” to
avoid responding to an offer from a person in mainland China to return to the concert stage after having been retired for many years.

Apparently, Liu is not interested in a comeback tour and wanted to avoid saying “no.” The manager said that Liu eliberately asked him to announce he was dead “so that people wouldn’t bother him.”

Liu debuted in 1975 in Taiwan, and his popularity eventually spread to China and Southeast Asia, resulting in sold-out tours and lots of awards. In 1984, he temporarily retired and moved to the U.S.

He then set up his own company from which he mentored a whole new generation
of pop singers, many of whom were quick to express their condolences when they first heard of Liu’s death, though none, apparently, had seen him for at least 20 years.

Liu quit singing altogether in 1991.