Asia News: Good Vibes Fallout; Blackpink Plays Hanoi; Moon Over China

BLACKPINK STORMS HANOI: A bus used for promotion for the BlackPink band can be seen in Hanoi on July 28 on the eve of their two-day concert run. Photo by Nhac Nguyen/AFP via Getty Images



‘New Framework’ For Music Fests

In the wake of the cancelled Good Vibes festival in Kuala Lumpur last month after The 1975’s Matt Healy complained about the Malaysian government from the stage on the first night, the festival’s organizer, Future Sound Asia (FSA) and Malaysia’s Central Agency for Application for Filming and Performance by Foreign Artists (Puspal), announced they will create a “new framework” for music festivals from now on, according to the Malay Mail.

Ben Law, the founder of FSA, condemned Healy’s actions, saying the singer violated agreed-upon policies and confirmed his company’s “productive working relationship” with Puspal in order to gain approval for international acts to perform in Malaysia.

Healy, who the Malay Mail reported was “visibly drunk,” launched a tirade during The 1975’s set against the Malaysian government’s anti-LGBTQ laws and kissed bassist Ross MacDonald. According to the report, the FSA entertainment director told the band’s manager to shut down the show soon after Healy began his speech. When the manager hesitated, FSA then “had to let the authorities intervene.”

Following the controversy there was some concern that Malaysia would scrutinize foreign acts more assiduously or that such acts may avoid the country. Several days after the festival was cancelled, The Strokes, which were in the midst of an Asian tour, scheduled a last-minute additional concert in Singapore expressly for “their Malaysian fans,” according to Lifestyle Asia.

The Strokes were originally supposed to headline the final night of the Good Vibes festival. They were already booked to play the MBS Expo Hall in Singapore on Aug. 2, which had sold out, and then added an extra show on Aug. 3.


Blackpink Plays For 70,000

K-pop girl group Blackpink’s long-awaited first-ever shows in Vietnam finally took place July 29-30 at the My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi for some 70,000 fans after weeks of uncertainty as to whether they would be allowed to take place.

Most of the problems had to do with gaining permission from authorities after it was first learned that the promoter, IME Music, which is based in Beijing, had posted a map that is illegal in Vietnam on its website. After that problem was cleared up there were matters regarding security, ticket prices, and setlists. But only a day before the first concert was to take place another problem arose.

According to Vietnamnet Global, the Vietnam Center for Protection of Music Copyright (VCPMC) requested that the authorities “withdraw Blackpink’s concert license, citing serious violations of copyright regulations.”

According to the VCPMC, IME had failed to obtain copyright permission for the songs being performed and paying the appropriate royalties. In response, a representative of IME claimed they were “facing difficulties in obtaining an agreement with the band’s management company, YG Entertainment, which holds the copyrights to the songs” being performed. In the end, IME made the appropriate royalty payments on the day before the first concert.


Bad Moon Over Shijiazhuang

Though live music is thriving again in China, authorities are still cracking down on behavior they judge to be inappropriate. NDTV reports organizers of Rock Home Town festival in Shijiazhuang, which has been called China’s capital of indie rock, were fined the equivalent of $28,000 after a singer dropped his shorts in front of the audience. In addition to the fine, the singer was temporarily detained.

The singer fronts the band Violent Champagne, which was performing on July 29. Though videos show that audience members encouraged the singer to go all the way by yelling, “Drop the briefs,” the singer kept them in place. Nevertheless, a video of the stunt went viral and came to the attention of the pertinent watchdogs.