Asia News: Rock In Japan Growth; Korean DJ Alleges Groping; Jacky Cheung; Korea: World Scout Jamboree Stumbles; Macau: Galaxy Arena Makes Warner Deal

Last Day Of The Hong Kong Sevens
NO SCRUM ON STAGE: South Korean artist DJ Soda entertains during intermission at the Hong Kong Sevens rugby festival on April 2. She said she was groped and sexually harassed by aggressive fans at a festival in Osaka, Japan, on Aug. 14. (Photo by Marc Fernandes/NurPhoto via Getty Images)


Rock In Japan To Expand

Rockin’ On, the organizers of Rock In Japan, the country’s largest outdoor rock festival, announced the festival will expand to two locations in 2024 to commemorate the fest’s 25th anniversary.

Traditionally, the festival took place at the Hitachi Seaside Park in Hitachinaka, Ibaraki Prefecture. In 2022, the festival was moved to the Soga Sports Park in Chiba City, which is just east of Tokyo.

For the 25th anniversary, however, the festival will take place in two venues: Soga Park for five days in early August, and Hitachi Seaside Park on two weekends in September.

Apparently, Rockin’ On considered the official announcement on Aug. 10 of the two-prong festival a very big deal, and when the Ibaraki branch of NHK, Japan’s public broadcaster,

umped the gun and made the announcement the day before, Rockin’ On’s president, Yoichi Shibuya, posted a very angry letter accusing the station of trying to gain points by stealing his thunder.

DJ Alleges Groping At Music Circus

South Korean DJ Soda posted a serious complaint on her Twitter — now known as X — account saying she had been groped and “sexually harassed” by some fans during her performance at a festival in Osaka, Japan, reports the Kyodo News Service.

Soda was DJing at the Music Circus Festival on Aug. 13, and at one point came out from behind her decks to “interact with the crowd,” which is something she often does.

“It was the first time since I began DJing that I have had this kind of experience in the middle of a show,” she wrote, adding that it’s usually a high point of her performance. This time a number of fans, including at least one woman, touched and grabbed her breasts.

She uploaded photos of fans reaching across the security divide, “appearing to touch her arms and chest,” according to Kyodo. DJ Soda added she was “shocked” to the point that her hands were “still shaking” as she wrote the post. “I’ve never experienced anything like this in my 10 years as a DJ.”

Organizers of Music Circus said they will investigate the incident and seek charges against any festivalgoers who are found to have assaulted DJ Soda.


Jacky Cheung Discloses Meniere’s

On the third night of his six-night stand at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, 62-year-old Hong Kong pop superstar Jacky Cheung lost his balance in the middle of a song and fell down on stage. He immediately got up and finished the song, while offering an apologetic bow to the audience, which was clearly shocked by the display but nevertheless gave him an ovation.

Cheung had been “experiencing discomfort” prior to the Aug. 13 appearance, according to The Star, but insisted on going on with the show. During the previous day’s show, Cheung said that he has suffered from Meniere’s disease since he was very young. Meniere’s disease is an inner ear problem that, while not life-threatening, can cause vertigo and hearing loss.

Cheung added that while he sometimes has dizzy spells as a result of the condition, “it has never happened during concerts.” He made the announcement because the concert on April 12 had been delayed by eight minutes as Cheung felt dizzy temporarily.


K-pop Can’t Save Scout Jamboree

The South Korean government endeavored to save face for its poor handling of the 25th World Scout Jamboree by holding a massive K-pop concert for attendees on Aug. 11 as a closing event.

The Jamboree, which started Aug. 1 and was initially attended by thousands of Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts from around the world, was plagued by serious problems, including poorly maintained camping facilities and extreme heat without proper shelter.

Many campers abandoned the event early when their adult leaders judged the situation too dangerous. As a result, local organizers cancelled the remainder of the camping component of the Jamboree and treated those who remained to sightseeing trips and museum visits.

The government, which had been planning the Jamboree for years, was accused of putting off preparations until the last minute, and efforts to put something of a happy face on the matter with the K-pop concert came off in the Korean press as desperation.

The concert, which took place at the Seoul World Cup Stadium in western Seoul, was put together quickly, with many of the acts pressed into service by authorities who appealed to their sense of mission.

Some 40,000 Scouts attended the festival, which was plagued by rain showers in the aftermath of a major typhoon.

The Korea JoongAng Daily reported police and firefighters were perhaps overrepresented at the proceedings, and that may have been because the government was not taking any chances with regard to security and safety.

Some K-pop companies apparently grumbled about the government’s insistence their charges “voluntarily” take part in the festival, especially given that most acts were deep into the summer concert season, which is very busy this year.

Apparently, it was up in the air as to whether the artists would even be compensated.
Adding to the air of desperation was a ban on media interviewing anyone involved in the festival, including the Scouts, though reporters appeared to have ignored this injunction.

Among the more than dozen K-pop acts who performed were NewJeans, NCT Dream, ITZY, Mamamoo, The Boyz and Kang Daniel.


Galaxy Arena Pacts With Warner Music China

Galaxy Arena has formed a partnership with Warner Music China to present artists signed to the latter for entertainment events in Macau.

The arena, which is run by the Galaxy Entertainment Group, has set up the “strategic partnership” to support “tourism plus entertainment” integration.

The immediate goal is to “attract music enthusiasts from around the world to choose Macau as a travel destination,” according to a statement made by Galaxy.

In the agreement, Warner Music China is responsbile for “planning and producing music festivals, lectures and forums in its capacity under the partnership…It will also arrange for its artists to participate in commercial activities.”

The Galaxy Arena is part of the third-phase project of the casino resort Galaxy Macau, and is purportedly the largest indoor arena in Macau, with some 16,000 seats. For the most part, Warner Music China’s goal is to “ensure the diversified expansion of Mandarin music in China.” Earlier in the year Galaxy established a partnership with TME Live, an entertainment brand controlled by Tencent Music Entertainment Group, which is the entertainment arm of China’s powerful tech conglomerate Tencent Holdings.