Asia News: MAMA Awards To Tokyo; Blackpink Moves; Clockenflap Headliners; Hong Kong Concert Charges

2023 MTV Video Music Awards Show
WE WANT OUR K-POP TV: (L-R) Changbin, Lee Know, Han, Felix, Bang Chan, Seungmin, I.N and Hyunjin of Stray Kids accept the Best K-Pop award for “S-Class” during the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards at Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, Sept. 12. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for MTV)


MAMA Awards To Tokyo Dome

One of K-pop’s biggest annual awards show, the MAMA Awards, will take place at the Tokyo Dome on November 28 and 29, Yonhap News Agency confirms. Though the awards show has been held in Japan in the past, it will be the first time the show uses Tokyo Dome, which can hold up to 50,000 people, as a venue.

Entertainment company CJ ENM has tended to hold the ceremony overseas so as to spread the appeal of K-pop. In addition to Japan, which is the second biggest importer of K-pop in the world, the MAMA Awards have been held in Macao, Singapore, Hong Kong and Vietnam.

As usual, the show will be broadcast by its namesake cable TV channel Mnet, and streamed live on “major online channels” including YouTube. In a statement accompanying the announcement, CJ ENM’s music content business head,

Shim Jun-beom, said, “As it is an event to award the best K-pop artists chosen by fans all over the world, we will do our best as a medium that connects people from different countries, races and generations that love music. We aim to spread our Music Makes On values by presenting positive energy, infinite potential and creativity.”

Yokohama Arena Grand Opening

The new K-Arena Yokohama, which has been specifically built to present music events, is having its grand opening on September 29 in the Japanese port city.

Located in the waterfront redevelopment district called Minato Mirai, K-Arena has 20,000 seats arranged in a fan-like pattern in front of the main stage.

The chairman of the company that owns and operates the arena told Japanese public broadcaster NHK that it is “one of the largest [arenas] of its kind in the world,” and that the company built it in the hopes of “making Yokohama an entertainment city.”

Hometown J-pop duo Yuzu will open the arena for three consecutive nights. The mayor of the city has also said that he hopes the new venue will bring more people to Yokohama.


Blackpink Seeking Greener Pastures?

Following rumors that Lisa of the top K-pop girl group Blackpink will likely leave YG Entertainment, the agency that manages the group, now that all four members’ contracts have expired, local Korean media are saying that two other members, Jisoo and Jennie, are also thinking of seeking better deals with other management companies.

One Seoul tabloid said that the three members are not renewing their contracts with YG. That leaves the fourth remaining member, Rose, who is reported to have renewed her contract with the company, which launched Blackpink in 2016.

Officially, YG Entertainment has said that negotiations are ongoing, but in any case, even if the three women sign with other agencies, they will likely continue as members of Blackpink.

One report says that the three will devote six months out of the year to Blackpink and the rest of the time to solo projects. In particular, Jisoo and Lisa, who is Thai, are popular outside of Korea. Jisoo has already shown great potential as a screen actor, and Lisa was already a star in Southeast Asia before she joined Blackpink.

As a result of the news, YG stock lost 9 percent of its value on September 15.


Pulp Among Clockenflap Headliners

The Clockenflap Music & Arts Festival, which will take place Dec. 1-3 at the Central Harbourfront in Hong Kong, announced the bulk of its lineup on Sept. 19.

The headliners are Britpop mainstays Pulp, Japanese R&B star Joji, and J-pop duo Yoasobi. The rest of the bill is filled out with Idles, Caroline Polachek, Darren Emerson, Alex G, Yard Act, Wednesday Campanella, Squid, bbno$, Lexie Liu, Atarashii Gakko!, Kamaal Williams, Caspian, Envy, Andy Shauf, and two or three dozen others.

Additional artists will be announced as the dates approach. Tickets are already on sale online.

Yoasobi’s Clockenflap appearance will be part of the duo’s first-ever Asian tour or, for that matter, first-ever tour outside of Japan.

Made up of singer-songwriter Ikura and producer Ayase, the pair debuted in 2019 and dominated the charts in Japan during the pandemic, not to mention receiving every pop music award that’s available in Japan.

Following their breakout hit, “Yoru ni Kakeru,” they quickly scored themes for two popular anime series. Their newest hit, “Idol,” was streamed 100 million times over the course of five weeks.

Clockenflap, which they will headline on the opening day Dec. 1, will count as their inter-ational concert debut, followed by a slot at the Simple Life festival in Taiwan on Dec. 3, and then standalone concerts in Seoul on Dec. 16; Singapore, Jan. 11; Kuala Lumpur, Jan. 14 and Taipei, Jan. 21.


Police Charges In Rahman Concert Chaos

Police in Chennai, India, have charged ACTC Events, the organizer of a September 10 AR Rahman concert in the city, with “committing breach of trust,” according to the Hindustan Times.

Police claim that ACTC sold tickets well beyond the seating capacity of the venue for the concert, thus leading to a potentially deadly situation of “chaos” where children were allegedly separated from their parents and women were molested.

The city police commissioner told media that 25,000 “chairs were arranged” for the concert, but “35,000 to 40,000 people turned up.” Many were refused entry. 

In the aftermath of the near-disaster, some fans targeted Rahman himself with their enmity, though ACTC released a statement saying that the Oscar-winning composer had no responsibility for the problems that entailed.