Asia News: Coldplay, Swift Drive Travel Searches; Super Junior Fan Meetup; Seoul Concert Site Redevelopment

Super Junior World Tour
SUPER JUNIOR GOES BRAZIL: K-pop sensation Super Junior perform in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Feb. 9 as part of its “Super Show 9” world tour at Espaco Unimed. (Photo by Mauricio Santana/Getty Images)

Coldplay, Swift Drive Travel Search Spike

A travel magazine claims a significant spike occurred in online searches for travel to cities in Asia where Coldplay and Taylor Swift will be giving multiple concerts early next year.
Travel search activities surged in June after Coldplay’s Singapore concert announcements were made, and then surged again three weeks later when tickets were announced for Taylor Swift’s concert series in the same city, Travel Daily News reports, citing data provided by the travel research company Amadeus.

During the period studied, total searches for travel information grew by an average of 18 percent week-on-week. A majority of the searches were for short-term trips, either less than a week in length or for a weekend.

In Japan, travel-oriented searches were up by an average of 15 percent after the lottery results were announced for tickets to Swift’s concert in Japan next year. In addition, international searches for trips to Tokyo were up by 10 percent during the same weeks. Moreover, when narrowed down to “neighboring countries” the search for flights and accommodations were up by 32 percent over previous weeks.

An executive at Amadeus told Travel Daily News, “The lineup of world-class musicians for multiple concerts in Australia, Singapore and Japan shows that fans worldwide are willing to travel long distances to watch their favorite stars perform live. It is a positive sign for the APAC economy, serving as a boost for the entire tourism industry.”


Super Junior Fan Meetup Criticized

Korean entertainment company SM Entertainment announced the first fan meeting in eight years for veteran K-pop group Super Junior and immediately came under fire for booking a venue that the group’s fans said was too small.

K-pop artists often hold ticketed get-togethers with dedicated fans where they discuss their activities and answer questions and maybe even perform a song or two, so the fact that Super Junior is holding their first such event in such a long time is seen as big news.
The meeting is to take place Nov. 4 at Kyung Hee University Grand Peace Palace in Seoul, according to K-pop fan site Koreaboo. The Palace holds a maximum of 4,500 people, which online fans of the group says is not enough.

University auditoriums are often used for fan meetings, but given the size of Super Junior’s following, not all who will want to attend will be able to. In addition, overseas fans of the group will likely want to fly to South Korea to attend as well.

According to Koreaboo, some fans on Oct. 4 hired trucks with electronic sign boards airing their grievances in front of the company’s headquarters.

Seoul Concert Site To Be Redeveloped

An area covering more than five acres in the eastern part of Seoul and once contained “Asia’s largest single-production site for concrete” has been redesigned as a cultural and leisure site for the time being before it is redeveloped as a “global business district” in the future.

During the weekend of Oct. 6, the site hosted a concert by K-pop boy band NCT 127 as well as the One Universe Festival, which included performances by Lil Uzi Vert and Kid Cudi, as well as the K-pop girl group aespa.

The Korea JoongAng Daily reports that the site contains an 8,500-square-meter space dedicated to both indoor and outdoor concerts as well as a 4,880-square-meter lawn area and a parking lot that can hold 239 vehicles.

The neighborhood is a popular hangout for the city’s young people. The redevelopment of the former concrete production site into a leisure spot was carried out by the Seoul Metropolitan Government’s Urban Space Planning Division.


Claims Of Festival Thefts ‘Exaggerated,’ Organizers Say

Attendees of the Central China Midi Rock Festival, which took place Sept. 29-Oct. 1 in the city of Nanyang, complained online that many of their belongings, including tents, cell phones, bank cards, cash, clothing, shoes, notebooks and wristbands, were stolen from the venue and the camping area.

According to the South China Morning Post, festival organizers responded that some items had been stolen from concertgoers but the problem “was being exaggerated.” By Oct. 5, hashtags related to the complaints had attracted 210 million views and over 24,000 comments on China’s main social media site, Weibo.

The festival took place during a heavily traveled holiday period. Midi is China’s most active music festival brand, with shows taking place in many regions of the country during the year. SCMP reports Nanyang’s leaders solicited Midi to hold a festival in their city in order to “boost the local economy and attract younger visitors.” The mayor even appeared at the main train station to welcome festivalgoers. The day after the festival closed, the local daily hailed the event as a “huge success.”

Days after the festival ended, organizers issued a statement about the alleged thefts, claiming that “certain organizations” were deliberately trying to ruin the reputations of Midi and Nanyang. They even accused them of paying for the smears. Local police recorded 73 reports of theft, of which 65 were confirmed. Some suspects were detained and some of the stolen items recovered.

Organizers said they may take legal action, suggesting they have evidence backing up their complaints. Despite what they call smears, they insist that they will stage another festival in Nanyang next year.