Asia News: K-pop & Climate; All Time Low Food Poisoning; Good Vibes Return To Malaysia; China Clears Lip-Sync Charge

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BUDDHA: South Korean comedian Youn Sung-ho, known as “NewJeansNim,” chants traditional Buddhist scripture mixed with GenZ life advice. over a thumping EDM beat during a traditional lotus lantern ceremony May 11 marking the Buddha’s birthday, as the crowd goes wild. (Photo by JUNG YEON-JE/AFP via Getty Images)


K-pop Fans Worldwide Rally For Climate Goals

Fans of K-pop bands around the world are increasingly channeling their millions-strong online community into climate and environmental activism, protesting business deals linked to coal power, urging K-pop entertainers to cut waste and raising awareness about climate-related issues.

Other climate activist groups have begun joining forces with Kpop4Planet, an environmental group founded in 2021 by K-pop fans Nurul Sarifah and Dayeon Lee. After Kpop4Planet petitioned South Korean automaker Hyundai Motor Co., it recently scrapped a deal linked to coal power plants in Indonesia.

The ability to quickly organize a large, dedicated group has made K-pop fans an increasingly influential lobby online as they participate in protests and promote causes that have included the Black Lives Matter movement. Politicians also have tried to tap into that power.

In 2021, Korea Beyond Coal— a coalition of civic groups calling for South Korea to stop using coal power — teamed up with Kpop4Planet in 2021 to raise awareness about plans for a coal-burning power plant.

The plant site near Maengbang Beach, the photo shoot location for album artwork for one of K-pop band BTS’s hit songs, is a popular destination for the band’s fans and a joint petition created by Kpop4Planet and Korea Beyond Coal got thousands of signatures. – Associated Press


Food Poisoning Cuts Show Short

The U.S. punk band All Time Low cut short their concert at Fort Canning Park in Singapore on May 5 when lead singer Alex Gaskarth came down with a sudden bout of food poisoning. According to the promoter, LAMC Productions, Gaskarth was brought to the hospital and released the following morning.

The band played four songs before Gaskarth left the stage for the first time. The rest of the band did a cover of a blink-182 song until the singer returned.

He apologized and played two more songs before rushing off the stage again. The band played another cover and then an original. After checking on Gaskarth’s condition, the band decided to call it quits.

LAMC released a statement on Instagram saying the band had performed “to the best of their ability under the circumstances.”

In the end, each ticketholder received a promo code worth about US$22 good for any LAMC show within the next year. A number of fans told CNA they were not satisfied, including one who had flown all the way from San Diego to see the show.


Good Vibes Return

Malaysia’s biggest pop festival, Good Vibes, is returning this summer after being cancelled by the authorities last year following a profane rant by first-day headliner The 1975’s leader, Matt Healey, who complained about the government’s anti-LGBTQ policies.

The festival will take place July 20-21 at Resorts World Awana in Genting Highlands. The first night Joji and Russ headline a bill that also features Alec Benjamin, Haven, Peach Pit, Ylona Garcia, Cherry Bomb, Bad Habits and more.

The second day’s headliner is J Balvin. Other acts announced for July 21 include Peggy Gou, Bibi, Henry Moodie, and Forceparkbois.


Mayday Cleared Of Lip Sync Charges

Chinese authorities have cleared the Taiwanese rock band Mayday of allegations of lip-syncing during a concert in Shanghai last year, according to the Taipei Times.

Lip-syncing during a public performance is against the law in China, and some people on the internet accused the group of doing that at its May 16, 2023 show.

The group and its management maintained throughout the life of the scandal that they have never lip-synced in concert ever, calling the accusation a “malicious attack and slanderous rumor.”

A Chinese newspaper said that the Shanghai Municipal Administration of Culture and Tourism carried out an investigation into the matter by surveying footage of the concert in question and “found no illegal activity.”