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Europe’s largest K-pop festival set for UK edition

Europe’s largest K-pop festival is heading to the UK next year for a three-day event at London’s O2 arena (cap. 21,000).

The inaugural edition of Kpop.Flex took place in Frankfurt at the weekend, with organisers reporting that more than 70,000 tickets were sold in 84 countries.

The festival will return to Germany next year and will also launch in the UK between 22 and 24 September.

Staged by K-Pop Europa in partnership with PK Events, the event will offer “a range of activities [for festival-goers] to immerse themselves in Korean culture”.

“In recent years, K-Pop has taken the world by storm and so this is a huge milestone for us”

In addition, the 2023 London edition of the K-pop festival will also play host to the first-ever Kpop.Flex Awards For Emerging Artists, which is set to take place on 23 September 2023.

“We’re so excited to be hosting Europe’s largest-ever K-Pop festival here at The O2 in September 2023,” said Steve Sayer, VP and GM at the O2. “In recent years, K-Pop has taken the world by storm and so this is a huge milestone for us.

“We can’t wait to build on the success of previous hugely popular K-Pop performances at the venue, and welcome some of the world’s top K-Pop acts and their legions of fans to the O2 for a fantastic weekend festival event that will take over the full campus at the O2,” he added.

More details about Kpop.Flex London 2023 and its accompanying awards show are set to be revealed in the coming months.

 


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Europe’s first K-pop fest sold 70,000+ tickets

Europe’s first K-pop festival reportedly sold more than 70,000 tickets in 84 countries.

Staged by K-Pop Europa in partnership with PK Events and Korean broadcaster SBS Television Network, the 44,000-capacity Kpop.Flex festival took place at the Deutsche Bank Park in Frankfurt, Germany, over the weekend (14–15 May).

Due to the huge demand for the event, the organisers have already gone on sale with a second edition, set for 17–18 June 2023 at the Frankfurt arena.

K-Pop Europa is also planning to expand its brand with other new dates and locations over the coming year via a partnership between the UK’s Live Company Group and Germany’s Explorado Group.

A statement from the agencies says: “South Korea is now the seventh largest music market in the world, and audiences for K-Pop are growing at an explosive rate. The high demand for KPop.Flex tickets and the rising star profile in Western media show that the K-Pop wave is not going to ebb away.”

Kpop.Flex featured live performances from acts including EXO member Kai, AB6IX, (G)I-DLE, NCT Dream, Enhypen, Mamamoo, Monsta X and IVE.

The event also featured a Korea Festival, a fan fest arranged by the Korean Tourism Organisation with food stalls and special presentations of Korean music and cultural assets.

While the in-person event is over, the organisers are gearing up for a ticketed global live stream of the event on 29 May.

For €14.95, ticket buyers can enjoy a 90-minute ‘digital experience’ and participate in fan-exclusive group chats.

“South Korea is now the seventh largest music market in the world, and audiences for K-Pop are growing at an explosive rate”

K-Pop Europa isn’t the only promoter bringing K-pop to Europe. It was recently announced that TEG MJR is to promote the UK’s first-ever K-pop festival, taking place in London this summer.

HallyuPopFest, previously held in Singapore in 2018 and 2019, is scheduled for 9 and 10 July at OVO Arena Wembley (cap. 12,500).

According to a new report, more than 2.8 million fans are forecast to attend K-pop events outside of Korea in 2022.

South Korea-based financial investment company Hyundai Motor Securities (HMS) projects that acts represented by management firm HYBE, such as BTS, Tomorrow X Together and Enhypen, will draw 1.27m concertgoers outside their homeland on their own.

South Korea’s capital city, Seoul, is also gearing up for growing demand for the genre, with the development of two new arenas dedicated to K-pop.

K-pop, media giant CJ ENM and AEG have begun construction on an arena in the capital’s Goyang City, slated to open in 2024.

The venue, dubbed CJ LiveCity Arena, is reportedly designed to accommodate 20,000 indoor attendees, with the capacity to extend to another 40,000 outdoors.

Meanwhile, South Korean IT giant Kakao and the Seoul metropolitan government will start building a K-pop arena in Seoul’s northern Dobong district, this June.

Expected to be complete in October 2025, Seoul Arena will reportedly include a concert venue boasting state-of-the-art sound equipment, with a seating capacity of around 19,000 and a maximum capacity of 28,000 for standing events.

 


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Europe’s first K-pop fest reveals expansion plans

Organisers of Europe’s biggest K-pop festival have revealed international expansion ambitions after adding a second day in Frankfurt, Germany.

Staged by K-Pop Europa in partnership with PK Events and Korean broadcaster SBS Television Network, the 44,000-capacity Kpop.Flex festival at Deutsche Bank Park Stadium will now run from 14-15 May, kicking off a five-year deal to further grow the genre in Europe.

A partnership between the UK’s Live Company Group and Germany’s Explorado Group, K-Pop Europa plans to expand its brand with new dates and locations over the coming year.

“We’ve been wowed by the response Kpop.Flex has had from fans so far, and are delighted to be able to extend the event into a full weekend festival,” says David Ciclitira, Chairman of Live Company Group. “This is only the beginning for K-Pop Europa, and we’re eager to bring even more of the genre’s biggest names to perform for European fans in future.”

“K-pop is a fantastic and very enriching part of the world’s music. We are really glad to be a part of implementing it into the hearts of Europe”

The opening day line-up has now been finalised, with EXO member Kai and boy band AB6IX joining the previously announced (G)I-DLE, NCT Dream, Enhypen, Mamamoo and IVE on the bill. (G)I-DLE, AB6IX, and IVE will play both dates, with Oneus performing exclusively on Sunday 15 May, alongside Monsta X.

Ticket buyers will also have access to a fan-fest Korean culture in the grounds of the stadium.

“K-pop is a fantastic and very enriching part of the world’s music,” adds Explorado Group chairman Andreas Waschk. “We are really glad to be a part of implementing it in the hearts of Europe and its people. We look forward to a wonderful weekend in May and a great experience for everyone.”

 

 


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