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J-Hope set for historic Lollapalooza headline slot

BTS member J-Hope is set to make history by headlining the final night of Lollapalooza 2022 in Chicago’s Grant Park on 31 July.

The performance will see the rapper become the first South Korean artist to ever headline a main stage at a major US music festival.

In addition, K-pop band Tomorrow X Together will make their US festival debut with a performance at the event on 30 July. Both acts are represented by Seoul-headquartered entertainment company BigHit Music.

“Lolla is the place where all music genres live in harmony”

“I’m happy to welcome J-Hope and Tomorrow X Together into the Lollapalooza family,” says Lollapalooza founder Perry Farrell. “These artists have been given great gifts in communication. Their global audience speak different languages but possess an intense passion for their music.

“Lolla is the place where all music genres live in harmony. These are the superstars of the global phenomenon of K-Pop, and we are so excited to have them at this year’s festival.”

Doja Cat had originally been due to close this year’s Lollapalooza, which runs from 28-31 July, but withdrew last month due to throat problems. The four-day line-up will feature more than 170 artists performing across nine stages, including Metallica, Lil Baby, Dua Lipa, Machine Gun Kelly, Glass Animals, J Cole, Kygo, Big Sean, Idles, Green Day, Jane’s Addiction, The Kid Laroi and Charli XCX.

Lollapalooza, which celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2021, is produced by Farrell, WME and C3 Presents.

 


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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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K-pop gigs to draw over 2.8m outside Korea in 2022

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

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

BTS completed a four-night residency at the 65,000-cap Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas over the weekend, which came four months after the group’s last US dates at the SoFi Stadium (cap. 70,000) in November/December 2021.

In addition, SM Entertainment, home to NCT, EXO and Aespa, are tipped to pull in 630,000 spectators, with JYP (Twice/Itzy/Stray Kids) and YG Entertainment (Blackpink/Treasure) expected to reach 500,000 and 300,000 people, respectively, as reported by the Korea Times.

“The 2.85 million figure is approximately 43% of the total number of global concertgoers in the pre-pandemic year of 2019”

“The 2.85 million figure is approximately 43% of the total number of global concertgoers in the pre-pandemic year of 2019,” says HMS, which says the total compares with a peak of three years ago.

Last month, BTS delivered the largest concerts South Korea had seen since the beginning of Covid-19, with three in-person concerts at Jamsil Olympic Stadium in Seoul. The ministry for culture permitted the group to invite 15,000 people per night to the 70,000-cap outdoor stadium.

Meanwhile, it was recently revealed 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 9-10 July at OVO Arena Wembley (cap. 12,500).

Mamamoo singer Hwasa, girl group Everglow, and boybands Astro and Oneus are among the artists due to perform on the first day of the festival, while boybands SF9 and Cravity are lined up for day two of the event.

The news followed the announcement of Europe’s biggest K-pop festival launching in Germany. The 44,000-capacity Kpop.Flex festival is to take place at Deutsche Bank Park Stadium in Frankfurt between 14–15 May.

 


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TEG MJR to promote the UK’s first K-pop festival

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).

Mamamoo singer Hwasa, girl group Everglow, and boybands Astro and Oneus are among the artists due to perform on the first day of the festival.

While boybands SF9 and Cravity are lined up for day two of the event. More artists are expected to be confirmed in the coming weeks.

Aside from the three-hour headline concerts taking place each evening, HallyuPopFest will also include a red carpet event and a HallyuTown marketplace, where ticketholders will be able to experience Korean food and culture.

“We wanted to create a festival experience where K-pop fans from all over could come together and celebrate”

“It will be the UK’s first K-pop festival, as well as HallyuPopFest’s first global landing. It’s an amazing lineup, consisting of a diverse variety of Korean music genres, from pop to rap to adult contemporary to indie artists,” says global promoter TEG MJR chief executive Richard Buck. “There will be something for everyone.”

Selena Ho, chief executive of the Singapore-headquartered HAH Entertainment, which oversees HallyuPopFest operations, adds: “HallyuPopFest came about because we wanted to create a festival experience where K-pop fans from all over, from various fandoms, could come together and celebrate their fervent idol support, boundless energy and love for music and dance that are the cornerstones of K-pop.”

The inaugural HallyuPopFest was held in 2018 in Singapore and returned to the island-state the following year for its second instalment.

Artists that have previously performed at HallyuPopFest include Wanna One, Apink, AOA, Girls’ Generation’s Taeyeon, NCT 127, NU’EST, (G)I-DLE, Monsta X and more.

Today’s news comes after the announcement of Europe’s biggest K-pop festival launching in Germany. The 44,000-capacity Kpop.Flex festival is to take place at Deutsche Bank Park Stadium in Frankfurt between 14–15 May.

 


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Second K-pop arena planned for South Korea

A second arena dedicated to staging K-pop concerts is planned for South Korea’s capital city, Seoul.

It was announced yesterday (4 April) that South Korean IT giant Kakao and the Seoul metropolitan government have signed an agreement to start building the 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.

The arena will also feature a separate 7,000-capacity concert venue, as well as a cinema and commercial facilities.

Kakao said it expects Seoul Arena to attract some 1.8 million visitors per year and contribute to revitalising the local economy and bolstering the ecosystem of concerts.

Kakao said it expects Seoul Arena to attract some 1.8 million visitors per year

Kakao will reportedly be in charge of operating and maintaining the Seoul Arena for 30 years after it opens, while the venue will be owned by the city government.

Though Kakao has described the project as South Korea’s “first and largest” arena dedicated to K-pop, media giant CJ ENM and AEG began construction on a similar project last October.

The pair’s CJ LiveCity Arena, slated to open in Seoul’s Goyang City in 2024, is reportedly designed to accommodate 20,000 indoor attendees, with the capacity to extend to another 40,000 outdoors.

It is also said to be equipped with “the most powerful live performance infrastructure in the world”, including stage facilities, sound and lighting systems.

Centrally located between five of Korea’s largest cities, AEG projects the new venue will attract more than 20 million visitors annually.

 


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BTS announce four-night Las Vegas residency

K-pop juggernauts BTS have announced a four-night residency at the Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, US.

The boyband will bring their Permission To Dance On Stage concert to the 65,000-capacity stadium on 8, 9, 15 and 16 April.

All four dates will be broadcast live at the nearby MGM Grand Garden Arena, in what’s being dubbed a ‘live play’ event. The final day of their residency will also be streamed online worldwide.

The Las Vegas concerts will come four months after the group’s last US dates at the SoFi Stadium (cap. 70,000) on 27 and 28 November, and 1 and 2 December 2021.

The four-night residency attracted approximately 813,000 people across the four sold-out shows, becoming the biggest single venue concert engagement by any act in almost a decade.

According to Billboard, the Los Angeles leg of their Permission To Dance On Stage concert series sold 214,000 tickets and grossed US$33.3million.

All four dates will be broadcast live at the nearby MGM Grand Garden Arena, in what’s being dubbed a ‘live play’ event

News of BTS’s Las Vegas residency comes after the boyband announced a three-night run at Seoul’s Olympic Stadium (cap. 70,000) on 10, 12 and 13 March.

The ministry for culture has permitted the group to invite 15,000 people per night to Permission To Dance On Stage – Seoul’.

Elsewhere, the boyband’s agency Hybe (formerly Big Hit Entertainment) today announced a 30.8% increase in operating profits in the last year, despite the pandemic.

It almost tripled its revenue from content, such as games and digital comics featuring BTS.

Its takings from merchandise also grew, and that from advertisements, artist appearances and their management more than doubled.

However, concerts have seen a slow recovery with Hybe’s earnings from performances under a quarter of what they were in 2019.

The company operates as a record label, talent agency, music production company, event management and concert production company, and as a music publishing house.

 


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BTS set for South Korea’s largest gigs since 2020

BTS are set to deliver the largest concerts South Korea has seen since the beginning of the pandemic.

The record-breaking K-pop stars are slated to perform three in-person concerts at Jamsil Olympic Stadium in Seoul next month.

The ministry for culture has permitted the group to invite 15,000 people per night to the 70,000-capacity outdoor stadium on 10, 12 and 13 March.

The ‘Permission To Dance On Stage – Seoul’ shows will be the group’s first in-person concerts in South Korea in around two and a half years.

The country began allowing in-person concerts from November 2021 though, currently, concerts are capped at 50% capacity or 4,000 spectators for indoor facilities.

BTS’s 12 March show will be available for ‘live viewing’ in cinemas in more than 60 countries worldwide

All spectators are required to show proof of vaccination or recent negative test results while organisers must appoint a sufficient number of safety management workers.

The band’s 10 and 13 March shows will be streamed online simultaneously, while their 12 March show will be available for ‘live viewing’ in cinemas across 60+ countries worldwide.

Some regions will be able to watch the performance live, while other parts of the world will be offered a delayed broadcast to better suit their respective time zones. The cinemas will also offer a replay of the live broadcast later in the day.

Last year, the septet marked their return to in-person performances with ‘Permission To Dance On Stage’ in Los Angeles, California. The group held a mini-residency at the brand new SoFi Stadium (cap. 70,000) on 27 and 28 November, and 1 and 2 December 2021.

The residency attracted approximately 813,000 people across the four sold-out shows, becoming the biggest single venue concert engagement by any act in almost a decade.

According to Billboard, the Los Angeles leg of their ‘Permission To Dance On Stage’ concert series sold 214,000 tickets and grossed US$33.3million.

 


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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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Europe’s biggest ever K-pop festival announced

Europe’s biggest ever K-Pop festival has been announced for Frankfurt, Germany in 2022.

Staged by K-Pop Europa, in partnership with PK Events and Korean broadcaster SBS Television Network, the 44,000-capacity Kpop.Flex will take place at Deutsche Bank Park on Saturday 14 May.

Monsta X and (G)I-DLE are the first names announced, with five more acts still to be unveiled for the event, which is part of a five-year plan to further grow the booming K-pop genre in Europe.

The Korean Wave has been gathering force in Europe for some time now

“The Korean Wave has been gathering force in Europe for some time now, so we are particularly excited to be able to give our growing fanbase what they want, right here on European turf, with the return to major live music events here in Frankfurt next spring,” says David Ciclitira, a partner in K-Pop Europa, which is a collaboration between Live Company Group (founded and chaired by Ciclitira) and Explorado Group.

Kpop.Flex will kick off the music season at Frankfurt’s Deutsche Bank Park, which has already sold out three dates for Coldplay and two for Ed Sheeran later in the year. Korean broadcaster SBS will film the festival and create a made-for-TV edit, for screening in Korea after the event.

“K-pop.Flex is a really dynamic addition to our line-up, which includes Ed Sheeran and Coldplay – and we’ve already pre-sold 300,000 tickets for those,” adds Deutsche Bank Park MD Patrik Meyer.

Festival-goers will also be able to view original artworks by K-Pop stars Ohnim and Yooyeon and independent talent Henry Lau. Limited edition prints of these artworks will be available to purchase.

 


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