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K-pop girl group Twice sell out Japan shows

All 15 concert dates on the Japanese leg of K-pop band Twice’s current world tour have sold out, after over one million fans applied for tickets.

The nine-piece girl group have concert dates at the Makomanai Ice Arena in Hokkaido (10,000-cap.), Chiba’s Makuhari Event Hall (9,000-cap.), the Osaka Jo Hall (16,000-cap.), Miyagi’s Sekisui Heim Super Arena (7,000-cap.), Nagoya’s International Exhibition Hall (13,500-cap.), Marine Messe Fukuoka (13,000-cap.) and Shizuoka’s Ecopa Arena (10,000-cap.)

JYP Entertainment, the management company behind the band, announced two extra dates on Sunday (27 October) at the 55,000-capacity Tokyo Dome.  Twice will be the first K-pop girl group to play two consecutive concerts at the dome. The shows will take place on 3 and 4 march 2020.

Twice will be the first K-pop girl group to play two consecutive concerts at the Tokyo Dome

The concerts are part of the Twicelights 2019 world tour, which has seen the band play in Korea, Thailand, the Philippines, Singapore, Mexico, Malaysia and the United States.

According to IQ’s recent Japanese market report, Japan is the second largest music market in the world, behind the United States and ahead of Germany. The country’s live sector has reached unprecedented levels in recent years, generating ¥332 billion in 2017 (£2.4bn) and ¥345bn (£2.5bn) in 2018.

K-pop in particular has “made a big impression” in Japan, with Twice and other bands such as BTS and Blackpink recording and performing Japanese versions of their songs.


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Promoters push for end to Chinese K-pop ban

Amid the growing popularity of K-pop and other Korean music globally, concert promoters in China are reportedly pressuring authorities to lift restrictions on South Korean artists performing in the country.

The People’s Republic of China issued a nationwide ban on performances by Korean artists – as well as a prohibition on South Korean television programmes, and on Korean celebrities appearing on Chinese TV – in November 2016, during a diplomatic row over the presence of US missiles in South Korea.

No major Korean artist has played in China, a market of some 1.4bn people, since – even as the likes of Exo, Twice, Blackpink and, most famously, BTS (who yesterday announced a new world stadium tour), have gone on to huge touring success elsewhere.

According to Bloomberg, “people familiar with the matter” have revealed that China-based promoters are now seeking permission to bring in Korean bands, though it is not clear whether the Chinese culture ministry will be receptive to their requests for permits.

“People are getting ready”

“People are getting ready,” says Archie Hamilton, MD of promoter Split Works. “There is a lot of money there.”

“A lot of Korean artists would like to tour” in China, adds Modern Sky booker Jordan Corso. “It’s too big a market [not to].”

The news comes amid a limited thaw in relations between the two nations that has seen a select number of groups being allowed to tour and South Korean programming returning to Chinese TV.

Shares of YG Entertainment, which manages Blackpink, gained nearly 3% on the publication of the Bloomberg report. JYP Entertainment, which represents Twice, rose 1.4%, while SM Entertainment, whose roster includes Exo and Super Junior, was also up as much as 3%.


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