x

The latest industry news to your inbox.


I'd like to hear about marketing opportunities

    

I accept IQ Magazine's Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

K-pop festival Waterbomb splashes into new markets

Touring K-pop festival series Waterbomb Festival is expanding to several global markets this year, with new editions set for the US, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Taiwan, the UAE, Singapore, and China.

Set to kick off this May in Xiamen, China, the international series will take water-soaked stars to Hong Kong in June before touring South Korea and Japan in July and more cities across both, plus Singapore, in August. A Bangkok edition has been set for September, with stints in Los Angeles, Ho Chi Minh City, Taipei, and Dubai to be announced.

First held in 2015 in Seoul, South Korea, the festival series first expanded to new markets in 2023 with two editions in Japan and one in Bangkok. This year, the series will visit nine cities in South Korea, four in Japan, and one in Thailand, along with the new editions.

The event was launched by Hong Kong-based streaming platform Viu and Singapore-based Evergreen Group Holdings, with local promoters helping bring it to new territories.

The K-pop genre continues to soar to new hights and into new markets

As the name suggests, Waterbomb intertwines various water activities alongside local and international lineups of K-pop, hip-hop, and EDM performers. Though lineups vary by city, performers include K-pop supergroup TWICE’s Nayeon, American rapper Jay Park, and SHINEE’s Taemin, and South Korean singers Hwasa, Chung Ha, and Bibi, among a variety of others. Former performers include Blackpink, aespa, Simon Dominic, and Jessi.

The K-pop genre continues to soar to new heights and into new markets, with behemoth HYBE reporting its concert revenue skyrocketed by 40% in 2023, reaching KRW 359.1 billion (€253m) in the year. Last autumn, fellow agency SM Entertainment announced its Q3 revenue surged 40% year-on-year, partly attributed to their star’s expansive world tours.

KCON, the world’s biggest K-pop and culture convention, also expanded to a fifth region this year, adding Hong Kong to its 2024 lineup of Japan, Los Angeles, Saudia Arabia, and to-be-announced Europe.

The 2024 schedule is as follows:

May
18-18: Xiamen, China

June
1-2: Hong Kong

July
5-7: Seoul, South Korea
13: Jeju, South Korea
13: Fukuoka, Japan
20: Daegu, South Korea
27: Busan, South Korea
27-28: Tokyo, Japan

August
3: Incheon, South Korea
10: Daejeon, South Korea
10: Osaka, Japan
17: Sokcho, South Korea
17: Nagoya, Japan
24: Suwon, South Korea
24-25: Singapore, Singapore
31: Gwangju, South Korea

September
TBA: Bangkok

TBA
Los Angeles, United States
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Taipei, Taiwan
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ IndexIQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Company behind BTS to form new girl band

Big Hit Entertainment, home to K-pop sensations BTS, is calling global auditions to launch a new girl band, in conjunction with its label Source Music.

The auditions are taking place in 16 cities worldwide in the United States, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Vietnam and Thailand.

The auditions will be used to select members for a new girl group, aimed to debut in 2021.

Big Hit chief executive and founder Bang Si-Hyuk and chief brand officer Min Hee-jin are leading the project, with Bang overseeing all elements of production and Min focusing on creative direction and branding.

The new band will be Big Hit’s first girl group since Min joined the company in January. Min previously worked at Korean record label and agency SM Entertainment, where she worked on projects for girl groups Girls’ Generation, f(x) and red velvet.

Big Hit Entertainment, home to K-pop sensations BTS, is calling global auditions to launch a new girl band

Founded in 2005, Big Hit focuses on music production, artist management and publishing. The company is behind artists Lee Hyun and Tomorrow X Together (TXT). The company’s most famous creation, BTS, recently broke more box-office records with tour film Bring the Soul: The Movie.

Big Hit has enjoyed a profitable 2019 so far, generating revenues in six months that almost surpass last year’s total. The company recently announced plans for a BTS TV series and added to its partnership with game publisher Net Marble, acquiring music gaming company Superb.

The full list of audition dates and locations can be found below, with more information available via the Plus Global Audition Twitter and Instagram pages.

 

Los Angeles, New York City: 5 October
Perth, Singapore: 12 October
Melbourne: 13 October
Busan, Gwangju, Osaka, Sapporo, Taipei: 19 October
Seoul, Tokyo, Kaohsiung: 20 October
Hanoi, Bangkok: 26 October
Ho Chi Minh: 27 October

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

13 dead in blaze at unlicensed Hanoi venue

An investigation by the Hanoi fire brigade has revealed that up to 80% of karaoke bars in the city fail to meet fire safety standards, days after 13 people were killed in a blaze at a venue on Tran Thai Tong Street.

Reports in local media suggest the fire, on Tuesday (1 November), was sparked by welders working on a sign at the unlicensed bar, with the victims – among them 11 government officials – likely suffocating in windowless karaoke rooms, which spanned eight storeys.

At a press conference yesterday, Hoang Trung Hai, the city’s party committee secretary – or local representative of the ruling Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) – said the venue had a single fire exit, in common with the Colectiv nightclub in Bucharest, which was destroyed by a blaze last October.

“The karaoke bar had one fire exit at the back, but I think the victims did not know how to reach it, and gathered in one room”

“The karaoke bar had one fire exit at the back,” he told reporters, “but I think the victims did not know how to reach it, and gathered in one room. They did not know how to handle the situation.”

According to the fire brigade, of the 988 karaoke bars in Hanoi, up to 787 lack fire certificates, reports VietNamNet.

Lieutenant-colonel Bui Quang Viet, the deputy head of the Hanoi fire and rescue department, says firemen battling the Tran Thai Tong blaze struggled to reach the fire because the building was covered in huge signboards. All the city’s bars will now be inspected to check their compliance with fire safety regulations, says Bui, which require that all walls, rooves, exit routes and wall displays must be fire resistant and that signs must not cover the whole building or block the exits.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.