Further Asian expansion for Sony’s Zepp venues
Zepp Hall Network, a division of Sony Music Entertainment Japan, has revealed plans for two more mid-sized venues outside Japan.
Joining Zepp Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia – announced in February as the company’s first non-Japanese venue – are Zepp@BIGBOX Singapore, a 2,333-capacity venue jointly operated with Singapore’s Big Box Investment, and Zepp New Taipei, a 2,200-cap. space across four floors in a new development in the Taipei suburb of Hsinchuang Futuhsin.
Zepp@BIGBOX will open first, on 4 June with a show by J-rock band Radwimps, with Zepp New Taipei following in April 2020 and Zepp Kuala Lumpur at the tail end of the same year.
“Zepp’s expansion in Asia will … create touring opportunities for Japanese and international artists”
Funding for the new venues – all of which will feature “stage machinery, lighting and sound systems with specifications standardised for all Zepp venues across the globe”, giving “an advantage to tour promoters and touring artists alike” – is covered partially by the Japanese government’s Cool Japan fund.
The latest round of expansion, says Zepp, “will blaze a trail for the Japanese music industry while creating touring opportunities for Japanese and international artists”. “Our hope is to bring people around the world together and provide the grounds for cultural exchange by building the infrastructure,” it adds in a statement.
Zepp Hall Network manages six venues in Japan – Zepp Sapporo, Zepp Tokyo and Zepp DiverCity in Tokyo, Zepp Nagoya, Zepp Namba in Osaka and the newly opened Zepp Osaka Bayside, with new venues opened in Fukuoka in 2018 and Yokohama in 2020.
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Sony Japan ups live presence with Osaka venue
In the same week it emerged Zepp Hall is to open its first music venue outside Japan, Zepp Kuala Lumpur, the Sony Music-owned venue operator today opens a second venue, in Osaka.
With a capacity of 2,801, the company says Zepp Osaka Bayside is the “largest [dedicated] music venue” for popular music in Japan. The first performers will be J-rock band Alexandro, who play two nights (17–18 February) as part of their We Come in Peace tour.
The venue is located on Osaka’s waterfront, near Sakurajima station and the Universal Studios Japan theme park.
Zepp now operates six venues in Japan, and also promotes tours and festivals under the Zepp Live brand. Is is a 100%-owned subsidiary of Sony Music Entertainment Japan.
Zepp to operate new $22m Kuala Lumpur venue
Japanese venue group Zepp Hall Network has is to manage a new 2,500-cap. music venue in Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur – its first outside Japan.
Zepp Kuala Lumpur – set to open in 2020 – is being built by BBCC Development, the developer of Kuala Lumpur’s Bukit Bintang shopping and entertainment district, at a cost of RM100 million (US$22.42m). Zepp Hall Network, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Music Entertainment Japan, has been awarded a 20-year lease on the venue.
Zepp operates five venues in Japan, and also promotes tours and festivals under the Zepp Live brand.
BBCC CEO Datuk Richard Ong Kek Seng says the new development – on the site of the former Pudu prison – will also include a multi-screen cinema, shopping centre and food hall.
According to Livescape Group live events director Rahul Kukreja, writing in IQ 68, Malaysia remains an untapped market for touring in south-east Asia, with a local audience hungry for shows by international artists but a weak currency and hostile governments hampering progress.