English | Dzongkha Tuesday, August 22, 2017

PSY and 4 other K-pop bands cancel Bhutan visit

Sonam Pem, Thimphu
Jun 16, 2017

A global Korean sensation, PSY, and four other K-pop bands cancelled their visit to Bhutan, a day ahead of the much awaited Bhutan-K-pop concert tomorrow.

The Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) says they received the information this morning from the organising Korean company. Except for Badkiz, the Korean organisers informed that PSY, Boys Republic, Girlfriend, Hwang Chi-Yeul and Lovelyz are not able to make it to the concert.

However, TCB says, they will be replaced by five other groups. The new team of Korean artists include Fresh Boyz, a hip-hop and rap group,  K-pop boy groups-Double Eight and Seven O’clock, and a girl group called Stellar.

Excited with the country’s first-ever K-pop concert and determined not to miss the opportunity to experience K-pop firsthand, hundreds of fans, mostly the young Bhutanese in Thimphu, were seen turning up in droves for free tickets at the TCB registration counter over the last two or three days.

The Bhutan-K-Pop concert is being held to celebrate 30 years of friendly diplomatic relations between the two countries.

A global Korean star, Park Jae-Sang, popularly known as PSY, was among the list of South Korean artists performing at the concert until this afternoon.

The performances by PSY, the singer of Gangnam Style, a popular K-pop single released in 2012 that topped the music charts of more than 30 countries that year, was expected to be the highlight of the concert.

Not anymore with PSY now having cancelled his visit.

Local bands and artists to join Korean stars

Our own bands and artists will share the stage with the Korean stars at tomorrow’s concert.  A total of six local bands have been chosen following an intensive audition, and Baby Boomers is one of them.

Speaking to BBS yesterday, Ugyen Tshering, one of the members, said it’s a huge opportunity for the band. “We get to perform with the very accomplished and established Korean artists.”. “And of course, this will be the biggest stage and the crowd we have ever performed for,” he added.

ORA conceptualized the local performance.

Crowd management

A free concert and that, too, a star-studded one, is bound is attract thousands of viewers. The organizers, TCB and Dynasty Co. Ltd, have teamed up with relevant organizations to put in places measures to manage the crowd.

The Media Focal Person of TCB, Damcho Rinzin, said issuing tickets, despite the concert being free, is one of their crowd control and management strategies. “The tickets have numbers, which will help us get a sense of how many people are coming,” said Damcho Rinzin.

“If you don’t issue tickets, you have no idea how big the crowd is going to be and there will be issues with crowd management,” he added. “At the same time, the tickets can also be a souvenir for people attending the concert.”

Korean wave

Over the last one or two decades, Korean culture and entertainment soared in popularity not only across Asia but also in other parts of the world. The Hallyu Wave, a term that the South Koreans use to describe the phenomenon, has swept across Bhutan as well in the recent years.

From a craze for Korean culture to cuisine, fashion, entertainment, language, and cosmetics, the popularity and influence of the Korean wave is particularly prominent among the young Bhutanese.

This probably explains the long queues of young people seen lining up for tickets. As Jigme Zangmo, a young K-pop fan summed it up, “We get to see them perform live and it’s free.”

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