MBC asked to pay for flights

MBC asked to pay for flights

Korean broadcaster Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation has put the blame on local organiser Fatfish Entertainment for cancelling today's MBC Korean Music Wave concert, which had been billed as the biggest K-pop concert in Singapore.

In its first comments on the saga, MBC, the producer of the show, told Life! that Fatfish Entertainment made a "unilateral decision" to cancel the show at Gardens by the Bay, which was to feature 13 acts, including Shinee, 2PM, EXO, Sistar and Kara.

Giving details of the behind-the-scenes negotiations that went on between the two sides, Mr Boyun Choi of MBC's Global Business Department said that Fatfish had sent an "unreasonable request" on Nov 1 for MBC to bear the flight costs of the participating artists, crew and production staff.

MBC said Fatfish, which was contracted to pay for the flight costs, had made the request because it said it had incurred "excessive expenses" for production and hospitality.

When MBC urged Fatfish to issue the tickets as contracted, Fatfish announced on Nov 6 that it was cancelling the show.

Mr Lau Kin Wai, founding partner of Fatfish Entertainment, could not be reached for comment. MBC Korean Music Wave was to be the first concert organised by the company, which is part of the Fatfish Group, a regional ventures investment group founded in 2011.

Fatfish Entertainment announced on Nov 8 that it would be closing down to refund ticket-buyers who had paid between $168 and $688 for the concert tickets.

Mr Choi said in his statement to Life! that MBC, one of the largest public broadcasting companies in Korea, learnt of the cancellation from the website www.musicwave.sg/kmv on Nov 6.

It is giving the circumstances leading to the cancellation because there have been "misunderstandings and misled assumptions which we consider to be seriously impacting the reputation and the good name of MBC and the involved artists".

He said that the broadcaster has yet to receive an explanation for the last-minute cancellation and urged Fatfish Entertainment to "take legal and appropriate measures at the earliest possible moment for the fans who are the biggest victims of the cancellation of the show".

He noted that the contract was finalised in July last year and all "hospitality and production concerns" were settled in meetings in Singapore and Malaysia from Oct 29 to 31 this year.

Expressing regret and disappointment at the situation, he apologised to K-pop fans. "We hope we can visit Singapore next time with a much greater show."

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