Saving Korean Music Wave concert to save S'pore's face

SINGAPORE - Despair may turn to hope for disappointed fans of next Saturday's 2013 MBC Korean Music Wave concert which the organiser has cancelled.

Two Singapore entertainment companies have decided to join hands to try to save the gig.

Singapore-based entertainment company Alpha Entertainment said it is partnering a renowned local concert production company to stage the event on the same day, but likely at a different venue.

The two companies have contacted the original organiser, Fatfish Entertainment, and Korean broadcaster MBC (Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation). The New Paper understands that talks are ongoing.

With a line-up boasting top K-pop acts like EXO, 2PM, 2AM, FT Island, SHINee, B.A.P, B1A4, Teen Top, Miss A, Sistar, Kara, 4Minute and IU, 2013 MBC Korean Music Wave was touted as the biggest K-pop gig to be held here.

Tickets, which cost between $168 and $688, went on sale on Oct 15.

But on Wednesday, Singapore-based venture group Fatfish Entertainment, a new player in the industry, pulled the plug on the concert, citing "contractual difficulties".

The news disappointed fans, many of whom took to the Internet to vent their frustration.

Refund details have yet to be announced, even though many irate ticket-holders have thronged the organiser's Facebook page demanding their money.

Yesterday, Mr Alan Chan, CEO of Alpha Entertainment, which created Singapore's first K-pop girl group SKarf in August last year told TNP: "We are trying to save Singapore's face because this saga will cause damage to Singapore's reputation (in the K-pop industry).

"We are also trying our best to make sure the concert goes on on Nov 16 so that the fans can enjoy themselves.

"We hope to succeed in two days' because we have come up with a sound proposal."

Mr Chan shared some of his strategies.

His plan is to change the concert venue from Gardens by the Bay to the Max Pavilion.

With the lower cost of the venue, he can slash ticket prices. For example, a $688 ticket could be sold at $288.

Mr Chan said that in the event of successful talks, fans who have already purchased tickets will be refunded the difference in ticket prices.

Additionally, other tickets sold on the new prices could be used to cover the costs.

Korean Music Wave 2013

Confident

Mr Chan is also confident of finding sponsors for the artistes' food and accommodation expenses.

On whether he thought this Korean Music Wave debacle was an indication that the K-pop bubble in Singapore has burst, he said: "No, not at all.

"I don't mind losing a few thousand dollars to save this because we still hope to bring in more K-pop acts in the future (so saving Singapore's reputation is important)."

If the K-pop industry gets a bad impression of Singapore as a concert venue, it will pose more difficulty when bringing in future acts, he explained.

When contacted, a Fatfish spokesman said: "We're definitely open to anyone who wants to take over the concert. "Any red tape can be worked around."

K-pop fans TNP spoke to said all they'll be doing in the next few days is keeping their eyes peeled for the good news - if it happens. Said 17-year-old student Kerry Ngoh: "I still get to watch EXO and at a cheaper price - are you serious?

"Please let it happen, please, please, please.

"To get back something you really loved, which you thought you lost, has to be one of the most amazing feelings in the whole wide world."

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