KCON, the world’s biggest K-pop festival made its way to the Middle East for the first time on Friday, March 25. The greatest K-convention and K-concert hosted by CJ E&M, a South Korean entertainment and media contents company was held in United Arab Emirates at Du Arena, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi.
The K-Pop artists who performed at the concert included BTS, TaeYeon from Girls Generation, Kyuhyun from Super Junior, Double S 301, Ailee, Monsta X and SPICA. The convention showcased every aspect of the Korean culture.
This event was definitely in for a treat for the Middle East fans who had been waiting for a long time to experience the Korean Wave and attend the large scale Kpop event ever.
Over the past few years, the spread of South Korean entertainment culture also known as the Korean wave or the ‘Hallyu’ movement has swept across various countries leaving the Middle East with no exception.
Since the mid 2000s, a number of K-dramas have been and are still being broadcasted through various global divisions of South Korean channels. Now, K-fashion and K-beauty are also being telecasted and K-soap operas are being dubbed in Arabic television channels.
KBS World Radio Arabic, based in Seoul, South Korea is another channel dedicated to the Middle East fans.
Also none of us can forget the 2012 song “Gangnam Style’ by Kpop singer Psy that became a global hit. The music video on YouTube has now reached more than two billion views.
Not long ago, several reports stated that the reach of the Korean Wave was ‘bringing hope for peace’ in the Middle East. In fact, the concept still prevails with the popular Kpop celebrities holding concert tours and even interacting with fans through ‘meet and greet’ sessions at different allocated venues.
However there were disappointments. For example, the seats for the KCON 2016 Abu Dhabi concert were classified into three as diamond, platinum and gold where one of each seats cost Dh900, Dh450 and Dh350 respectively. Further, only the diamond seat ticket holders were welcomed to the ‘meet and greet’ sessions.
Many fans have also expressed their distress over the disrespectful behavior of managers towards them on social media.
Overall, on the bright side, the Korean entertainment agencies are looking forward to expanding markets worldwide for Hallyu merchandises and developing strong relations with other countries. This new move KCON 2016 Abu Dhabi can be seen part of it.
“Considering it’s our first time in the Middle East, an emerging market, we’ll try to take into account the area’s heritage, culture and industries at the upcoming KCON,” CJ E&M had told The Korea Times previously.
The international entertainment market is growing due to competition and the evolution of Korean wave has indeed become a global phenomenon.
KCON, launched in California in 2012, is in its fifth year and would see it’s next stop at Japan, New York and Los Angeles.
Article via Saudi Gazette