According to Korean law, music events are not considered “performances” but a form of “gathering”. So, many entertainment companies believe this is unfair discrimination and have complained to request the abolition of this law, even claiming compensation.
Due to the complicated development of the epidemic in many countries around the world, the Korean government recently raised the epidemic prevention level to level 2. Thus, music programs can only have direct participation of a maximum of 100 spectators.
The Korea Times reported that this regulation has prevented the recovery of the entertainment industry in Korea, forcing event organizers to quit their jobs because ticket sales cannot cover costs.
However, the opera concert takes on a completely different type of treatment, as it is classified as a “performance”. In opera concerts, the organizer can fill 75% of the seats in the theater. It’s a big difference even though the same measures are at level 2.
Meanwhile, entertainment events are the main source of income for management companies, idol groups as well as venues. But all had to be canceled or delayed due to the Covid-19 epidemic.
TV shows also had to record without an audience. Inkigayo, The Show, Music Bank, … somewhat reduce the attraction as well as the vibrant and enthusiastic atmosphere for the artists.
Since mid-February 2020, famous Kpop artists such as BTS, TWICE, NCT, SHINee … have canceled their domestic and overseas performances. They also cancelled annual music festivals such as KCON.
For more than a year, many companies have come up with plans to make shows in the form of online. Kpop artists can interact with audiences through social networks platform instead.
However, it is also difficult to maintain for a long time, especially for groups that are not too famous. They can hardly compete with A-list groups.
The entertainment companies asked the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the Ministry of Health and Welfare, and the local authorities to discuss the issue together and come up with better solutions.
In a joint statement on April 22, 38 companies specializing in producing music events in Korea called for joint efforts from relevant ministries, political parties, and government agencies to change regulations. They even asked for compensation.