Seoul to build K-pop arena by 2024

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A K-pop performance hall will be built in northern Seoul by 2024 to attract more foreign tourists, the city government said Wednesday. The Seoul Metropolitan Government unveiled its plan to establish a cultural complex near Changdong Station on subway Line No. 1 in Dobong-gu, the 18,400-seat Seoul Arena as its key project. Construction is scheduled to begin in September 2020, financed with 599.4 billion won ($535 million) in private funds. Along with the concert hall, the edifice will also feature a K-pop hall of fame, a K-pop exhibition center, theaters and a mid-sized performance hall that can accommodate 2,000 people. “Seoul Arena will stage more than 90 large-scale performances annually along with K-pop festivals, concerts by foreign musicians, music award ceremonies and various other events,” a city government official said. The move comes as K-pop has gained ground not only in Asia but in the United States, Latin America and Europe in recent years.
However, despite its huge success, the nation has yet to feature a K-pop-only performance hall, with many large-scale concerts being held at sports facilities such as the Olympic Gymnastics Arena or Jamsil Stadium. According to the local government, plans to hold concerts in Seoul by foreign musicians, including Madonna, have fallen through due to a lack of venues that can accommodate at least 20,000 people. “While K-pop is basking in the global spotlight, the nation is devoid of infrastructure to back up its popularity. We expect Seoul Arena to help K-pop further secure global competitiveness,” the official said.

By Kang Seung-woo

(Korea Times)

 

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