[ENTERTAINMENT]Big Concerts Fall Prey to Terror Jitters

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[ENTERTAINMENT]Big Concerts Fall Prey to Terror Jitters

The fallout from the terrorist attacks in the United States has taken a toll on the local concert scene. Elton John and his band recently canceled the Asia leg of their "Journey Through Time" tour, which was to begin in Seoul on Friday before moving on to dates in Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore and Bangkok. The concert organizers cited safety concerns for the cancellation; people familiar with the situation add that John's fear of flying may be a bit more intense at the moment.

The cancellation of John's concert isn't the only recent entertainment casualty. Other artists, with the consent of event organizers, have postponed or canceled shows because of traveling fears.

John's show, organized by You2Pia Entertainment and sponsored by the British Council in Korea, was to follow the release of his latest album "Songs From the West Coast." Soon after the attacks, the local organizers suggested pushing the schedule back a bit, reasoning that both the performers and audience would be too emotionally agitated.

After John scrubbed a Dubai date, which was to precede the Seoul show, he and his band agreed to postpone the Seoul show until next April at the earliest.

The popular British rocker nearly collapsed after a flight a few years ago, after which he had a pacemaker implanted. According to people familiar with the singer, he has decided to stay in North America for the next few months.

Following the attacks, event organizers were bracing themselves for cancellations.

The first events to be scrapped were concerts in Seoul and Daegu scheduled for mid-September by the Russian cellist and former model Nina Kotova. She sent an e-mail telling her promoter that her flight to Seoul had been canceled and that she couldn't get another.

Then the rock group The Eagles shelved their Seoul and Busan shows on Oct. 27 and 28, as well as other dates in Australia and New Zealand, because of terrorism risks. The band told the event organizer, Korea Music Entertainment, of the decision in mid-October. The two parties are in talks to reschedule, but prospects for an Eagles concert soon seem dim.

The organizer was particularly disappointed because the concert was to be a supporting event for the upcoming Busan Asian Games.

Amid the concert deep freeze, though, one highlight event is still on.

A big show to mark 200 days before the kickoff of next year's World Cup games will be held at Jamsil Stadium on Nov. 12. Performers on the bill include Ricky Martin, Michael Bolton, Def Leppard and Korea's own Seo Tai-ji. Entertainment insiders are hoping that the show will help warm up the rock scene.

As for John's Korean fans, who may remember the cancellation of a planned joint concert with Billy Joel in 1998, all they can do is wait.

by Rhee Hyun-ju

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