[EDITORIALS]How not to plan a concertA string of major concerts long awaited by music lovers have recently been cancelled. What would have been the first concert in Korea for the internationally-acclaimed film music composer Enrico Morricone was suddenly cancelled two days before the performance. An international rock festival organized by Seotaiji ― who is a symbol of independent music in Korea ― was supposed to be held next month, but was also cancelled. The news probably devastated fans who had emptied their pockets to buy advance tickets.
The official explanations behind the cancellations were money problems. The promotion company for the Morricone concert was unable to provide the artist with a partial payment; it later was informed by the artist’s management that because of the missed payment, Morricone had not boarded the plane to Korea. The promoter had sold about 40 percent of the tickets, which were priced as high as 350,000 won ($340), but it was unable to come up with the rest of the money. The rock festival prepared by Seotaiji Company was also cancelled due to a lack of funds.
While preparing huge international music concerts, small concert planners have relied on sponsors and cash advance payments on tickets. The problems caused from these practices are well known. In recent years, there were several cases in which an organizer had to cancel a major concert. For instance, a concert that was to feature the London Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and famous Korean pop groups such as Dongbangshingi to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Korea’s independence was cancelled a week before it took place. A Busan-based concert planner preparing for a samba music festival suddenly cancelled the event and was bombarded by complaints from people who had bought advance tickets.
This is not just a domestic issue. If organizers lose credibility by trying to host foreign performance groups, other companies will be affected as well. Rumors will spread that Korean concert organizers do not keep their word.
A concert-planning specialist said the problem was caused by Korean entertainment companies who want to make big money from a single event. The success of a few large-scale performances has led new companies with no funds to jump into the market. This is ruining Korea’s global reputation. We hunger for concerts planned by people who truly love culture, not money.