Kakao to build large-scale K-pop performance venue in northern Seoul
Kakao will build a large-scale K-pop performance venue in Korea with the Seoul Metropolitan Government in northern Seoul’s Chang-dong, Dobong District.
Kakao and the Seoul government signed an agreement at City Hall in central Seoul on Monday.
The venue, named Seoul Arena, will be included in an entertainment complex with two music halls, a movie theater and other facilities such as restaurants and shops. It will start construction June and is scheduled to be complete by October, 2025.
The larger music hall will have 18,269 seats and can accommodate a maximum of 28,000 people including the standing zone in front of the stage. The smaller music hall will have 2,010 seats and house up to 7,000 people.
When complete, the hall will be the largest music venue in Korea, comparable to The O2 Arena in London, which has 20,000 seats, according to Kakao.
“Most large-scale K-pop concerts are held at sports arenas, which are not built for musical purposes,” a Kakao spokesperson said. “The new venue will be designed for music and house the largest audience in Korea.”
Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon, Dobong District chief Lee Dong-jin, Kakao Chairman Kim Sung-soo and Kakao CEO Namkoong Whon took part in the signing ceremony.
A company called Seoul Arena will be established to manage the construction project. Kakao will hold a 97 percent stake of Seoul Arena, but the investment volume was not disclosed.
Kakao will also carry out other projects to nurture local artists. It will host art academies and education programs for citizens and provide music studios for people pursuing careers in the art field.
The company will hold art events with district governments and hire people who are socially marginalized in its efforts to work with the local community, Kakao said.
This is the first announcement from Kakao since it appointed Kim Sung-soo as the new chairman of the board during an annual shareholders meeting held last Tuesday.
Kim has been building a career in the entertainment field. He served as the CEO of CJ ENM from 2011 to 2018. He joined Kakao as the CEO of Kakao M, Kakao's K-pop and content production company, in 2019 and has been heading Kakao Entertainment as the CEO since March 2021 when Kakao M and webtoon company Kakao Page merged in January 2021.
He is now the co-chief of Kakao’s Corporate Alignment Center, which is in charge of overseeing the operation of Kakao subsidiaries, along with Hong Eun-taek, former CEO of Kakao Commerce.
“Kakao is thinking deeply about what more we can do with society to make the world a better place,” Kim said in a press release Monday.
“We will devote ourselves into building the Seoul Arena culture complex and prepare other programs that will help enhance the content ecosystem and local economy in order to accelerate the spread of Korean content and contribute to local society.”
BY YOON SO-YEON [firstname.lastname@example.org]