With the COVID-19 pandemic winding down in much of the world, K-pop fans are looking forward to performances in person by their favorite stars.
Concert venues have been opening back up, and travel's become easier, so fans especially in the United States can expect to see groups like CIX, Stray Kids and Brave girls appearing in cities throughout the country.
This will no doubt boost the profile of the genre and create even more new fans.
To find out what's in store for K-pop this summer and beyond, we're pleased to welcome tonight music critic and ethnomusicologist Young-dae Kim.
1. Let's start with which groups and which idols have announced tours so far. Looking online, I see there will likely be shows in as many as ten U.S. cities. Groups including Stray Kids, Brave Girls, CIX and a number of others. Who's got tours in the works, and where?
2. These groups have fans all over the world now. During the pandemic, it seems the K-pop fan base has grown by a huge amount, so there must be a lot of anticipation. What's the word among fans and the general public regarding these tours?
3. What drove the decision by these groups and their agencies put on these concerts in terms of the timing? And what do you think is the meaning for K-pop as a genre or as an industry?
4. A little more specifically, what do you think will be the effect on K-pop in terms of how influential it is around the world? Hundreds of thousands of people who've never been to a K-pop show will now have a chance to go to one, and one would imagine it's going to make an impression.
5. This August, Japan will be holding its biggest music festival, Summer Sonic. Several well known rock bands like The Offspring. And also quite a number of Korean groups. I see mention of the group Tomorrow by Together, the singer Daniel Kang. What's the story there at Summer Sonic?