COVID-19 Poses Existential Threat to S. Korea’s Indie Music Scene

COVID-19 Poses Existential Threat to S. Korea’s Indie Music Scene

The Hongdae business district, one of Seoul's most popular shopping and entertainment areas, appears deserted on Nov. 23, 2020, amid toughened social distancing rules. (Yonhap)

The Hongdae enterprise district, one in all Seoul’s hottest buying and leisure areas, seems abandoned on Nov. 23, 2020, amid toughened social distancing guidelines. (Yonhap)

SEOUL, Jan. 11 (Korea Bizwire)The COVID-19 pandemic has dealt a heavy blow to plenty of self-employed South Koreans.

Amongst them, nonetheless, indie musicians and the operators of small-sized efficiency halls have been hit the toughest.

With virtually all performances having been cancelled attributable to social distancing rules, the efficiency halls have remained idle for nearly one yr.

There have been greater than 400 reveals cancelled on the efficiency halls within the neighborhood of Hongdae, an space in style with younger folks, through the interval from February to December final yr with complete losses estimated at about 2 billion gained (US$1.82 million), in keeping with the Document Label Trade Affiliation of Korea.

This determine, nonetheless, covers solely the worth of unsold tickets. When together with the price of lease, employees and upkeep and promotion, complete losses can be far increased.

Towards this backdrop, an growing variety of efficiency halls which have operated in Hongdae over the previous a number of many years are shutting down, crippled by mounting losses and no signal of the sunshine on the finish of the tunnel.

Rolling Hall, a performance venue in Hongdae, Seoul. (image: Rolling Hall)

Rolling Corridor, a efficiency venue in Hongdae, Seoul. (picture: Rolling Corridor)

The issue is that the shutdown of efficiency halls not solely threatens the livelihood of the employees involved, however has additionally shaken the inspiration of the nation’s indie music scene, ensuing within the desolation of the nation’s pop music trade.

Typically, indie musicians who don’t belong to large-sized leisure businesses construct up their public consciousness and improve their musical functionality primarily by performances at small-sized dwell golf equipment.

Nevertheless, as small-sized dwell efficiency halls are shut down, such a virtuous cycle construction is being shaken.

Taking these components into consideration, some trade specialists stress that efficiency halls ought to be seen as a sort of ‘tradition’ moderately than merely companies, including that they shouldn’t be in comparison with different varieties of business ventures.

J. S. Shin (

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