Live music is finally back, but K-pop fans feel let down by pricing issues

1 year ago 40

SEOUL – Live music has returned as the Covid-19 pandemic dissipates, but its return has been accompanied by higher ticket prices and with a slew of unexpected problems fans did not pay for.

In May, the Internet was abuzz following news that a lawyer was suing the organiser of K-pop band Blackpink’s concerts in Malaysia.

Mr Nas Rahman bought two tickets for the band’s Kuala Lumpur show from its “Born Pink” world tour. On the day of the concert, though, he discovered that one of the two seats he paid for did not exist. Mr Rahman had to sit and stand throughout the nearly two-hour show.

Despite attempts to negotiate with the show’s organiser, Live Nation and Go Live, for a refund and some compensation for his discomfort, he failed to reach an agreement with the company and decided to sue them instead, seeking compensation of up to 1 million Malaysian ringgit ($218,000).

Mr Rahman’s experience is not an isolated case, with similar complaints coming to light following the quartet’s Singapore concert on May 13.

After the night ended, fans shared their disappointing experience online, complaining that they could barely see the stage.

A TikTok comment left by a fan who claimed to have bought a VIP ticket for S$398 read, “This was my first time going to a concert, and I saw nothing but their arms,” while another wrote, “(I) paid S$300 to watch BlackPink from people’s phones.”

Tickets hit by pandemic inflation

Complaints from fans also focus on the prices of the tickets themselves, with the hyper-inflated prices for gigs now becoming the norm for K-pop fans.

Earlier in May, Thai media MRG Online reported the average price of K-pop concert tickets sold locally in 2022 for around 5,270 baht (S$206), up almost 18 per cent from ...

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