Thousands of fans flocked to AsiaWorld-Arena on the evening of June 23 for KBS "K-Pop Festival- Music Bank in Hong Kong" to see the leading eight popular K-Pop artists phenomenal performance.
Music Bank, which is broadcasted in 72 countries, travelled to meet fans in Hong Kong. Last July in Tokyo, then this past February in Paris, this was the third overseas concert. From girls in their teens and moms holding their daughters' hands to working women in their 20s and 30s formed a group of 10,000 female fans waiting for the appearance of the K-Pop stars.
At 7:30PM, MBLAQ opened with their song "This is War" followed by f(X), IU, INFINITE, CNBLUE, Wonder Girls, BEAST, and TVXQ. They made the already warm summer night even hotter. When CNBLUE's Jung Yong Hwa shouted, "Are you ready?" and began singing "I'm a Loner," the fans began to sing along.
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When Wonder Girls performed "Nobody," moms and daughters were seen doing the dance moves. The highlight of this night was TVXQ. When they performed hit songs like "Why" and "Mirotic" showcasing their explosive choreography a new peak was reached.
Throughout the concert special stages were performed in consideration for Hong Kong fans and took the spot light. BEAST performed the theme song from "Boys Over Flowers" which gained a lot of popularity internationally, and IU and MBLAQ performed Rain's "Rainism." Popular during the 1980s and 90s, Hong Kong movie "One Summer Night" OST was performed by Jung Yong Hwa and Sunye. Victoria of f(X) performed the Chinese version of "Almost a Love Story." The final performance featured all the artists singing "Arirang" and reinforced the presence of Korea.
With the exception of TVXQ, Wonder Girls, and CNBLUE, this concert was the Hong Kong debut for the remaining artists. However, audience members already knew even the latest songs for every group. Chen Wingren(15) said, After the popularity of Wonder Girls "Nobody," other diverse groups are following in popularity of K-Pop artists." Park Kwanggyu(23), who is currently studying abroad in Hong Kong, said, "If J-Pop was leading before, now it is certain that K-Pop has taken over."
When the Hong Kong concert was announced, KBS' world channel was flooded by visits from fans. The ticket site crashed when ticket sales began due to the heavy traffic. Admittance tickets ranged from 150,000-190,000 won (~$130-170 USD) quickly sold out. People camped out starting the previous day in order to reserve a good spot.
KBS director Jun Jin Gook, said, "This concert wasn't the most profitable even monetarily, but in relation to the effect it had on spreading the Hallyu movement it was important." He continued, "We are planning to have more overseas concerts that can gather 10,000 people."
"Music Bank in Hong Kong" will air on KBS on July 6th, at 6:10PM KST and air in Hong Kong on TVB.