“Social distancing” has been in full swing around the world to prevent the further spread of the new Coronavirus (COVID-19). As a result, we can now see the unprecedented scenes in the K-Pop industry, which had been closely communicating with fans or audiences. With the numerous concerts at home and abroad postponed or canceled one after another, more and more singers are soothing the disappointed fans with their own “online concerts.”
The boy group WINNER started the trend. WINNER met with fans through Naver V Live on February 14 after both a Singapore gig and a Seoul encore one in its recent Asia tour were canceled. This live performance, which ran for nearly two hours, was watched by more than a whopping 960,000 viewers.
Singer-songwriter Sunwoo Jung-A broadcasted a live show titled “Jazz Box” on YouTube late last month. More than 1,000 people watched the concert and the artist is preparing for the second gig thanks to those positive responses.
Baek Yerin also performed live on YouTube on March 7. She was originally scheduled to appear at the “Head in the Clouds” festival in Jakarta, Indonesia. After her show got delayed due to COVID-19, Baek Yerin performed the prepared gig in front of the camera.
Many comeback events are being replaced by live online broadcasts, too. On March 5, ahead of the release of its second full-length album NCT #127 Neo Zone, NCT 127 communicated with fans by sharing various stories about the album through a live show. ITZY, who released its second mini album IT’z ME on March 9, also replaced its comeback showcase with an online broadcast.
On the 24th of last month, BTS had a press conference broadcasted online to celebrate the release of its fourth full-length album MAP OF THE SOUL : 7. At the time, the group’s agency explained that it decided to hold BTS’s global press conference only live on YouTube to prevent even the least danger amid the spread of COVID-19. “We ask for your understanding that such a measure takes your safety and health into account,” the company said.
Meanwhile, VICTON appeared as a special guest in KBS Cool FM’s radio show Jung Eun Ji’s Gayo Plaza, which aired in the afternoon on March 10. The seven-member group expressed a regret on meeting its fans only through a live online broadcast due to the Coronavirus.
Recalling the album showcase, the member Heo Chan said, “I felt empty when there were no one of our fans in front of us. I miss them so much.” VICTON previously hosted an online showcase to commemorate the release of its sixth mini album Continuous in the aftermath of the spread of the new Coronavirus.