Music Shows Hit Pause as K-pop Stars Clear the Stage for Asian Games and Holidays

Credit: SBS, MBC, Mnet
Credit: SBS, KBS, Mnet

Korea’s beloved music shows that showcase your favorite K-pop stars are going dark from late September to early October. They’re clearing the stage for the Chuseok holidays and the 19th Asian Games.

SBS’s musical juggernaut Inkigayo is hitting the pause button for a straight three weeks, from September 24th to October 1st, and then again on October 8th. It’s not just the Chuseok holidays and the Asian Games that are stealing the spotlight. Inkigayo is also heading to Japan to host its first overseas performance in 27 years, aptly named “Inkigayo Live in Tokyo.”

>> Inkigayo to Take 3-Week Break, Tokyo Live Concert to Fill the Gap

Credit: SBS

Inkigayo will be captivating audiences for two days at the Ariake Arena in Tokyo from October 3rd to 4th. The line-up features NCT Dream, SHINee’s Key, (G)I-DLE, Oh My Girl, ATEEZ, ZEROBASEONE, Kep1er, and NiziU, along with INI of Produce 101 Japan 2.

And they’re not the only ones hitting the snooze button. KBS2’s Music Bank and MBC’s Show! Music Core are also planning to pull the plug on September 29th and 30th, with further blackouts on October 6th and 7th, depending on Team Korea’s performance at the Asian Games.

Credit: CJ ENM

Mnet’s M Countdown is also skipping a beat, halting the show on September 28th and again a week later on October 5th. The show is off to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia for a mega-festival titled “KCON Saudi Arabia 2023,” where big names like Super Junior D&E, RIIZE, and EL7Z UP will set the stage on fire.

The abrupt show cancellations have sent shockwaves through the K-pop industry. Artists planning to make a comeback right before Chuseok now face a crisis, losing out on two to three weeks of stage performances. Even those eyeing an October comeback are buzzing about the “no stage” situation.

An industry insider weighed in, “We all knew about the Asian Games, so we were prepared for the music show cancellations.” But they added, “Unless you’re a top-tier group, not having a stage to showcase your performance can be a big letdown. That’s why we’re devising various ways to fill the void left by the music shows.”


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