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Sunday, March 04, 2007
Confusion in O - 2nd Asian Tour with TVXQ
12:54 PM

Korean boy band TVXQ performs during “The Second Asia Tour ‘O’” concert at the Olympic Gymnastics Stadium in Olympic Park in southern Seoul, Friday./ Korea Times

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Confusion marred popular Korean boy band TVXQ's sold-out concert ``The Second Asia Tour 'O''' at Olympic Gymnastics Stadium in Seoul on Friday, as thousands of fans waited for hours after the concert to retrieve their cell phones and digital cameras from the organizers.
Concert organizers required the 8,000 fans who attended Friday's concert to leave their cell phones and digital cameras in three designated booths before entering the stadium. This was done to ensure that fans would not be able to take photographs or videos of TVXQ during the concert. Images of the concert were licensed to several mobile phone content providers.

After the concert ended, fans, mostly middle school and high school girls, scrambled to retrieve their belongings. Since there was no system for the retrieval at three booths, there was a lot of confusion. Some fans even had to wait until 3 a.m. to get their cell phones and cameras back.

In a statement posted on its Web site, S.M. Entertainment apologized for the inconvenience to TVXQ's fans.

``Our company sincerely apologizes to the fans who attended the concert. We will request our company's concert organizers to make sure this will not be a problem in the future," S.M. Entertainment said.

In recent years, concert organizers and entertainment companies have tried to impose strict regulations to prevent fans from taking videos and photographs during concerts and events. Entertainment companies are increasingly becoming concerned over copyright violations resulting from these fan videos and photos, which are usually circulated on the Web.

Digital cameras, cell phones and MP3 players, even those without recording capability, were not allowed to be brought inside the concert hall during Japanese pop group Arashi's concert in Seoul in November.

But there are still some pop stars that allow their fans to take photographs. Irish pop superstars Westlife even asked their fans to take photos during the concert in Seoul last year.

Despite the problems over fan's cameras and phones, TVXQ kicked off its second Asian tour with sold-out concerts on Friday and Saturday. Another concert was scheduled for Sunday evening.

Loud cheers erupted when the five-member group appeared on stage performing ``Phantom" from their latest album ``O _ Chong.Ban.Hap." TVXQ delighted their fans with their singing and dancing throughout the two-hour concert.

TVXQ's Asian tour will bring them to Beijing and Shanghai, China; Taipei, Taiwan; Hong Kong; Bangkok, Thailand; and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia this year. The concert dates have not yet been confirmed.

TVXQ, known as Tohoshinki in Japan, will tour Japan from May 10 to June 16. The group, which will release their second Japanese album, ``Five in the Black," next month, will hold 14 concerts in the country.



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