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Posted : 2011-06-12 16:01
Updated : 2011-06-12 16:01

K-pop takes European fans by storm


French fans hold the signs reading “Thank you again” written in Korean at the second K-pop concert “SM Town Live World Tour” which was held at Le Zenith de Paris, France, Saturday. SM Entertainment held the additional concert Saturday to meet the request from French fans who failed to get the tickets of the first concert which took place Friday. / Yonhap

By Chung Ah-young

K-pop singers wowed some 7,000 European fans at their first concert in Paris, France, late Friday. The K-pop concert “SM Town Live World Tour” was held at Le Zenith de Paris for the first time ever in Europe, drawing a huge crowd of European fans who came from various countries including Spain, Italy, Poland and Sweden as well as France.

Particularly, the show was meaningful for Korean musicians as the concert venue is renowned for concerts by world-class musicians such as Ne-Yo, Pussycat Dolls and Jonas Brothers.

Five Korean bands ― TVXQ, Girls’ Generation, Super Junior, SHINee and f(x) ― performed 44 songs during the three-hour concert, captivating the audience with flamboyant dance sequences. The fans sang along with the Korean songs despite the language difference.

SM Entertainment said it will support the global activities of its artists in the United States and other parts of Europe beyond the Asian market through various networks.

The tickets for the June 10 concert were sold out in 15 minutes and more than 300 French fans who didn’t get tickets held a street rally including a flash mob and group dance to K-pop music in front of the Louvre Museum in Paris, urging the company to add an extra concert. The company decided to hold the additional concert “SM Town Live World Tour in Paris” on June 11 and the extra show also sold out ― this time in 10 minutes.

The European fans prepared placards and balloons and sang the K-pop stars’ hit songs at Charles de Gaulle Airport on June 8 to welcome the Korean singers’ arrival. Some fans wore T-shirts printed with the names of Korean singers and marked with “taegeukgi” patterns to support their favorite musicians.

The company said that some 1,500 fans from various parts of Europe such as France, the United Kingdom, Italy and Switzerland flocked to the airport.

Observers attributed the soaring popularity of K-pop music in Europe, in part, to social networking sites, such as YouTube and Facebook. The social networks have allowed overseas fans to gain easy access to K-pop music although there have been no specific promotions or advertisements. In response to the move, the highlights of the concerts are available to be viewed on an official SM Town YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/smtown) and Facebook page (www.facebook.com/smtown) which carries exclusive photos and footage of their arrival and rehearsals.

The concert also attracted much attention from the French media. Major French newspapers Le Monde and Le Figaro covered the story of “Visit Korea Year 2010-2012: SM Town Live World Tour in Paris.”

Le Monde published an article headlined “Korean Wave Strikes Europe” while Le Figaro featured “The Korean Wave Hits Zenith.” Particularly, Le Monde carried in-depth stories about SM Entertainment, one of the leading agencies contributing to sustaining “hallyu” or Korean Wave, and its artists along with the introduction of Lee Soo-man, its producer.

The concert will be broadcast on MBC on July 2. After the Paris show, concerts will be held at the 100,000-seat Tokyo Dome on Sept. 3 and 4.
관련 한글 기사

한국 아이돌, 유럽팬들 사로잡아

지난 6월 10일 한국 가수 최초로 유럽에서 펼쳐진 “SM 타운 라이브 월드투어 인 파리” 공연에서 한국 가수들이 7,000 여명의 유럽 팬들을 사로잡았다.

이 공연은 프랑스는 말할 것도 없이 스페인, 이탈리아, 폴란드, 스웨덴등 유럽 각지에서 모인 팬들로 큰 성황을 이루었다.

특히 이번 공연이 네요, 푸시캣돌스와 같은 세계적인 뮤지션들이 공연했던 Le Zenith de Paris에서 이루어졌다는 점에서 큰 의미가 있다.

동방신기, 소녀시대, 수퍼주니어, 샤이니 그리고 에프엑스등 5개 그룹은 세시간 동안 44곡을 불렀으면 이들의 화려한 춤 솜씨에 현지 팬들을 매료되었다. 관중들은 잘 모르는 한국말로 된 노래들을 공연 내내 따라 부르기도 했다.

SM 엔터테인먼트는 이번 공연을 계기로 아시아를 넘어서 미국, 유럽등에서의 가수들의 활동들을 전폭적으로 지원할 것이라고 말했다.

이번 6월 10일 공연은 예매 15분만에 매진되었으면 표를 구하지 못한 300여명의 프랑스 팬들은 플래시 몹등 추가 공연을 요구하며 루브르 박물관 앞에서 시위를 벌여 SM 엔터테인먼트는 급하게 6월 11일 추가 공연을 편성하기도 하였다. 추가공연은 예매 10분만에 매진되었다.

유럽팬들은 6월 8일 드골 공항에서 한국 가수들을 기다리며 플래카드와 풍선을 들고 그들의 히트곡을 부르며 환호하였다. 어떠한 팬들은 한국 가수들의 이름이 새겨지거나 태극 문양의 티셔츠를 입고 가수들을 맞이하였다.

이날 공항에는 약 1,500명의 유럽각지에서 몰린 팬들이 집결하였다고 한다.


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