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BlackPink concert in Hanoi: A boost for Vietnamese cultural industry
Ngo Minh 14:42, 2023/08/06
The BlackPink event raised the question of how to capitalize on international shows to promote the country's image and develop its cultural industries.

Two nights of the Born Pink World Tour Hanoi have come and gone, but BlackPink is still making headlines in the Vietnamese media days after the event.

The audience still seems ecstatic as the echoes of the performance linger. The K-pop girl band came to Vietnam like a wave and left after raking in around VND300 billion (US$13 million) in ticket sales.

Key to BlackPink's success revealed

Dr. Thi Gammon, who currently works at King's College London, UK, and specializes in researching the Korean wave in the world, said BlackPink's music shows created a "fever" because not many singers used to come to Vietnam to perform in their prime.

In addition, with Vietnam's economic development in recent years, people are no longer concerned about food, clothing and travel, but looking for fine entertainment and are willing to pay for cultural experiences.

"Economic integration and cultural exchange also make people more open-minded. Gathering at the stadium and having fun with friends and relatives is a memorable experience, and they are willing to pay for tickets," said Dr. Thi Gammon.

The girl band BlackPink is known all over the world. Photo: YG

Most audiences are teenagers whose parents were born between 1970 and 1980 and who have been exposed to and loved Korean culture through movies and music since the 90s. They can afford to buy tickets for themselves and their children. For them, enjoying music and excitement with friends and family is worth the money they spend.

Director Pham Hoang Giang of VietnamShow Media and Entertainment Joint Stock Company is eager to see art performances at home and abroad. He believes that he is not the only Vietnamese with this habit.

"I often go to Thailand or Singapore to see international art shows. In addition to the ticket, I have to pay for plane tickets, accommodation, and other expenses abroad. Now I can see international shows in Vietnam with an obviously much cheaper cost," the director said.

He pointed out that after the BlackPink concert in Hanoi, Vietnamese audiences have proven their purchasing power and Vietnam will become a destination for international artists.

Since the 90s, Hallyu (Korean wave) has swept the world with K-drama and K-pop. To date, K-pop has become a vital industry that plays a leading role in the Korean economy. K-pop has also made international audiences more interested in South Korea's tourism, fashion and food. According to the Korea Times, the K-pop industry generates about US$10 billion annually for South Korea.

Dr. Thi Gammon said that Korean entertainment companies aim to build idols with diverse skills, from singing, acting and performing to communicating with audiences even in foreign languages. Korean artists also invest heavily in fashion styles.

BlackPink at My Dinh National Stadium, Hanoi. Photo: The Hanoi Times 

Such talents have been recruited by these companies since they were teenagers. The trainees went through a stressful training process full of pressure before becoming a celebrity.

Director Pham Hoang Giang said that Korean artists are talented in many fields, especially the group's songwriters and producers are very good at choosing songs and creating catchy melodies that everyone can dance and sing along with.

"Korea's entertainment industry is strong, but if you don't have real talent and work hard, you can't shine. I once watched the movie about BlackPink and saw how the four girls had to go through strict selection and hard work," the director said.

A lesson for Vietnam

The aura of BlackPink and the Korean entertainment industry makes the world take off their hats and bow down. So could Born Pink World Tour Hanoi boost Vietnam's cultural industry, and what lessons can we learn from this event?

Music researcher Nguyen Quang Long said the cultural industry needs investment and special policies. A national strategy for the cultural industry must be divided into several phases with a long-term vision from training, investment, and promotion involving relevant ministries.

Long said that Vietnam's cultural industry should follow the motto "think global, act local", which means that music products can be easily marketed to the world but still have their own identity.

In addition, Long mentioned multi-sector linkage to leverage resources. BlackPink's "ecosystem" includes music, fashion and cosmetics. Right at the concert, companies can trade related items while promoting Korea's image and tourism potential.

"Profit comes not only from music, but also from many other sources of income derived from this musical activity," said Long.

 Music researcher Nguyen Quang Long. Photo: The Hanoi Times

 However, Long said that Vietnam's cultural industry should not follow the formula of K-pop in terms of the model of Korean idols.

"If we focus on training groups of performers who can sing and dance well, we are just making a copy of Korean bands. This model may benefit some individuals but is unsustainable and unprofitable on a larger scale. We can learn but must apply it based on research and relevance. Korea has found its own direction based on the formula it learned from European and American music, and there's one genre of music you can listen to with your eyes closed, and that's K-pop," Long said.

Music director and producer Nguyen Viet Thanh also emphasized the role of the state in developing the cultural industry, especially a mechanism for investment and human resources training.

She spent her own money to go abroad to see art shows, then learn and study to gain experience to make her own products.

"The Korean government has decided that investing in culture means investing in people. If we want to be successful like them, we have to select and train new talents from today. This is the key factor, all the technology is just an auxiliary element," said Director Nguyen Viet Thanh.

TAG: Hanoi news Vietnam news blackpink cultural industry entertainment
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