Tuesday, March 23, 2010

K-POP Stars Perform on Pattaya Beach, Thailand

On March 19, on a muggy beach in Pattaya, Thailand with temperatures of more than 30 degrees, the sound of “Happy Birthday” sung in chorus suddenly echoed around the beach.

The suprise song from the audience was meant to celebrate Joo Yeon’s birthday, who came to Thailand to participate in the “Pattaya International Music Festival 2010” as a member of the girl group After School.

More than 7000 audience members responded magnificently to After School, who attended the festival as a Korean music group along with other performers such as Whee Sung and f(x).

The spectators, who had silently watched the performance of musicians from Thailand, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and the Philippines while wiping their sweat, suddenly began to cheer for After School and held up placards when the group came in.

When After School sang their hit songs such as “Ah,” “Because of You,” and “Diva,” people cheered loudly, holding various banners reading “I love Ga Hee,” and “Pretty Uee” written in Korean and displaying members’ photos.

This was After School’s first visit to Thailand, but fans were dancing along to the same choreography when the song “Diva” played, and sang along with After School.

In the rehearsal, After School even attracted other singers who came from other Asian countries to attend the festival.

Another girl group, f(x), also visited Thailand for the first time.

The group f(x) showed a fantastic performance that continued the tradition of senior singers who belong to the same agency, SM Entertainment. The senior singers such as Dong Bang Shin Ki, Super Junior, and Shiny have a large number of admirers in Thailand.

When the members were introduced on the LED screens and stood on either side of the stage one by one, many fans, particularly female fans, cheered loudly.

When f(x) sang their songs "LA chA TA," "Chu," and "Chocolate Love," many fans imitated their dance together.

Afterward, when singer Whee Sung sang the song “With Me,” audience members listened to the music rather than responding vigorously, as if they were unfamiliar with the song.

Whee Sung, who introduced himself as a first-time visitor to Thailand said, “It is great to watch everyone who enjoys music even on a hot day like today. I fell in love with you when I sang my first song. Please enjoy my music while moving your body to the rhythm, even though my song is unfamiliar to you.” After saying that, Whee Sung sang the song “Insomnia,” and there was a completely different response from the audiences. When “Insomnia” started, which is very popular in Southeast Asian countries, people were dancing along the music.

A British tourist to Pattaya, Jamy Coke, said, “It is interesting to find out that Korean singers are extremely popular here. Personally, I love After School’s exciting songs and impressive dancing.”

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) organized this festival and a well-known music group, GMM-Grammy, and the Korea Foundation for International Exchange co-hosted the event. Also, the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism has supported the event.

The director of Korea Foundation for International Exchange, Kim Kyung Hee, said at the congratulatory address, “By participating in the ’Pattaya International Music Festival,' the relationship between the two countries will be more friendly. When we have more chances to see each other through the universal language, music, we will be able to build up our friendship and to understand each other. I want to make more opportunities to exchange culture through music.”

The “Pattaya International Music Festival 2010” will last for three days from March 19, and there will be six stages according to different genres of music.

On the “Pink Stage” on which Korean musicians performed, other musicians such as Golf & Mike, B.O.Y from Thailand, Zhangliyin from China, and Thomas Jack from Malaysia also came on stage.

The performance was broadcast live on Thailand’s satellite music TV channel Bang Channel, and will be broadcast as a program recorded on the satellite TV channel True Vision.

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