[TRANS] “Did 3,000 People Really Show Up?”… The Truth Behind JYJ’s Spanish Concert Fabrication Controversy ~~ Aishhh…=__=

PLEASE READ T/N: There’s going to be a lot of talk about this article. Some of you will probably even wonder why we’re even translating an article that ‘bashes’ any of the boys. However, life isn’t always full of rainbows and unicorns. Everyone is subject to criticisms and controversies, and this just happens to be one of those moments. Please read everything with a pinch of salt, and remember that the articles we translate don’t always reflect the beliefs/thoughts of our translators. (aka Don’t shoot the messenger)

P.S. Yes I know the article says six disputes and only gives five. It’s bugging the crap out of me but I can’t do anything about it. Sorry y’all 😦

“Is it a fabrication, or a fact?”

JYJ held their first European concert in Barcelona, Spain. Opinions on this one concert have been split in opposite directions with one side giving it a thumbs-up and calling it ‘the best performance ever’ while the other is diminishing it and calling it ‘excessive media play’.

What is the reason behind this fierce battle between praise and criticism? There’s also a conflict arising on the difference between the ‘media reports’ and the ‘photos taken at the concert’. An example of this is the actual number of people who went to the concert. All the reporters who traveled to Spain gushed about ’3,000 audience members’ and ‘a complete sell-out of tickets’. On the other hand, fans who saw the photos of the concert raised the question, “You call that 3,000 people?”

‘Dispatch’ has stepped forth to investigate the controversy. We met with three fans who were at the concert through a Madrid correspondent. We then called up representatives of the ‘Culture Center’ and the Korean restaurant that sponsored the concert. We posed questions to the local organizer of the European tour and talked to the staff members who helped out with the concert in Barcelona.

There are a total of six points that are being debated. They include topics such as ‘Did 3,000 people really show up’, ‘Did they pass out free tickets’ and ‘What was teh reaction of the Spanish media?’. If we were to give our conclusion before we began, it would be that there are parts that have been extremely exaggerated by the media. In other words, ‘media play’ was used. On the other hand, there are parts that netizens have diminished and criticized more than necessary.

Dispute 1. JYJ’s concert in Barcelona, Spain. According to C-JeS Entertainment’s report on the 10th of last month, 80% of the tickets had been sold. Considering the fact that the concert venue seated 4,000 people, this meant that according to C-JeS, they had already sold 4,000 tickets.

On the day of the concert, the Korean media reported that the number of concert attendees was 3,000 people. But some netizens have been stating that it was impossible for 3,000 people to have shown up, using the photos taken inside the concert venue as proof.They said that the media was exaggerating the numbers. Then how many people actually showed up to watch the concert? We heard what representatives of the Korea Culture Center and the local promoter had to say about the issue. We also received a photo from someone who attended the concert.

A. To state the conclusion first, it wasn’t 4,000 or 3,000 people. According to local reporters, the number was actually between 1,000 and 2,000 people. The ‘Poble Espanyol’, in which the concert was held, can hold a maximum of 5,000 people. In the photo that was provided to ‘Dispatch’ by Tak Bitna(20), a Korean resident living in Spain, one can see that over half the standing area is empty.

Tak Bitna, who attended the concert, said, “It couldn’t possibly have gone over 2,000 people. You can see in my photo that the back of the standing area is empty,” and “Representatives and staff members took up a lot of seats. Only the areas lit up by glowsticks were actual fans.”

In a phone conversation with ‘Dispatch’, a representative of the Korea Culture Center in Spain stated, “The concert venue actually holds 5,000 people. We believe that around 2,000 people showed up because it looked like they filled less than half the venue,” and “The reason why the back looks so empty is because everyone rushed forward once the concert began.

What is the official stance of the promoter who sold the tickets? In a phone conversation with ‘Dispatch’ on the 2nd of November, a representative of ‘Open Music’, the local promoter of the European tour, admitted that they hadn’t sold 3,000 tickets. He said, “It’s not a sold-out concert. We didn’t sell all the tickets,” and “Though Berlin isn’t sold-out yet either, it’s more popular than the Barcelona performance.

‘RPDP’ (Radio Programas del Peru’ wrote the only Spanish review for the concert but this was a Peruvian reporter, not a Spanish one. According to the review, there were around 1,000 people at the concert. They reported, “1,000 fans gathered for the Barcelona concert.”

Dispute 2. What was the extent of JYJ’s influence and popularity in Spain? The photos of the concert attendees provided by ‘C-JeS’ are all of Caucasians, but actually, the majority were of Asian backgrounds. Meanwhile, Korean media reported that fans from all over the world had gathered in Spain to watch the concert and included people from Spain, France, Switzerland, Japan, Thailand and even South America. What was the actual ratio of races at the concert?

A. The opinions on the ‘fandom’ ratios were split. Tak Bitna stated that there were many Asian fans at the concert. She said, “Asian people, such as Chinese or Japanese people, took up half of the concert attendees,” and “The atmosphere was great. No one left before the end of the concert.

Testimonies flooded in that fans from all over the world had gathered for the concert. One representative who worked as a staff member said, “Fans from all different nationalities came for the concert. There were some people who flew in, even from the U.S., to watch the concert,” and “Of course, the majority of the fans there were Asians, but anyone could see that there were fans from all over the world.

Laura(20), who lives in Madrid, explained that some of the Caucasian fans were ‘otakus’. She said, “There are a lot of ‘otakus’ in Spain who like Japanese manga. They love the Japanese culture, and they began taking interest in K-pop because K-pop’s popular in Japan,” and“Because this concert was held at the same time as the ‘Manga Festival’, a lot of ‘otaku’ fans from Madrid went to Barcelona.”

What’s most important is the atmosphere inside the concert venue. The people who actually did attend the concert enjoyed the performance and passionately cheered JYJ on. It’s indisputable that the air inside the concert venue was humming with passion and excitement. Tak Bitna(20) stated, “The atmosphere was wild and enthusiastic. Though the fans came from different countries, they all came together to support JYJ,” and “Everyone waved their glowsticks till the very end of the concert.”

Dispute 3. On the morning of their Barcelona concert, JYJ attended the Manga Festival and gave a performance. They sang two songs and met with a total of 800 fans. What exactly is the Manga Festival that JYJ attended and what relation does it have with JYJ’s concert?

A. JYJ stood on stage to perform at ‘the 17th Manga Festival’, which was held at Barcelona’s La Farga de L’hospitalet on the 29th of October. This was a first for a Korean singer to perform at the festival. The ‘Manga Festival’ is one that attracts over 60,000 people every year and is visited by people who like Japanese comics. JYJ were invited to perform at the festival.

According to a Spanish reporter at the Manga Festival, JYJ were chosen as one of the few characters selected by the festival. That is why they were invited and that is why they performed ‘Get Out’ and ‘In Heaven’. At the time of the invitation, C-JeS Entertainment was planning the Barcelona concert and when the invitation was received, the concert date was set to match with the festival.

According to a representative who is well-versed in Spanish culture, the Manga Festival played a big role in spreading the Hallyu Wave in Spain. He stated that most of the people who like manga are ‘otakus’ who are into Japanese culture. Their interest in Japanese culture carried on to an interest in K-pop. JYJ’s Spanish concert was aiming for such a synergy effect by setting the concert date in the same time period as the Manga Festival.

Dispute 4. Some netizens voiced criticisms that too many of the concert tickets were overissued(?). Specifically, there were too many VIP invitations. They claim that many people were attending the concert for free because invitations were given out by the Culture Center in Spain and the Korean restaurant (Seoul Jung) as both were sponsors.

A. The answer is, this is ‘false’. Though some netizens claim that free tickets were given out, it is impossible to confirm this. There is no way to confirm how many tickets the organizer and C-JeS Entertainment distributed. However, it was confirmed that the Korean Culture Center of Spain received VIP tickets from the agency.

According to a representative of the center, a total of 50 VIP invitations was given to them. But because the center is located in Madrid and only Madrid, they couldn’t just hand out these invitations to anyone. The representative explained, “We were given 50 VIP tickets the day before the concert. Because there’s quite a distance between Madrid and Barcelona, we couldn’t distribute the invitations.”

Most overseas concerts by domestic singers are done with the help of that country’s Korean culture center. Therefore, it is normal for these centers to receive VIP invitations from the singers as a show of gratitude for helping out with the overseas concert. It was the same case when B2ST performed in Madrid this year and the tickets that were given to the center were distributed accordingly.

Also, the Korean restaurant ‘Seoul Jung’, which was a main sponsor of the concert, was in charge of providing JYJ with goods, mostly food, more than monetary funds. We were unable to confirm if tickets were distributed to them. In a phone conversation with ‘Dispatch’, ‘Seoul Jung’ stated, “JYJ’s promoters have been asking for our help from a year ago, and we agreed to help them out,” and “We don’t provide them with monetary funds. We just provided them with food.” When asked if they gave out free tickets at the restaurant, they said, “No comment.”

Dispute 5. C-JeS stated that fifty major TV and news mediums fought to get coverage of JYJ at their Spanish press conference. Several domestic media reports stated that the local media ‘El Mundo’ “praised JYJ as three sexy Justin Biebers”. What was the actual media response like for JYJ? Did they receive enough praise to, for example, land them a front cover article?

A. To put it bluntly, no. Through a search on Google, we could see that not many well-known media reporters wrote about JYJ’s Spanish concert. Though fifty different overseas mediums were present at the press conference, not all of them were there to cover JYJ’s concert. Most had been there to cover the ‘Manga Festival’ that was also being held in Barcelona.

There weren’t many articles done related to JYJ. According to a representative of the Korean Culture Center of Spain, there were only two Spanish articles written about JYJ, done by ‘El Mundo’ and ‘LaVanguardia’. But even these were not reviews of JYJ’s concert and were instead articles about the Manga Festival with the added information that JYJ attended the festival.

Let’s take a look at ‘El Mundo’ for example. JYJ take up one sentence in the entire article. “JYJ are like sexy Justin Biebers. They opened themselves up to the American music market, working Kanye West to sing ‘Ayyy Girl’.” 90% of the article deals with the Manga Festival. Also, not a single photo of JYJ could be found on ‘El Mundo’ or ‘LaVanguardia’.

‘Radio Programs del Peru’ dealt with JYJ’s Spanish concert has an important piece of news and this reflected the K-pop craze that is going on in South America. ‘RPDP’ has its own K-pop section and JYJ’s Spanish concert was written about in this section.

When taking into account the testimonies from a Korean residing in Spain who attended the concert, a representative of Spain’s Korean Culture Center, a representative of the local organizer, and a representative of Spain’s Hallyu culture, one can see that certain aspects of JYJ’s Spanish concert were slightly exaggerated. The actual number of people who attended the concert was closer to 2,000 people and there was a lot of empty space. There isn’t much interest in them yet and only two articles were written about them in Spain, which were just references to them while talking about the Manga Festival. It isn’t right to exaggerate JYJ’s popularity within Europe.

But regardless of all the fuss, JYJ’s continuous search for new challenges should be recognized. JYJ are the first Korean singers to hold a solo concert in Spain. The fact that they have taken this first step is meaningful enough. They took the first step for K-pop, small though it was, and the fact that they had their presence in Spain recognized is significant.

Source: [Dispatch]
Translated & Shared by: dongbangdata.net
re-up by: iXiahCassie


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