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Asia Minute: Korean Super Group Coming to Honolulu

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You may remember a couple of years ago, when a popular Japanese boy band came to Hawai‘i and brought thousands of visitors with them.  Now a South Korean boy band is coming—with a huge fan base.  HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

“Big Bang” is a scientific theory about the creation of the universe…and also the biggest South Korean music group you may never have heard of.  They finished ahead of President Obama in Time Magazine’s reader survey of the “100 Most Influential” of 2016.  They’ve been around for a decade—and while they haven’t recorded major music sales in the United States, a US tour last year sold out stops in New York, Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

The band has an uncertain future though—not because of any issues with group dynamics but because of South Korea’s military policy.  All men have to complete at least 20 months of military service before turning 32…and the clock is ticking for the members of Big Bang.

Their travel plans to Honolulu conjure memories of the Japanese boy band “Arashi”—which stormed ashore in 2014 for a couple of concerts.  The Hawai‘i Tourism Authority said those two concerts brought in as much as $25 million in spending from fans traveling from Japan.  Big Bang is not likely to bring those kinds of numbers when they come for a single concert in October, but if you want to see them, there is some investment involved.  Ticket prices start at $150.

Bill Dorman has been the news director at Hawaiʻi Public Radio since 2011.
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