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Korea’s biggest music industry convention begins

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Annual music convention MU:CON, hosted by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Korea Creative Content Agency (Kocca), kicked off on Tuesday at Grand Hyatt Seoul hotel in central Seoul. [YONHAP]
Annual music convention MU:CON, hosted by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Korea Creative Content Agency (Kocca), kicked off on Tuesday at Grand Hyatt Seoul hotel in central Seoul. [YONHAP]

Korea’s largest annual music industry get-together MU:CON began Tuesday in Seoul, with this year’s theme focusing on the globalization and localization of K-pop using the best of technology and data.

MU:CON is an annual pop music festival hosted by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and Korea Creative Content Agency (Kocca), aimed at bridging the gap between producers, artists and audience alike, while also providing a sphere of communication and business opportunities for various players.

This year’s MU:CON will take place for five days starting Tuesday in central Seoul’s Hannam-dong and western Seoul’s Hongdae neighborhood.

Open lectures and workshops will take place until Thursday at the Grand Hyatt Seoul hotel in central Seoul with a focus on how to use data to target the global market and continue the globalization of K-pop and Korean music that has been taking place in the last few years.

The first day’s sessions including “Finding, Understanding and Using Data” and “A Case of Study: Artist Employment Insurance System.” “Know Your Rights,” a lecture on creators’ legal rights and making money, and “Nordic and South Korean co-writing,” a talk on North European songwriters’ perspectives on the Korean music industry, will take place on Wednesday. On Thursday will be a pair of sessions: “Global Touring Opportunities” and “Trends in the Japanese Performing Arts Industry after Covid-19: The position of Korean music and successful business know-how of Korean performance company in the Japanese music industry.”

Attendants hold business meetings at the annual music convention MU:CON, hosted by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Korea Creative Content Agency (Kocca), on Tuesday at Grand Hyatt Seoul hotel in central Seoul. [YONHAP]
Attendants hold business meetings at the annual music convention MU:CON, hosted by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Korea Creative Content Agency (Kocca), on Tuesday at Grand Hyatt Seoul hotel in central Seoul. [YONHAP]

Speakers include executives from some of the biggest music tech companies in the world, such as Sung Cho, founder and CEO of Chartmetric; Soy Kim, a marketer at Spotify; David Loiterton, president of Primary Wave; Nicole Kim, vice president of A&R at Columbia Records; Phawit Chitrakorn, CEO of music business at GMM Grammy; Robin Jenssen, SPARWK CEO; Jesper Thorsson, CEO of Export Music Sweden; and Daniel Ha, founder and CEO of Kohai.

A business-to-business matching program will also take place until Thursday, allowing participating companies to seek for new opportunities ranging from performance casting to music distribution or data analysis.

Six performances will take place under the program “Global Music Showcase” spanning across three different venues — Shinhan pLay Square Live Hall, Musinsa Garage and the Rolling Hall music venues — on Friday and Saturday. A total of 51 teams, including three overseas teams, will perform, so fans are recommended to check out the official website for timetables.

Artists include Viviz, Jaurim, BE’O, Hynn, Kwon Jin-ah, Sam Kim, Lee Mu-jin, Trendz, Thornapple, Glen Check, George, Hong Isaac, ADOY, Kevin Oh and more. All performances are free. For more information, visit the MU:CON website.

BY YOON SO-YEON [yoon.soyeon@joongang.co.kr]