The Asia Song Festival, the largest pop music event in Asia, will open on Sept. 22 at the Seoul World Cup Stadium in Sangnam-dong, western Seoul.
The fourth annual festival organized by the Korea Foundation for International Culture Exchange, a private organization to promote cultural exchanges and cooperation among Asian countries, will feature 14 stars from nine Asian countries.
Among the foreign artists set to fly to Seoul for the festival are: Thai pop stars Golf & Mike, a male duo who also enjoy popularity in Japan; Lam Truong, one of the hottest Vietnamese singers, known for his Vietnamese version of Ahn Jae-wook`s "Forever"; and Peter Pan, a six-piece pop rock band from Indonesia.
JVKV, a popular Taiwanese boy band formerly known as F4, will also appear on the stage during the show as special guests. For many Korean fans the festival could be the last chance to see them sing together on a live stage. The group announced last month that they will officially disband in October with a concert in Taipei.
The 2002 World Cup venue will heat up even more as pop divas who represent each of their countries, and pitch their talent and charm against each other on the stage. Vicki Zhao, one of China`s most popular actresses and singers who won "Favorite Artist -- Mainland China" at the 2006 MTV Asia Awards, will showcase her versatility.
Also joining the "divas` party" will be Barbie Almalbiz, a songwriter and folk rock singer from the Philippines; A-mei, the "pride of Taiwan,"; Gigi Leung, a veteran Hong Kong actress and singer; and J-pop star Kuraki Mai. Representing Korea will be sexy A-list pop star Lee Hyo-ri.
In the past eight years, Japanese star Mai has released seven albums, 26 singles and several DVDs. Five of her albums reached number one in Japan`s Oricon charts. She has also released an English-language album in the United States under the name of Mai K.
Korean boy bands such as SG Wannabe, Super Junior and TVXQ (Dong Bang Shin Ki) will also join the event. Since the festival`s inception in 2004 TVXQ, whose popularity extends across Asia, have participated in the festival every year.
"Our dream is to bring together all the Asian neighbors to enjoy an exciting blend of culture," Shin Hyun-taek, chairperson of KOFICE, said in an interview. "The festival will unite all the participants as one through songs and dance," he added.
Tickets for the festival are free and can be downloaded from the Korea Foundation for International Culture Exchange (KOFICE) website (www.kofice.or.kr). For more information, call (02) 3153-2552 or visit asf.kofice.or.kr
By Lee Yong-sung