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Entertainment scene struggles with virus outbreak

PyC cancels remaining concerts at last minute

A theater in Haeundae-gu, Busan, is empty on Saturday. (Yonhap)
A theater in Haeundae-gu, Busan, is empty on Saturday. (Yonhap)

Cultural events and venues were dealt a blow over the weekend by the surge in coronavirus cases here, with performances being canceled.

On Saturday, the 2020 Music in PyeongChang (MPyC) event, also known as the Great Mountains Music Festival, canceled its remaining concerts from Sunday, as five coronavirus infections were reported across Gangwon Province.

Despite worries about the coronavirus, the festival, which began Feb. 9, had initially continued with its plans, saying it would ensure the safety of the audience and performers with the use of thermal camera sensors and hand sanitizers.

But the organizers called off Sunday’s “Peaceful News” concert at Gangneung Arts Center and the “Winterreise” concerts on Monday and Tuesday at PyeongChang Alpensia Concert Hall.

Meanwhile, the Sejong Center in Gwanghwamun, central Seoul, closed all doors except its main entrance, where thermal camera sensors are stationed.

The Seoul Museum of Art in central Seoul shut down its Nam June Paik Art Center in Jongno-gu, as coronavirus cases were recently reported in the district. It also canceled educational programs and events at its main center in Jung-gu, to prevent infections.

Cinemas are taking precautions, too. Cinema chain CGV announced it would disinfect all of its branches across the nation, while Lotte Cinema said it would disinfect its branches that fall under a 1-kilometer radius of reported cases.

As for the small screen, new drama shows -- including tvN’s “Hi, Bye, Mama!” Netflix’s “My Holo Love” and JTBC’s “When the Weather is Fine” and “Hello Dracula” -- have called off press conferences and switched to video press conferences.

On Thursday, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism vowed to support private art troupes facing difficulties due to the coronavirus outbreak with 3 billion won ($2.5 million) in emergency funds from March.

It will offer disinfection equipment and thermal camera sensors to 430 private performance venues across the nation.

In addition, an exclusive counter for dealing with the coronavirus outbreak will be installed at the Korea Arts Management Service center in Jongno-gu for art-related institutions and businesses to seek legal or management advice regarding the recent crisis.

By Im Eun-byel (silverstar@heraldcorp.com)
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