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MU:CON 2020 to explore future of global music industry in pandemic era

(Korea Creative Content Agency)
(Korea Creative Content Agency)

MU:CON, South Korea's largest international music industry trade show, will be held virtually this year and will explore challenges and opportunities the global music industry faces during the age of COVID-19, organizers said Wednesday.

MU:CON Online 2020 will be held from Sept. 23-26 in Seoul under the theme "Post Corona, Next Music Industry" but with no audience members or overseas speakers attending in person, according to the state-run Korea Creative Content Agency (KOCCA). Conferences and showcases will be made available on the agency's YouTube channel.

Keynote speakers include Lee Sung-soo, CEO of SM Entertainment, and Jaeson Ma, co-founder of American media company 88rising and co-owner of social media platform Triller, both of whom will discuss the changing music industry landscape in the wake of the global pandemic.

Cho Sung-moon, CEO of Silicon Valley-based music data analysis company Chartmetric, and Kim Yeon-jeong, head of global K-pop and K-content partnership at Twitter, will also deliver insights into the latest trends and opportunities relating to the global music business. An opening concert will be held on Sept. 23 and will feature K-pop acts, including Teen Top, GFriend, ONF and Dreamcatcher.

A separate "MU:CON Showcase" will be held during the preceding two days, where some 70 indie artists selected by the show's artistic committee will be given opportunities to perform before international music and media industry personnel.

MU:CON's artistic director Yoon Sang, a seasoned recording artist and a prolific producer in South Korea, said he initially had reservations about whether the event, which celebrates its ninth run this year, would be held.

"I think we can be proud with proceeding with the international music fair online when global festivals, such as South by Southwest, that merge business and art are being canceled," said Yoon during an online press conference.

Yoon added, "Despite the challenges (due to COVID-19), we hope that we can successfully go forward with the show by maximizing the use of online systems." (Yonhap)