​Popular artists prepare free online concert to help overcome COVID-19 depression

Park Sae-jin Reporter() | Posted : September 7, 2020, 17:08 | Updated : September 7, 2020, 17:40

[Courtesy of Culture Think]

SEOUL -- Popular hip-hop and R&B artists will hold a free online concert via YouTube in an effort to help South Koreans overcome depression and anxiety caused by a COVID-19 pandemic.

In an April survey of 600 people, conducted by Lee Dong-hun, a professor at Sungkyunkwan University's College of Education, 29.7 percent experienced COVID-19 depression while 48.8 percent suffered from anxiety.

Fears and anxiety about catching a novel coronavirus linger in the community and the emotions were amplified after the number of newly-infected COVID-19 cases that surged again in mid-August following an anti-government rally involving some 3,000 right-wing Christians in central Seoul.

Culture Think, a South Korean concert organizer, said in a statement on September 7 that 16 popular artists of various genres including rappers BEWHY, LOOPY and NAFLA will participate in "KB RAPBEAT FESTIVAL [RE:MOVE]," a free online concert to be broadcast via YouTube at 6:00 p.m. (1100 GMT) on September 19.

The concert organizer said that this year's online concert hosted by KB Kookmin Card, the credit card wing of South Korean commercial bank KB Kookmin Bank, will also include special events designed to help the underprivileged hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We wish to convey warm-hearted messages of support and comfort through the concert," Culture Think said. KB RAPBEAT FESTIVAL is an annual music festival that covers different genres ranging from hip-hop to R&B and rock. Normally, the concert involves more than 20 popular artists at offline venues such as theme parks and stadiums.

K-pop band BTS has opened a new way for online music concerts by attracting more than 700,000 global viewers to its performance broadcast live through the band's fan community app in June. A maximum number of simultaneous users estimated at 756,600 watched the BTS concert from a special studio on June 14. Big Hit Entertainment said it was the largest paid online concert in the world.

Other K-pop bands such as SuperM, the all-star band that consists of SM Entertainment's artists, and boy band MONSTA X have successfully held online concerts to attract global viewers and support those who were mentally and physically fatigued by the pandemic.

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