Shaun’s Agency Releases Official Statement About Club MU:IN And Alleged Ties To Burning Sun
Shaun’s agency DCTOM E&C has rejected all accusations of illegal business practices and links to Burning Sun.
On March 22, online Korean media outlet Kuki News reported that club MU:IN closed in February and that the heads of the club’s company belonged to DCTOM E&C, which houses artists including Shaun.
The article accused MU:IN of being registered as a general restaurant rather than an entertainment bar in order to pay less taxes, and that it had violated the Food Sanitation Act by playing music and selling alcoholic beverages. Because a general restaurant is a business where food is cooked and sold, dancing is prohibited. These illegal tax evasion tactics were used by Monkey Museum and Love Signal.
The report also questioned the relationship between MU:IN and Burning Sun, as it revealed that DCTOM E&C’s CEO Park Seung Do was the music director of Burning Sun and that the two clubs held collaborative parties on Thursdays, joint pool parties on Fridays and Saturdays, and a joint gathering of their employees.
DCTOM E&C responded to the accusations with the statement below:
Hello. This is DCTOM E&C’s CEO Park Seung Do.
First, DCTOM Entertainment (or DCTOM) and corporation Eumjugamuin, which manages MU:IN, are separate companies made up of different stockholders and employees.
DCTOM is a an agency that professionally manages DJs and is a rare kind of company in Korea. Due to the nature of the job of a DJ and irregular income, there were many people who were having a difficult time due to lack of regular work. So we created this agency with the hope that DJ performances would become established as a culture and a profession, and hoped to produce records and performances like DJ agencies overseas.
During this process, one of the employees who were in charge of the DJs’ performances said that they wanted to create a venue where DJs could regularly perform, unlike the pre-existing clubs. A couple people who agreed also said they would try to pursue it, and MU:IN was created as a space where DJ performances were the main stage, setting it apart from pre-existing clubs.
Although MU:IN was a small performance venue and needed separate office space, they said it would be financially burdensome to rent a space out on their own. They asked us at DCTOM, who they were close with, and we allowed them to use a part of DCTOM’s office after signing a sublease contract. The office space, business management, and accounting are strictly divided and operated separately. As it has been reported, it’s true that we hired an auditor from MU:IN as an employee, but our understanding is that it’s an issue for an auditor to carry out operations at the [company they’re auditing] and that it’s not a legal issue to work for another company.
Our understanding was also that it’s legal for a director to hold a position in another office. Besides this, all of DCTOM and MU:IN’s employees are different, and they’re separate corporations with strictly separate company assets.
DCTOM and Burning Sun are not connected.
Since we’re an agency with DJs, Korea’s leading DJ festivals have cast our well-known agency DJs to perform, and we also send out our DJs to various clubs in the country every week. However, Burning Sun was the most popular club at the time, and we weren’t in the position to reject the unfair demands of Burning Sun, which was a leader in the club scene. MU:IN started to become known through word-of-mouth due to underground performances, and we were pressured to make DCTOM’s DJs, who used to regularly perform as resident DJs at MU:IN, to not play at MU:IN on Thursdays, but to perform at Burning Sun under the format of “MU:IN Sun.” While we felt apologetic towards MU:IN, but because our DJs could be negatively affected, we asked MU:IN not to open on Thursdays. It was a risk for MU:IN to not operate at all on Thursdays, but they conceded because of our request, and that’s all.
Unlike the initial reports, MU:IN is not a club but a performance venue, and is registered as a performance venue where DJs perform in addition to a general restaurant.
Customers can only buy drinks or alcoholic beverages at the bar, which is registered as a general restaurant. Like clubs in Hongdae or Gangnam, there isn’t a stage where customers can dance, but a step where DJs can go on a stage-like platform, and a place where people can watch. It’s similar to a small-scale live club or a stage similar to one created by a credit card company, but the only part that’s different is that a DJ performs instead of a singer.
Artist Shaun has no involvement in this.
Shaun is not an artist who has an exclusive contract with us, but an artist who signs with us as an agent for every album. He also has no connection to MU:IN. A regular agency wouldn’t make DJ albums, so we don’t sign exclusive contracts with artists as agencies usually do. We sign agency contracts with Shaun and other DJs per song or album, or for the duration of an event. Shaun’s album was successful, but a majority of his 20 or so albums that he made before and after did not make even the standard profit of 1 million won (approximately $881) in their first month of release, so he’s still in his beginning stages.
We’re a company that has no power against larger companies, but we created the agency so that DJs as well as their culture could be recognized and treated fairly. It’s only been about two years since we began. We earnestly ask that you don’t spread unconfirmed information because of “suspicions,” especially since these series of events are a sensitive topic. We’re just working hard for our artists who trust DCTOM and are hoping for a world where DJs are fairly treated.