Starship Clarifies Controversy Over IVE's Cancelled Appearances At University Festivals + Third-Party Agency Apologizes For Confusion

Both Starship Entertainment and a third-party agency have released official statements regarding the controversy over IVE’s cancelled appearances at two university festivals.

Earlier this week, Kyungpook National University announced that IVE, who had previously been listed as a performing artist for the school’s fall festival on October 6, had dropped out of the lineup at the last minute. At the time, Starship Entertainment responded by clarifying that they had never actually confirmed that IVE would be attending the festival, stating that IVE had been listed as a performer without their consent.

The student committee at Kyungpook National University then released a new statement countering Starship Entertainment’s claims, insisting that there had been a verbal contract between Starship and a third-party agency responsible for booking IVE. They also asserted that the booking fee for IVE’s appearance at the festival had been paid in full.

On October 5, Starship Entertainment released another official statement to further clarify the situation. The agency explained that they had never given a confirmation of IVE’s appearance at either the Kyungpook National University or the Keimyung College University fall festivals, adding that they had never signed a contract or received a booking fee.

Starship Entertainment also emphasized that as soon as they had seen IVE listed in the lineup announcement, they had requested that the announcement be taken down.

That same day, the Mersenne Agency—the third-party agency that had been tasked with booking IVE for the two festivals—released their own statement taking full responsibility for the misunderstanding and apologizing for the error.

Read both statements in full below:

Starship Entertainment’s official statement

Hello, this is Starship Entertainment.

We are making a statement regarding the October 6 Kyungpook National University fall festival and the Keimyung College University fall festival.

The booking of our artists for events and festivals is handled by a separate agency, and we are informing you that the Starship booking agency mentioned in the university’s statement does not exist.

At the beginning of September, we received a request to have IVE appear at the Kyungpook National University fall festival and the Keimyung College University fall festival, but because it would have been difficult for IVE to appear due to their other scheduled activities, we did not give a confirmation.

As soon as we saw the lineup announcement [that included IVE], we immediately contacted the third-party agency and requested that the announcement be taken down, but nothing was done. Even afterwards, there were never any concrete discussions about a contract, and we never received any booking fee.

Also, because this was not a confirmed appearance, it was not posted on IVE’s official schedule.

We apologize to the students of Kyungpook National University and Keimyung College University for the fact that this unfortunate situation has arisen due to the faulty work of the third-party agency.

The Mersenne Agency’s official statement

Hello, this is the Mersenne Agency, which was in charge of booking IVE for this year’s Kyungpook National University fall festival.

First, we sincerely apologize for the mix-up in communication due to this issue regarding [IVE’s] appearance, and in order to prevent any misunderstandings, we will briefly explain the process of our attempting to book IVE and the reason their appearance did not come to fruition.

First, we received a request to book IVE from the local agency in charge of booking artists for the Kyungpook National University fall festival. We then made a request of our own to Starship Entertainment (hereafter referred to “Starship), and we did not receive a definite confirmation [of IVE’s appearance].

Later, Starship told our agency that they would not be able to agree to the request [for IVE] to appear at the festival, and we also let the local agency know that [IVE] would not be appearing.

Afterwards, we met with the local agency and others involved to discuss potential measures we could take in proceeding with the Kyungpook National University fall festival.

Ultimately, the responsibility for this incident falls to our agency, who is at fault for not being able to let go of our wish to book IVE for the Kyungpook National University fall festival and for continuing to leave the possibility open in our discussions with the local agency. The booking fee was also not given to Starship, and it was returned to the [local] agency.

We saw that the notice of the change in performing artists was just announced to Kyungpook National University students yesterday. Of course, since [IVE’s] appearance had not been set, Starship wound up releasing a counter-statement. We immediately became aware of the severity of the situation, and our agency staff has currently come all the way down to Daegu.

We would like to apologize to the students, everyone involved with planning the Kyungpook National University fall festival, and the local agency that has been working hard in the middle. Above all, we sincerely apologize to the Kyungpook National University students, to Starship, and to the IVE members, all of whom are suffering damages due to an error in communication between our agency and the [local] agency. We will continuously make efforts to prevent this kind of communication error from ever occurring again, and we will work hard to become an even more careful and meticulous agency.

Thank you for reading this long statement up until the end.

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