Q&A With Krowdpop: CEO Talks Crowdfunding Upcoming “Unite the Mic” Tour With Jay Park, Ailee & San E
Three of K-pop’s most prominent artists – Jay Park, Ailee, San E – are coming together for a joint show, thanks to a platform that allows fans to crowdfund various K-pop concerts.
Krowdpop, the world’s first crowdsourcing platform for K-pop concerts, has a mission: getting fans what they want. The platform, originating from KPOP UNITED, allows “fans to determine what K-pop shows come to their city and show the world what groups have the most active fandoms,” says CEO Richard S. Choo. The team then leverages the interest into a concert tour.
This year, Krowdpop successfully crowdfunded TEENTOP to four cities in North America. In March of 2015, their sights have been set on bringing together three artists that have not collaborated officially together in the past, in an attempt to “Unite the Mic.”
Knowing some fans must be curious about what goes on behind-the-scenes, we had the opportunity to ask KPOP UNITED some questions, which Choo graciously answered. Check them out!
Soompi: KPU has always been advocating “for the fans, by the fans.” Is that the motivation behind Krowdpop? How did it come to be?
KPU: At KPU, we understood that concerts are one of the most thrilling and rewarding experiences. But we also know that it can be an expensive and frustrating process. Many times, fans are forced to travel great distances to catch a show, shows get cancelled last minute, or they just don’t play where fans want to be able to see them.
What most fans don’t realize is that putting on K-pop shows are difficult, risky propositions. They’re typically put on by promoters that have little to no understanding on who the fans want to see and where. By not having that information of understanding where fans are and what exactly is the demand in that area, promoters are forced to charge higher ticket prices that make it tougher than it already is due to logistic reasons in attending shows.
To us, that just wouldn’t fly.
After putting together the 2011 Billboard KPOP MASTERS presented by the MGM in Las Vegas, we realized that getting a show off the ground is beyond difficult but, in the end, we pushed on in order to provide fans groundbreaking events and access to their favorite idols.
Soompi: This would be the three artists’ first world tour together – why Ailee/Jay Park/San E?
KPU: Fans have been requesting to see this lineup for the past several months, and we’ve been working tirelessly to get these three together for the very first time. Let’s just say when the fans demand something, we’ll work as hard as we can to get what they want.
Soompi: What can fans expect from “Unite the Mic?” How will the concert itself be different than other K-pop concerts?
KPU: “Unite the Mic” is all about getting the fans to rally around a never before seen show to come to their city, and experience various special stages that we’ve been working round the clock to provide. The fact that the fans have the power to decide every stop on the tour makes it pretty special. We’re looking to make this show as intimate and as immersive as possible to get fans up close and personal to these leading Korean stars.
Soompi: Currently, Istanbul is leading the polls in hosting the concert, with several U.S. cities following closely after. If successful, this would be the second K-Pop event in Istanbul after KBS’ Music Bank in 2013. As a concert organizer, what do you think about the globalization of Korean entertainment and culture, especially in relation to K-pop events outside Asia/North America?
KPU: Globalization of Hallyu content is one of our biggest missions, (if not the biggest) and we’re excited that the fans in Istanbul have rallied around this show.
As we’re making our best efforts to bring K-pop shows to new places like Istanbul and show that the fans have the power to bring their favorite artists to their city through the power of Krowdpop. By casting these three top soloists and putting on a show in Istanbul would mean the world to us in that we’ve not only put together a great lineup, but show that they can perform in new countries that have been touched by K-pop.
We’d love to surprise the world on how awesome international fandoms are.
Soompi: Are more events in store for the future?
KPU: We’re currently in the works with some major festivals and some never-before seen stuff for fans to Krowdpop internationally. We’re also looking to do more cross promotions with major brands that fans like, and that will enable them to get awesome hookups for future shows. And of course, we’re closely tracking the activity on our website to see which artists are in demand and where.
The preliminary voting period to determine the locations of March’s “Unite the Mic” tour will be open from now until Monday, January 15, 2015 on Krowdpop. Be sure to show your support here!