South Korea mourns Itaewon disaster, entertainment programs and events canceled

South Korean goes into mourning period starting October 30 until November 5, 2022, over Itaewon
South Korea goes into mourning period starting October 30 until November 5, 2022, over Itaewon's deadly Halloween tragedy (Image via Yonhap/The Korea Times)

South Korea's announcement of national mourning came after a Halloween celebration in Itaewon turned into a deadly tragedy that left 151 dead. Major entertainment companies and broadcast networks have canceled their shows scheduled for October 30 and 31, 2022, to empathize with the victims’ loved ones.

President Yoon Suk-yeol announced a period of national mourning from October 30 to November 5, 2022. The disastrous incident at Itaewon left a gaping hole in the country’s most vibrant district, which, at the moment, is filled with Halloween trash, ambulances, rescue workers, fire authorities, and panicked people.

In light of the tragedy, several K-pop companies have postponed releasing content. BIGHIT MUSIC posted a tweet notifying people about the cancelation of the new content release for BTS Jin’s The Astronaut while IRRIS and EXO’s Chen have delayed their album releases.

Entertainment companies, K-pop groups postpone broadcast and album release in light of national mourning for Itaewon victims

South Korea has now announced a national mourning period with regard to the horrible Itaewon tragedy. All entertainment shows/events will likely be postponed to express condolences, so in order to respect the deceased and affected, please be careful with what you say or post 🙏

Multiple music programs, album releases, and new series content have been postponed in light of the Itaewon tragedy that occurred on the night of Saturday, October 29. The vibrant, bustling district suffered damage when a herd of people entered a four-meter wide narrow alleyway. As per reports, the narrow alley was quickly overcrowded, leaving no space for anyone to walk.

The Itaewon disaster has everyone up on their feet, and almost every major and minor entertainment company has postponed their schedules to show respect for the victims. Some shows that have been canceled are:

  • SBS - Inkigayo, Animal Farm, Running Man
  • tvN - Comedy Big League, The Game Caterers 2
  • KBS - 1 Night 2 Days, Boss in the Mirror
  • MBC - King of Masked Singer

Events such as the Halloween Strike Music Festival and the Busan One Asia Festival have also been canceled. Other Halloween festivals scheduled at amusement park Everland and celebrations in Hongdae district have put a lid on their plans as well.

Seoul authorities have received more than 3,700 missing persons reports following a stampede in Itaewon that killed more than 150 people, Yonhap reports.South Korea has declared national mourning.

K-pop agencies have also postponed or canceled their releases. TXT’s episodes for TO DO X TXT Ep. 95 and TXT-LOG IN US have been postponed until further notice. They have also canceled their Halloween Dance Practice release.

Joining BTS’ Jin, IRRIS, and EXO’s Chen, K-pop artists DRIPPIN and Junhyung also postponed their album releases. Jaejoong was also reported to have canceled his Japan concert just hours before it began after hearing of the Itaewon tragedy.

However, postponing or canceling events might not be feasible for some K-pop groups on tour. These include DREAMCATCHER, ATEEZ, and ONEUS. Fans reminded potential concert goers to be respectful about the kind of content they post on social media, especially during these times.

To all fans of DREAMCATCHER, Oneus and Ateez, if you are going to their concert today, K-fans or I-fans,PLEASE REFRAIN FROM POSTING ANY PICTURES OF THE CONCERT since October 30 - November 5 will be a mourning days of Korea for the victims of Itaewon incident.

DREAMCATCHER notified fans of the continuation of the concert on October 30. However, they have changed the name from 'APOCALYPSE: BROKEN HALLOWEEN' to 'APOCALYPSE World Tour in Seoul.'

[🌑] 금일 티켓박스가 오픈 되었습니다. 드림캐쳐 콘서트는 전석 지정 좌석으로 기존대로 공연을 진행하기로 하였습니다. 또한 공연명을 #Dreamcatcher Apocalypse world tour in seoul 로 변경하여 진행됨을 알려드립니다. 모두가 안전하게 관람하실 수 있도록 더욱 만전을 기하겠습니다.#드림캐쳐

ONEUS also posted about the concert, giving fans directions about the traffic control around Itaewon. The venue for the group’s REACH FOR US concert is Mastercard Hall, Blue Square in Itaewon, which is approximately 10 minutes away from the location of the stampede, the alley near the Hamilton Hotel.

[NOTICE]['REACH FOR US' - SEOUL]관람과 관련하여 안내 말씀드립니다.현재 이태원 일대의 교통이 통제되고 있습니다.금일 공연 관람 예정인 관객분들께서는 참고해 주시기 바랍니다.
■ 전면통제* 이태원로 녹사평~한강진역구간 양방면 전면통제- 이태원로 통제구간 : 녹사평역~이태원 119 안전센터- 보광로 통제구간 : 해밀턴호텔~청화아파트 앞- 관련문의 : 다산콜센터120

At the time of writing, KQ Entertainment has not given any updates regarding their October 30 concert.

Many raised concerns over the group’s not canceling or postponing the concerts. However, a few also commented on the massive financial loss that not only the agency would suffer, but other respective employees too.

These pics taken by Song Sehyun, 22-year-old who was attending the Halloween party in Seoul’s Itaewon nightclub district. You can see how packed the streets were a couple of hours before the deadly crush that killed at least 120 people. Two of his friends, Americans, are missing.

The death toll rose to 151 and 82 people were injured, according to Yonhap News’ update at 5 pm KST on Sunday, October 30. The casualties included 20 foreign nationals.

Journalist Kelly Kasulis Cho reported that the police have identified over 90% of the bodies. Seoul officials have also received over 3,700 missing person reports.

I am getting several really heartbreaking DMs from people asking if reporters have heard if their friends are dead. I do not have a list of the victims, but the interior minister said ~90% of bodies had been identified already. I hope people find their missing friends.

The Itaewon stampede was termed the biggest tragedy after the 2014 Sewol Ferry Disaster that killed 304 people, including a majority of high school students.

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Edited by Susrita Das
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