With the much-talked-about Jamboree K-pop concert just one day away, virtually the entire field will be exposed.
The 2023 Saemangeum Jamboree K-pop concert will take place at 7 p.m. on Nov. 11 at the Seoul World Cup Stadium. The concert will be preceded by a closing ceremony at the same venue.
Previously, the K-pop concert was scheduled to take place in the Saemangeum area, but was hastily changed to Jeonju World Cup Stadium on June 6. The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism explained the change of venue as a result of “a combination of capacity and travel conditions.”
The sudden changes didn’t end there. On August 8, the ministry announced that the venue for the K-pop concert would be changed again, this time from Jeonju World Cup Stadium to Seoul World Cup Stadium. The ministry said the move was necessitated by the forecast for Typhoon Kanun to pass over the Korean Peninsula.
There were also concerns about the damage to the stadium’s grass due to the erratic administration. When it was announced that the venue would be changed to Seoul World Cup Stadium, an FC Seoul official said, “Since the E seats are adjustable, we can perform without damaging the grass,” adding, “If the grass is damaged in the current weather, it could be a big problem, so we are keeping a close eye on it.”
Contrary to the wishes of Seoul officials, the stage is being set up on the goal side of the S-seat. When I visited the stadium at 4 p.m. on Oct. 10, I saw the general outline of the show. The stage started behind the S-seat goal and took up ¼ of the ground beyond the penalty box. A portable restroom was set up in front of the E section, which is variable seating. Folding chairs were constantly being brought in and out of the stadium, utilizing virtually the entire field.
Seoul World Cup Stadium debuted hybrid grass for the first time in Korea last March. At the time, the Seoul Metropolitan Government boasted, “Hybrid grass is a 95:5 mix of natural grass and artificial grass,” adding, “The piles of artificial grass are intertwined with the roots of natural grass, increasing the cohesion and preventing the grass from digging due to external impacts.” Despite the large budget, the stadium was facing damage after about a year and five months.
A turf manager at a K League club expressed concern, saying, “Such a performance in hot and humid weather is 100% damaging to the turf.” “It needs a cold wind to recover, which is almost impossible in the current situation,” he said.
“August is a time when you have to be especially careful about your lawn,” he said, “You have one day of performances, but you also have to think about the set-up and take-down time. How will the grass be watered during set-up?” he asked.
He also said, “The grass is almost dead where the poles are installed for the stage.” “Honestly, there is no way to do it in Korea, but it doesn’t make sense from our point of view,” he said bitterly. 안전놀이터
“Football fans are concerned about the grass,” said Choi Hoon, head of the Local Government Balanced Development Office at the Ministry of the Interior and Safety, at the ‘Jamboree K-Pop Concert Safety Measures and Progress Briefing’ held at 4 p.m. on the 10th, “and we are taking care in areas such as stage installation to minimize the damage.” “Nevertheless, we have secured a budget for quick restoration as there is a risk of damage to the grass,” Choi said, adding, “We plan to support the restoration as much as possible so that the soccer game is not disrupted.”