Boost of Vietnamese Cultural Industry: BlackPink Concert in Hanoi

The BlackPink event has sparked discussion regarding how best to leverage international shows to improve the perception of the country and support the growth of its cultural industries.


Two nights of the Born Pink World Tour Hanoi have come and gone, but BlackPink is still making headlines in the Vietnamese media days after the event.

The audience is still filled with excitement as the echoes of the performance continue to resonate. The K-pop girl band made a powerful impact in Vietnam and managed to generate approximately VND300 billion (US$13 million) in ticket sales.

Key to BlackPink’s success revealed

Dr. Thi Gammon, currently a researcher at King’s College London, UK, specializes in studying the global impact of the Korean wave. According to her, BlackPink’s music shows generated significant excitement as there were not many renowned artists performing in Vietnam during their peak.

In addition, given the recent economic development in Vietnam, individuals no longer prioritize basic needs such as food, clothing, and travel. Instead, they seek quality entertainment and are willing to invest in cultural experiences.

“Economic integration and cultural exchange also contribute to a more open-minded society,” stated Dr. Thi Gammon. “Attending sports games with friends and family at the stadium is a cherished and worthwhile experience for many, and they are willing to invest in tickets for this occasion.”

The girl band BlackPink is known all over the world. Photo: YG

The target audience mainly consists of teenagers whose parents belong to the generation born between 1970 and 1980. Having been exposed to and enamored by Korean culture through movies and music since the 90s, these teenagers and their parents are willing and able to purchase tickets for themselves and their children. They value the experience of enjoying music and excitement with their loved ones, considering it a worthwhile investment.

Director Pham Hoang Giang of VietnamShow Media and Entertainment Joint Stock Company is enthusiastic about witnessing domestic and international art performances. He is convinced that he is not the only Vietnamese individual who shares this fondness.

“I frequently travel to Thailand or Singapore to attend international art shows. Apart from the ticket, I have to bear the expenses of airfare, accommodation, and other miscellaneous costs. However, now I have the opportunity to witness international shows in Vietnam at a significantly lower cost,” emphasized the director.

He pointed out that after the BlackPink concert in Hanoi, Vietnamese audiences have demonstrated their strong purchasing power, indicating that Vietnam is becoming a sought-after destination for international artists.

Since the 90s, Hallyu (Korean wave) has taken the world by storm with the popularity of K-drama and K-pop. Today, K-pop has emerged as a significant industry that contributes greatly to the Korean economy. It has sparked a growing interest among global audiences in South Korea’s tourism, fashion, and cuisine. According to the Korea Times, the K-pop industry alone generates an impressive annual revenue of approximately US$10 billion for South Korea.

Dr. Thi Gammon emphasized that Korean entertainment companies strive to cultivate well-rounded idols who possess a diverse range of skills, encompassing singing, acting, and performing, as well as effective communication with audiences, including those from different cultural backgrounds. Additionally, Korean artists devote significant resources to establishing their unique fashion styles.

BlackPink at My Dinh National Stadium, Hanoi. Photo: The Hanoi Times 

Such talents have been recruited by these companies since they were teenagers. The trainees went through a rigorous training process filled with pressure before achieving celebrity status.

According to Director Pham Hoang Giang, Korean artists exhibit remarkable talent across numerous fields. Particularly, the group’s songwriters and producers are highly skilled in curating captivating songs with catchy melodies that resonate with audiences, encouraging them to both dance and sing along.

“Korea’s entertainment industry is known for its strength, however, achieving success in this industry requires real talent and hard work. I was deeply inspired when I watched the movie about BlackPink and witnessed the rigorous selection process and relentless hard work that the four girls had to undergo,” the director commented.

A lesson for Vietnam

The captivating allure of BlackPink and the Korean entertainment industry commands global recognition and respect. Hence, the question arises: can the Born Pink World Tour Hanoi contribute to the growth of Vietnam’s cultural industry, and what valuable insights can be derived from this remarkable occasion?

According to music researcher Nguyen Quang Long, the cultural industry requires investment and specialized policies. He suggests that a national strategy for the cultural industry should be implemented in multiple phases, taking into account long-term goals and involving relevant ministries in aspects such as training, investment, and promotion.

Long emphasized the importance of Vietnam’s cultural industry adopting the motto “think global, act local”. This means that music products should be easily marketable worldwide while maintaining their own unique identity.

In addition, Long highlighted the importance of multi-sector collaboration to maximize resource utilization. BlackPink’s “ecosystem” encompasses various industries such as music, fashion, and cosmetics. During their concerts, companies can not only showcase related products but also contribute to enhancing Korea’s overall image and tourism potential.

“Profit comes not only from music, but also from various other sources of income generated through this musical activity,” stated Long.

 Music researcher Nguyen Quang Long. Photo: The Hanoi Times

However, Long emphasized that Vietnam’s cultural industry should not blindly emulate the K-pop model of Korean idols.

“If our focus is on training talented performers who excel in singing and dancing, we risk creating mere replicas of Korean bands. While this approach may yield some benefits for certain individuals, it is not sustainable or profitable on a larger scale. Instead, we should learn from the Korean model but adapt it based on thorough research and relevance. Korea has successfully charted its own path by incorporating aspects of European and American music, resulting in the creation of an extraordinary genre of music that transcends language barriers. K-pop is a genre that truly captivates listeners, even if one were to experience it solely through sound,” commented Long.

Music director and producer, Nguyen Viet Thanh, highlighted the significance of the state’s involvement in fostering the cultural industry. This includes the establishment of a robust mechanism for investment and training of human resources.

She independently funded her international travel to attend art exhibitions and engage in immersive learning experiences to enhance her skills and expertise in creating her own products.

Director Nguyen Viet Thanh emphasized the Korean government’s perspective of culture as an investment in people. In order to achieve comparable success, it is essential for us to identify and groom new talents starting now. While technology plays a supportive role, the key factor lies in the selection and development of individuals.