Vietnam is preparing to host an exciting K-pop music festival in October, featuring some of the biggest names in the genre.

The festival, called Wow K-music Festival 2023, will bring renowned artists such as Super Junior – L.S.S., Chanyeol from Exo, and Yugyeom from Got7 to Ho Chi Minh City.

In October, a fan meet-and-greet event will also be held, attended by popular South Korean actor Lee Yong Suk. Additionally, Korean hip-hop group Epik High has announced plans to visit Vietnam next year following the success of their performance at HAY Fest 2023, a music and arts festival organized by The Bros Entertainment Company in Hanoi in September.

This influx of Korean stars performing in Vietnam is highly anticipated by fans, many of whom are dedicated “idol chasers” – devoted fans who travel the world to see their favorite celebrities perform live.

“Lee Jong Suk’s Vietnamese fans no longer need to envy international fan clubs because he will be visiting the country. Vietnam is becoming a promising market in the entertainment and media industry,” posted an administrator from the Lee Jong Suk Vietnam Facebook fan page, which has 320,000 followers.

According to an analysis by the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency last year, Vietnam ranked 8th globally and 3rd among Southeast Asian countries in terms of monthly spending on K-pop, with fans spending an average of US$9.3 per month on K-pop products.

Vietnam also ranks 9th in terms of YouTube views on K-entertainment videos, most of which are related to music.

This growing trend is not lost on Vietnamese entertainers, many of whom are embracing K-pop’s influence on their own styles in hopes of cashing in on this phenomenon.

Tough road ahead for Vietnam’s entertainment industry

“Vietnam is no longer left out of world tours by international stars, including Korean artists,” said Hoang Linh, co-founder of The Bros Entertainment Company, who believes this phenomenon has a positive impact on Vietnam’s trade, economy, and tourism.

However, this trend also presents several challenges, particularly in terms of preserving Vietnam’s cultural identity while embracing global integration.

Furthermore, Vietnam’s modern entertainment industry is still relatively new and faces significant hurdles.

“Domestic event organizers must become more professional in their business practices to propel the entire industry forward,” added Linh.

Choi Seung Jin, director of the Korean Cultural Center, expressed his belief that Vietnam can learn from the development of South Korea’s cultural industry during a workshop titled “Developing Vietnam’s Cultural and Creative Industries in the Digital Era,” held in Hanoi in collaboration with the Vietnam Department of International Cooperation and Netflix.

In addition to establishing 30 Korean centers worldwide to promote Korean culture abroad, the South Korean government has also set up the Korea Creative Content Agency to develop and disseminate cultural content.

They have also implemented policies to support cultural development, particularly in terms of cultivating highly skilled human resources and promoting cultural exports.

Moreover, South Korea has established a collaboration mechanism between schools and businesses to train and support the cultural industry workforce.

“Schools and businesses have created joint training programs with internship opportunities, and the government provides salary subsidies during these internships,” explained Choi, who believes Vietnam’s vast talent pool and rich history hold great potential for the development of its cultural industry.