**UPDATE FRIDAY JULY 20: The KRPS Charity Concert has been postponed till October, according to organisers. More details to come. **
K-Pop stars Brian Joo, Alexander of U-KISS fame, Kim Isak and more are heading to Australia this July to raise money for a good cause. Carene Chong has the lowdown.
First, Jay Park tour announced his trip down under, and now more good news on the Korean music front as a handful of renowned and up-and-coming Korean entertainers head our way for the KRPS Charity Concert tour.
The confirmed artist lineup include Brian Joo and Alexander, popular DJ Kim Isak, rising alternative rock singer Naray Whangbo, RnB groups As One and SoulStar, Hip Hop duo D2O, and light rock/acoustic band Exit4
The singers, along with some local performers, will join forces to stage two charity concerts to raise funds for the Korean Retinitis Pigmentosa Society (KRPS) – one in Sydney on July 28 and another in Melbourne on July 29.
The money raised will go toward research about the degenerative eye disease retinitis pigmentosa and will also help support those affected by the illness.
Organiser Aus2One Entertainment’s Melbourne division general manager Helen Le says the idea for this tour came to her after she met with the head of KRPS, Mr Choi Jung Nam (who is also the father of Soo Young, a member of popular South Korean girl group Girls Generation).
“After having been introduced to KRPS, we did our own research and was truly touched by their efforts in this cause and also empathised with sufferers of the disease,” says Ms Le.
“That was when we decided that we would hold a concert to raise funds and do our part for charity.”
Retinitis pigmentosa affects the vision of the sufferer and is an inherited illness. People afflicted by the disease face symptomatic visual loss and ultimately lose their sight.
“It (the illness) isn’t very well known and those who may be carriers and potentially be a victim of the disease may not even know about it,” Ms Le says.
“Aus2One aims to educate the public on what this illness is.”
In fact, one of the groups slated to perform at the concert, Exit4, has members who are experiencing the illness first hand.
Organisers put careful thought into the line up at these concerts.
“We wanted the artists to be a mix of well known artists as well as up-and-coming ones. Those that the younger generations will know and older generations will recognise,” says Ms Le.
She adds the shows will not be one of your average concerts.
“We want to create an intimate atmosphere between the artists and the audience instead of a concert per se, so see it as a party with the artists,” Ms Le says.
Concerts aside, fans can also look forward to meet-and-greet sessions with the stars.
The KRPS Charity Concerts will take place in Sydney on Saturday, July 28 at the City Recital Hall, while the Melbourne show will be happening at the Comedy Theatre on Sunday, July 29. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased from the City Recital Hall website (Sydney) and Ticketmaster (Melbourne).