The largest number of K-pop stars ever entered the world music festival Coachella Belly Music and Arts Festival (Coachella), drawing attention.

SM Entertainment, an entertainment agency, announced on the 1st that its four-member girl group "aespa" will be on the main stage of Coachella on the 23rd (local time). It is the first time for a domestic girl group to be on the main stage of the festival. Espa, which debuted in 2020, drew attention with the concept of "a girl group active on both Metabus and reality." It was known as "Black Mamba," "Next Level," and "Sevage," and in particular, its first mini-album "Sevage" ranked 20th on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart, the highest ranking ever for a domestic girl group album. Their Coachella performance will be broadcast on Coachella's YouTube channel in the afternoon of the 24th (Korea Standard Time).

Coachella, which began in 1999, is the name of a dream among musicians. It is the largest outdoor music festival in the U.S. that can only be performed at the invitation of the organizer, and it is also considered a world-class festival along with Glastonbury in the U.K., attracting 200,000 to 300,000 viewers every year. This year, Coachella was held again for the first time in two years, especially in the aftermath of the pandemic, and became a hot topic even before the event. About 120 famous artists, including Harry Styles, Billy Eilish, Doja Cat, Conan Gray and Pink Sweat, were named on the performance schedule that runs from 15th to 17th and 22nd to 24th.

Among them, K-pop stars were also paying keen attention this year. On the 16th (local time), 2NE1, a popular four-member girl group belonging to YG, performed as a whole for the first time in six years and four months on the planning stage led by Asian-based U.S. label 88rising. In addition, Jackson Wang, a former member of Yoon Mirae, BIBI, and GOT7, performed on the same stage.

2NE1's performance as a whole was reportedly led by CL, a member who was supposed to perform alone. It was not a solo performance with other famous musicians from Asian countries, including Japanese national singer Hikaru Utada, global stars Rich Brian from Indonesia, Nikki, rookie rapper Warren Hugh, and Thai artist Millie. Nevertheless, leading foreign media outlets specializing in music such as NME, Rolling Stone, and Variety reported that "Coachella has created a touching reunion of 2NE1," drawing global attention.

This is not the first time that a Korean cast has been named in the festival earlier. Band Zambinai and Hyukoh, boy group Big Bang, hip-hop group Epik High, and girl group Black Pink were sporadically listed on the cast. However, this is the first time that a number of K-pop musicians have appeared at once.

Some industry analysts say that it is the result of domestic K-pop agencies' accumulation of infrastructure for overseas expansion. An official from a large entertainment agency said, "The global K-pop influence has grown, but the size of each entertainment agency and the size of overseas exchanges have increased," adding, "Even for idols of small and medium-sized agencies, barriers to entry to world festivals such as Coachella as well as U.S. tour performances have been lower." Unlike in the past, this is the result of accumulating exchanges between domestic and foreign songwriting and entertainment agencies and performance agencies.

In fact, 88 Rising, which set up the stage for the performance of 2NE1 as a whole, is also a label (music agency) that has been exchanging with K-pop agencies for a long time. Co-founded by "Jason Ma," co-CEO of the social music video platform Triller, which has emerged as a rival to TikTok in the U.S., and Japanese-American Sean Miyashiro, the label has been active mainly by Asian musicians. In particular, when he became the first Asian company to produce a Marvel movie soundtrack with "Shangchi," he recommended a large number of Korean singers. In Coachella, he also became the first label to perform on the main stage, putting a number of Korean singers in the lineup.

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