The Brag Media
Opinion April 22, 2024

The Phenomenon of Asia Pop in Australasia: Op-Ed

Wenona Lok
The Phenomenon of Asia Pop in Australasia: Op-Ed

With over eight years of experience as a Promoter and Talent Buyer, engaging local and international Asian audiences in Australia, and over one year into my role as an Asia Pop Promoter with Live Nation Australasia, I’ve witnessed the extraordinary ascent of Asian pop music across Australia and New Zealand.

The success has been nothing short of astonishing – evolving from intimate venues and brief tours to witnessing sold-out arena concerts sprawled across multiple cities. 

While Asia pop has always been popular in Australia and New Zealand, the fervour among Aussie and Kiwi fans for performers hailing from various Asian countries such as South Korea, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, and many more has reached unprecedented heights. Concert tickets sell within hours, and artists now perform in more cities than ever before.

2023 stood as a pivotal moment for the Asian pop scene in this region, and will be remembered as the year when the Asian pop genre reached new levels with its debut in stadium performances. Jay Chou headlined Giants Stadium in Sydney, making him the first Asian pop artist to do so. Notably, the immensely popular girl group TWICE made history by being the first K-pop group and the first all-female group across genres to captivate audiences at Melbourne’s Marvel Stadium. 

2024 has already seen exponential growth within the genre, with records broken within Asian pop across Australia and New Zealand. K-pop powerhouse ITZY’s performances at Spark Area made the group the highest-selling K-pop act in New Zealand ever. In Australia, Melbourne Olympic Park hosted two sold-out shows on the same night, with ITZY performing at Margaret Court Arena and Mando pop star Joker Xue at Rod Laver Arena. Taking place on a Tuesday night, these shows demonstrated the popularity of Asian pop acts in Victoria, drawing crowds of this volume on a weeknight, which is notoriously uncustomary within this audience. 

But what propels this sweeping wave onto our shores? Several factors contribute to this phenomenon: 

  • Relatability: Asian pop music seamlessly blends pop, hip hop, electronica, and traditional influences, creating a universally appealing sound. Enhanced by vibrant fashions and choreography, it aligns perfectly with the dynamics of social media and viral trends. 

  • Relevancy: Australia and New Zealand boast multicultural communities, with 20% of Australians being of Asian origin. In New Zealand, the Asian population is projected to make up nearly 30% of the total population by 2043, compared with 16% in 2018. The presence of Asian pop artists born or raised or studied in these countries, such as Danielle and Hanna from NewJeans, Jennie and Rose from BLACKPINK, BangChan and Felix from Stray Kids, Actor and singer Darren Qiu, Cantopop singer Cecilia Cheung 張栢芝, Jay Chou, and many more adds a personal touch and resonates with local audiences. Asia is also located close to Australia and New Zealand geographically, bonding artists and audiences through a shared proximity.

  • Accessibility: The digital age facilitates online discovery through streaming and social media platforms, eliminating the traditional barriers of waiting for physical releases or needing to learn a different language to access new music. 

Importantly, the rising popularity extends beyond pop, encompassing a diverse array of genres from across Asia. 

As promoters, our challenge lies in sustaining this momentum by fostering enduring connections between fans and artists. This means transitioning from one-off shows and tours towards a sustainable strategy that backs Australia and New Zealand as pivotal Asia-Pacific markets. 

The business success of Asia pop serves as a lesson in embracing musical and cultural diversity. As the Asian wave gains momentum, we, as industry leaders, are dedicated to showcasing exceptional talent and uniting people in a vibrant collective experience. The achievements thus far underscore that inclusive and creative entertainment possesses universal appeal and makes solid financial sense. 

To those who may perceive Asia pop as a passing trend, rest assured that the audience will only continue to expand. We are only at the beginning of a spectacular new era in music. Aussie and Kiwi fans, brace yourselves – the era of your favourite idols touring here for many years is just beginning!

Wenona Lok is a Promoter and Talent Buyer at Live Nation Australia and New Zealand, focusing on Asian pop content and talent. In her role, Wenona is tasked with breaking and touring Asia pop acts across the region and working with local teams to bring more diverse Asian talent down under.

Wenona Lok

Wenona displays a wealth of knowledge of the Asian touring market and has a proven track record of managing successful relationships with Asian talent, evidenced by her work promoting a diverse range of Asian pop tours, including sell-out K-Pop acts TWICE, Mandarin pop/rock acts Mayday and K-Indie Yerin Baek, Chinese hip hop artist MaSiWei, and Thai-Kiwi Phum Viphurit. 

Wenona has an impressive background in public relations, having worked in corporate communications, while also co-founding and managing Imagikai. Imagikai works with companies and talent that are interested in engaging local and international Asian audiences in Australia and the broader Asia-Pacific market.


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