South Korean news outlet Korea JoongAng Daily reported on July 27 that South Korea’s Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters shared that it has received multiple reports from people who claim to have “contracted COVID-19 after attending a music concert that ‘sprays water’”.
“We have launched an investigation to see what kind of actions are taking place during the event that could be risk factors in transmitting the virus,” an unnamed representative of the department told Korea JoongAng Daily.
Psy’s ‘Summer Swag’ concert series is known for drenching the audience with water during the show, which the Korea Herald reported could use around 300 metric tonnes of drinking water in one event.
This year’s series began with a three-day run in Seoul at the Jamsil Olympic Stadium earlier this month. Audiences at the Seoul kickoff received disposable raincoats and waterproof face masks, the Herald reported.
Psy is currently touring South Korea for the ‘Summer Swag’ concert series, which will visit seven cities in total and conclude by August 20. Its next stop is the Gangneung Stadium on July 30.
NME has reached out to representatives for Psy, via P Nation, for comment. A spokesperson for P Nation had previously declined comment to the Washington Post in June when asked about the concerts’ environmental impact and authorities’ concerns about the coronavirus.
Korea JoongAng Daily has also reported that South Korean health authorities have urged concert organisers and artists to refrain from drenching crowds in water during shows or festivals, as it could be a factor in virus transmission – especially amid South Korea’s current surge in COVID-19 cases.
During the first 2022 ‘Summer Swag’ event on July 16, Psy surprised fans by inviting Suga on stage for a performance of their latest single ‘That That’, which the BTS rapper had also helped produce. First released in April, the track was the lead single of Psy’s ninth studio album ‘Psy 9th’. That ‘Summer Swag’ show also marked the first time the duo performed the song together live.