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World Cup Eve Ceremony
World Cup fever is dominating the globe, and Meyer Sound has played a key part in spreading the epidemic in South Korea.
The day before the tournament kicked off, an Eve Ceremony was held in different locations throughout Korea to welcome foreign visitors and provide them with a taste of Korean culture.
The ceremony began at noon with a World Folk Festival at the Han River Citizen Park, where PA company J-Sound, which specializes in renting Meyer systems for large outdoor events, provided a system of 12 M3D Line Array loudspeakers - six flown each side of the stage - supplemented by four 650-P High Power subwoofers, four CQ-1 Wide Coverage Main loudspeakers and UM-100P Wide Coverage Stage Monitors. Performers included the Sungkyunkwan troupe that performed an ancestral worship ceremony based on Confucianist precepts, the Changwon dancers who performed drum and fan dances, acrobats and folk singers.
In the evening a system of MSL-4 Horn-Loaded Long-Throw loudspeaker enclosures were used at the Peace Park, situated outside Seoul's Sangam World Cup Stadium, for the Eve Festival. Again this was a celebration of Korea's cultural past, promoting peace and harmony with musical performances from international artists including Sweden's The Real Group, Japanese pop duo Chemistry and singers including China's Song Zuying, Senegal's Ishmael Lo and Uruguay's Natalia Olerio.
The festival opened with a Buddhist flavor as percussionists accompanied by 200 dancers struck moguhs - traditional wooden gongs shaped like fish. This led into a montage performance featuring dancers in the traditional dress of the thirty-two World Cup qualifying countries and an international ensemble of classical vocalists accompanied by the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra.
The MSL-4s came into their own during the fashion show section of the celebrations. The loudspeakers were arrayed on either side of a catwalk extending out from the stage into the audience, along which a large cast of models paraded a sumptuous display of costumes, from traditional robes through to futuristic designs. The costumes, created by internationally renowned fashion designer Andre Kim and other Korean designers, were modeled as Korean opera played to the delighted crowd.
The Eve Festival culminated in an appearance by the Korean/Japanese pop group formed to provide a theme tune for the co-hosted World Cup, 'Let's Get Together', and a spectacular fireworks display.
Meanwhile, further south, the Gwangju Stadium was preparing to host its first match on June 2 between Spain and Slovenia. Gwangju is the country's fifth largest city and is considered to be the birthplace of modern Korean arts and culture. The 43,121 seat stadium, one of 10 in Korea to be built since the two countries were awarded the event in May 1996 in a US$2 billion construction scheme, has been installed with a state-of-the-art permanent sound reinforcement system. This is based around 24 Meyer CQ-1 Wide Coverage Main loudspeakers, eight UPA-1P Compact Wide Coverage loudspeakers, six UM-1P Narrow Coverage Stage Monitors, five LD-1 Line Drivers, two HD-1 High Definition Audio Monitors and five CP-10 Complementary Phase Parametric Equalizers. Meyer's South Korean distributor Avix Tech Co Ltd supplied the equipment. The stadium, completed in November 2001 after three years of construction at a cost of US$132 million, features a dome-shaped roof reflecting the silhouettes of Mount Mudeung, which stands in the heart of the city.
Korea is justifiably proud of its decision to provide new, purpose-built facilities for the tournament, watched by billions around the world. "South Korea decided to build 10 new stadiums to demonstrate the efficiency of the Korean construction industry," says Chung Mong-Joon, a FIFA vice president and co-chairman of the Korean World Cup Organizing Committee. "We decided to build 10 because we thought this was a good investment not only for football but also for the future of our young generation. Out of these 10, seven are pure football stadiums without tracks. Until now in Asia we have built only multi-purpose Olympic stadiums. But in order for Asian countries to develop their football we need this kind of pure football stadiums."