S. Korean govt launches ‘buy one, get one free’ program for show ticket buyers

August 27, 2015

S. Korean government has spent 30 billion won (about $25 million) in supplementary budget for this program. (Yonhap)

(Yonhap) — The government launched a program Thursday to provide an additional ticket to people who purchase tickets to certain shows to help revive the country’s performing arts industry hit by the MERS outbreak, officials said.

Last month, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism announced the program that would provide the “one-plus-one” service to those who buy tickets for certain shows worth 50,000 won (US$42) or less. The government spent 30 billion won (about $25 million) in supplementary budget for this program.

The first batch of tickets will become available for reservations through the Interpark online mall at www.interpark.com under the program, the ministry said.

The tickets are for 291 select shows — including 140 theater plays, 50 musicals and 64 music concerts — that are scheduled to run from Sept. 1 to Dec. 31.

Among them are the musicals “Washing,” “Arirang,” “Man of La Mancha” and the non-verbal performance “Nanta,” as well as the plays “Liar 2,” “Liar 3″ and “War on Audiences.”

The government said it will receive applications for participants in the second-round event next month and open their tickets for booking on Sept. 25.

“We hope this program will become a chance to revive the depressed performing arts scene and increase the people’s access to cultural performances,” the ministry said in a release. “We’ll make efforts to expand the program in the future so it can benefit more people and art groups.”

The industry has remained in the doldrums since the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) outbreak in late May. Since the first case of the virus was reported in South Korea on May 20, 186 people have been infected, 36 of whom have died.