Festivals, Events Canceled as Ferry Disaster Spreads Somber Mood

As over 170 passengers are still missing after a ferry capsized off the southwest coast on Wednesday, municipal and provincial governments nationwide have decided to cancel or downsize various events and festivals. Entertainment industries have also axed or delayed most of their promotional activities and events this week.

Ansan in Gyeongggi Province, where most of the victims are from, canceled its annual flower festival featuring various species of tulip, which was due to open this week, as well as several other festivals scheduled in early May.

Entertainment industries are also scaling back their programs. A press event for the film "Obsessed" starring Song Seung-hun has been postponed, while a preview of the animated flick "Rio 2" has also been put off.

The premiere of "The Target" starring Ryu Seung-ryong and a promotional event for BoA's Hollywood debut "Make Your Move" have also been postponed.

K-pop groups such as Crayon Pop, Block B and Exo have delayed their album releases, signing events or interviews.

The three major terrestrial broadcasters -- KBS, MBC and SBS -- are canceling broadcasts of dramas and entertainment shows. The three networks opted not to air any entertainment shows on Thursday and will not broadcast music and comedy programs this week.

"As rescue efforts continue for the sunken ferry, we are refraining from airing shows that are not in tune with the somber mood," said an MBC staffer.

Sports circles are also readjusting their schedules in a similar manner. At many baseball stadiums around the country, pre-game chants are being toned down and loudspeakers avoided.

Kim Yu-na has also pushed back an event commemorating her retirement from figure skating from Thursday to next week.

englishnews@chosun.com / Apr. 18, 2014 10:02 KST