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On March 9, representatives of the event announced “with a heavy heart” that NCT Dream’s Mark and Haechan would not be performing at the festival, due to reasons pertaining to various COVID-19 restrictions. The group are scheduled to perform at the Deutsche Bank Park in Frankfurt, Germany, on May 14.
“While we’ve been working very hard alongside SBS to enable 7Dream (all seven members of the sub-unit) to come to Frankfurt, in light of quarantine rules and the uncertainty of COVID-19 the other commitments Mark and Haechan have meant that only five members (5Dream) will be able to perform with us,” wrote KPOP.FLEX in its statement on Twitter.
— KPOP.FLEX (@kpop_flex) March 9, 2022
“We always want to be fully transparent with you, and while we understand it’s disappointing news, we hope it won’t dull your excitement for KPOP.FLEX,” it added.
While neither the KPOP.FLEX team nor SM Entertainment’s representatives have clarified the exact circumstances behind Mark and Haechan’s absence at the festival, many fans have speculated that this may be due to NCT 127’s upcoming Japan Dome tour that kicks off on May 22, which both members are part of.
Due to the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ COVID-19 restrictions requiring inbound travellers to isolate for 10 days upon arrival, the two NCT 127 members’ quarantine periods would overlap with NCT Dream’s performance at KPOP.FLEX.
from what I've heard other unit that includes them has concerts in Japan and quarantine overlaps.
— Agnieszka (@agnzaa) March 9, 2022
KPOP.FLEX will be the first K-pop multi-group concert to ever hit Europe, and it aims to grow the European K-pop listening audience through a five-year plan that will target the continent specifically, according to a press release.
The Saturday performance will now feature AB6IX, ENHYPEN, (G)I-DLE, IVE, EXO’s Kai, MAMAMOO and NCT Dream, with previously announced performers MONSTA X are set to take to the stage on May 15 instead. Other performers scheduled for May 15 include ONEUS and Dreamcatcher.