London K-Pop Report (1): London K-Pop concert shatters a teens dream?

What is it that makes K-Pop so popular?

Now that the hallyu wave has hit Europe, Korean entertainment companies have started to notice the profitable market outside of Asia. As one of the most renowned capitals in the world, London has been receiving a lot of press coverage for its rapidly growing, passionate K-Pop fans. There are many different fan bases, such as ‘KLUE’ and ‘UnitedKpop’, within the UK that brings the British fans together under common interest and unites them.
Although I cannot say whether all fans are like this, the many dedicated fans within the UK are close-knit; they share a strong bond brought about by a foreign industry. Obviously fans are excited now that they are gaining attention from their favourite artists, which before didn’t even know the extent of their own fandom. Although there are an endless amount of events and flashmobs, are the fans in London really content on how they are getting rewarded.

What is behind their smiling faces of anticipation?
Are there any problems with global recognition?

K-Pop is becoming highly popular within the UK; demonstrated in the sale of popular Korean CD’s in HMV [Oxford circus branch]. There are still many problems and issues that the K-Pop market has yet to overcome; there is still a barrier preventing the globalisation of the music. As well as HMV’s ridiculously overpriced CD’s, which are cheaper and easier to buy online, it seems as though companies purely come to Britain so that they can charge extortionate prices to under-aged, gullible teenage girls. The upcoming cube concert is a perfect example of this; not only have they placed the concert of a weekday, making it hard for the majority of fans to attend due to school, as well as charging £74 a ticket. It does make one wonder if the one concert is worth the amount… It wouldn’t be a shock if the tickets didn’t sell out, not because the artists are lacking in any way but purely because of the date and price, which a lot of teenagers can’t afford.

Next time a company wishes to expand to the UK, it wouldn’t be at loss to place the concert on a weekend. Moreover, if a company is hesitating, why not hold a fan meet to get a taste of their popularity in the country. A fan meet is an effective way to expand and further promote K-Pop in a new country; It is not only beneficial to the company and artists but the fans will be able to feel a stronger love and support once meeting their favourite idols.

Reported by Chiara (Chiara@theeast.org)

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