“I cried my eyes out watching their concerts”

K-pop fans connect with BTS, SuperM during livestream concerts


Image courtesy of teenvogue.com

BTS hosted a two-night concert series on social media April 17-18. The event featured footage from previous concerts, and they broke their own record for livestream views on the app V LIVE with more that 50 million total views.

Kevin Nguyen, Staff Writer

K-pop (Korean pop) fans, also known as kpoppers or kboos, may not be able to see their favorite acts perform in person right now, but fortunately they’ve still been able to enjoy music from some of the biggest K-pop groups in the world through social media.

BTS, the most well-known K-pop group, set up a livestream the weekend of April 17 on the V LIVE app, a South Korean live video streaming app that allows Korean celebrities to post live videos and host live chats with their fans.  

“I usually use V LIVE to view videos and lives, but I use WeVerse from time to time because BTS’s schedule is so packed that they don’t appear often,” junior Riley Davey said. “But I definitely used it over the 48 hours of the livestreaming concerts.” 

Titled BANG BANG CON, BTS’s two-day livestream featured pre-recorded concerts from all over the world, including South Korea, Japan, Thailand, the Philippines, the United States, and Dubai. Viewers from 162 countries tuned in, and BTS broke their own record for the most viewed livestream on V LIVE with more than 50 million total views, including 2 million concurrent views the first night of streaming. The hashtag #BangBangCon was also trending on Twitter in several countries and was used over 6 million times on Twitter and Weverse, another app for connecting K-pop groups with their fans that’s made by the same company who owns BTS.

“I literally did not sleep over the weekend. I cried my eyes out watching their concerts,” junior Abby Loges said. 

The event also incorporated the ARMY, the official name of the BTS fandom, and their most popular piece of merchandise, the ARMY Bomb Light Sticks. Typically held up in the crowd at live events, fans were able to link their light sticks through the Weverse and mimic the lightshow from their own houses.

But BTS isn’t the only K-pop group that’s reached out to fans after having to cancel concerts due to the coronavirus. SuperM performed a full two-hour concert called Beyond LIVE on April 25 that was streamed to countries all over the world on WeVerse and Naver, yet another Korean app. This was SuperM’s first time doing a livestream event, and it helped them gain popularity within the K-pop media world. 

“I love their company, SM Entertainment,” Loges said about SuperM. “They get treated so well, and we get fed so much content.”

American K-pop fans have found one downside to these events, however.

“I have eye-bags now because the livestreaming concerts are according to Korean time, so I had to wake up in the middle of the night to watch this amazing concert,” junior Maggie Coveney said. “I was crying at 7 am watching my boys tear up the stage.” 

The popularity of these events has led K-pop fans everywhere to ask (ok, demand) more livestream concerts from other popular groups.

“We need a couple girl groups such as BLACKPINK or MAMAMOO to be doing these concerts,” Davey said. “I honestly think that it would be good for these entertainment companies to provide content for us due to the fact that girl groups have a larger male fan base.”

While the coronavirus is forcing teens around the world to stay quarantined and miss out on so many fun events, K-pop groups are doing their best to stay connected to their legions of fans and provide them with free entertainment while we patiently wait for our lives to return to normal.