by: Tahnee Riddick
Due to the massive worldwide spread of the coronavirus, long-awaited music festivals and concerts have been canceled or postponed. However, millions of international K-pop fans who anticipated their participation in such events have been just as understanding of the circumstances as those who are outraged. Fans online are furious seeing as they have spent every penny saved on travel to several locations, hotels, and the concert tickets. There are also many fans who are still waiting for official statements from the artists’ companies if their shows will remain as scheduled.
In late December of 2019, it was announced that a deadly virus from Wuhan Hubei province, China has made its way to various countries. Within the first two months of 2020, thousands of cases of the coronavirus have been diagnosed. It was found that the elderly, young children and those with pre-existing medical conditions were highly susceptible to contracting the illness. This doesn’t mean that those who don’t fall under any of the previous categories were immune. Everyone is free game to the virus.
As of Mar 12th 2020, numerous celebrities began to announce they’ve tested positive for contracting the virus. Not long after, big named Korean artists like BTS, Monsta X and G-idle have canceled/postponed their concerts due to this ever-growing pandemic. Music Festival, Coachella, announced the event’s postponement to October of this year. There are many people who doubt that this will even follow through as both Los Angeles and New York City are considering the cancelation of any concerts and public sports events to take place until the beginning of 2021.
K-pop fans Shasha Latheef, 20, from Melbourne and Shariah Parks, 21, from Seattle explain exactly how this worldly event has impacted the plans of not only their own, but of many other fans across the world.
“In my opinion it is understandable that many people are upset with this situation as there is cost to it.” Latheef says, “However it is more important to be safe and to do as much as we can to prevent the spread of COVID-19 so that we can flatten the curve during this pandemic.”
Latheef continues to say that if airlines and hotels etc were more understanding and refunds were available for the added costs along with the tickets, it would reduce a considerable amount of stress on concert goers regarding these events being canceled. She says that if they plan on canceling, they should cancel in advance with enough time so that it doesn’t leave people stranded. Most times, there are those who leave a week early to the city in which the concert will take place and make a trip out of the week leading up to it.
“For me personally, considering I have travel and concert plans for the summer, if the concert is canceled then it will be disappointing but at the same time, it’s more important to take under consideration the circumstances.” Parks says, “So, I suppose I could say it’s impacted me somewhat emotionally only because these events are something I look forward to throughout the year, but other than that, there’s no other impact it’s had on my life.”
Parks believes that postponing an event due to a pandemic outbreak is more important than risking the health of others. However, it is a bit of a let down considering this virus will most likely trickle into summer. This is the time where the most concerts and festivals take place. Parks says if these companies were to not cancel the events for not just the fans, but for their artists, then that within itself would be more concerning than anything.
Celebrities in South Korea have taken it upon themselves to help in any way possible by donating to the prevention of coronavirus. The members of boy group Monsta X made a secret donation of 100 million Korean Won, which is around $81,300 in the US, without informing their agency in advance. Red Velvet donated ₩230 Million and their company siblings, EXO, donated ₩220 Million.
As of May, according to coronavirus statistics, South Korea had a total of 10,800+ confirmed coronavirus cases, in which 9,300+ of those cases have been recovered individuals. It is nice to think that thanks to the donations of these celebrities and many others, South Korea was able to almost completely eliminate the virus from the country. There is still a high chance that they can do just that.
Unfortunately, the United States is far from being anywhere near those numbers. Venues in which these artists are intended to perform, have shut down until further notice. Not to mention that travel restrictions are still set in place. Therefore, fans are only left to wait patiently until it is safe to be brought together yet again.