Fan culture in K pop: How it has evolved over the years feat K dramas ‘Reply 1997’ & ‘Her Private Life’

Published on Oct 13, 2021 03:49 PM IST  |  35.9K
A fan snaps a pic of boy group BTS' standees
A fan snaps a pic of boy group BTS' standees : courtesy of News1

As K-pop balloons each day with its significant steps towards becoming one of the biggest music industries in the world, so does the influence of the stars at the center of it all and thereby the innumerous fans that get sucked into the wormhole of sparkly content and vibrant music.


This also goes on to expand the levels at which these fans express their support. While initially beginning with small gatherings of like minded people, now there are thousands that rule the said fandoms. And it comes with its own pros and cons, very aptly displayed through the dramas like ‘Reply 1997’ and ‘Her Private Life’. 


The former shows almost a toxic level of craze where the lead (played by Jung Eun Ji) climbs walls, literally, to get that small bit of attention from her beloved artist. On the other hand, it promotes self-development and comradeship as fans who take responsibility for others and carry an almost soldiers-like vibe with their presence.


The latter is on a more individual scale as actor Park Min Young maintains a level of professionalism while following the artist around and showcases her artistic talents also maintaining a respectable work-life balance.


These dramas capture a bit of the prime essence that is known to fan culture while also being realistic. However, they are only the tip of the iceberg as over the years the fame of these artists has prompted activities bigger than promotional events.


Coffee or food truck support:

This has become a norm for most K-pop idols shooting their music videos or for the ones that turn to acting alongside singing. Fans extend their support in the form of providing food to the cast and crew on set, the cost for which is borne by the fanclub.


Charity events:

In order to celebrate special dates like birthdays, debut anniversaries and such, the fans donate to a particular cause in the name of the artist. The act of goodwill not only is benevolent but also helps in advertising.



Be it for album purchase or for photocard collections, from the outfit worn by a K-pop star to the beverage they drink or the book they read, the fans sell out all these things, further increasing the brand value of the artists.


It is a wonder how all these “teenage girls”, as naysayers address them, do the seemingly impossible with sheer will and togetherness. 


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