K-Pop Fandom Culture in a Nutshell

by Larissa Tsui

Many of us have favourite singers and artists we like and support, right? It's ordinary to like an artist and listen to their music and watch their music videos. This may not be the exact case for K-Pop fans, though. Some K-Pop fans take supporting their favourite artists to another level compared to Western fandom culture. K-Pop fandoms will go above and beyond in their own ways for their favourite idols and vice versa, idols will go above and beyond for their fans too. 


K-Pop fandoms are not just people who have a favourite group or singer. Fans of a specific group or singer have their own fandom names, colours, and lightsticks that are specific to the fandom and group they like. These are shown when individuals express what fandom they are part of or when people are referred to as a group with a common favourite group 🙋‍♀️You can check out our TMI on lights sticks to find out more about them. You might be surprised at how big of a part they play in K-fandom! 


K-fandoms can be immensely passionate about their favourite groups, and some even dedicate their lives to them ❤️‍🔥 Unlike, just spending free time listening and watching their favourite idols like most of us, true k-pop fans are on a different level. Dedicated fans will spend all their earnings to collect every album and merch. They will even bulk buy albums during comebacks to meet their favourite groups at fansigns. Wonder what fans do after they bulk buy albums to enter raffles and see their idols in real life? Many actually leave the albums in public for people to take for free!  😳 Although it may seem like a waste, think of this way - fans are more likely to get into fansigns, and it also acts as a promotion for their favourite idols. 


A reason why Korean Hallyu is so massive now is undoubtedly thanks to fans' promotion of their favourite groups. One example of how fans increase their favourite idol's popularity is by holding mass-streaming and mass-voting activities. This increases the idol's popularity and ranking on the charts. When idols have comebacks, fans will mass stream and vote for them on music platforms and award shows to up their rankings. This is actually what gives idols their wins and trophies! Another example is mass-trending events for their idols. It is common for fans to create tags to trend on occasions such as an idol's birthday (like trending #HappyJiminDay on Twitter). If you've been to Korea, it is likely that you've seen posters and billboards in the subway celebrating an idol's birthday too. This is another way fans show their support and promote their favourite idols. One of the most impressive ones I've seen was when ARMY's banded together and spent millions to get billboards of BTS at New York Time Square celebrating BTS' anniversaries! 😱


It's impressive to see how far and passionate K-fandoms are willing to go for their favourite idols, which is surely not taken for granted by idols! Communication between fans and idols is one of the biggest components of the K-fandom culture. And this is one of the biggest ways idols express their thanks to their fans for all the love and support. Platforms like Weverse, where idols can stream or chat live with their fans, allow them to interact with their fans outside of their professional working environment. This creates connection with each other on a deeper and more personal level. Likewise, fansigns allow idols and fans to physically meet and interact with each other. 


K-Pop fandoms are not just fans admiring idols. It is a two-sided relationship between the fans and idols where idols' priorities are their fans too. Both parties are willing to do anything for the other 💞 Although idols are the celebrities that hold influence over a crowd, it is actually the idols that obey and listen to their fans and act on the fans' likes and dislikes. K-pop idols will sacrifice their wants and relationships because they do not want to upset their fans, who give them so much love and support.

As you can see, K-Pop groups and fandoms have their own culture where they showcase their unmatched love and support for each other. Some may see some of these behaviours as too much or extreme, but fans and idols enjoy doing these things and it’s their way of showing their love and support for one another ❤️

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