UK’s Kpop Festival 2020
Famous youtuber Gotoe and K-pop fans from all around UK came to attend the super K-pop weekend which took place on 29th of February.
Many other famous guests like Oli London, Korean rapper Santo, youtuber and K-pop dancer, Lexie Marie and the first K-pop girl group in the Uk, Kaachi were part of the event too. During the event, there were various different activities like the K-pop raffles & quizzes, K talent (Solo dance/ vocal/ group dance), K-pop fair which included stalls from different sponsors, Korean food and the random play dance with Gotoe.
The main highlight of this event was the K-pop random play, the concept of the K-pop random play is that chorus of any K-pop song will be played and whoever knows the dance will get to the centre to perform. The youtuber has done these K-pop random play challenge in many countries with diversity of different K-pop fans. The fun part of this concept was that the youtuber Gotoe joins in to dance amongst fans which makes it exciting for the audience as they get to see him dance live or dance alongside with him.
The purpose of this event to bring K-pop fans together and a festival to appreciate the Korean music and culture. This event is held annually and every year they meet different more friends coming across about the K-pop festival. There were all kind of stalls around the hall, where K-pop and K-beauty shops from around London came to promote their store and sell K-pop merchandise and k beauty goods to the fans. The event organiser, Korean boy woogie also provided Korean food and beverages for the fans and the guest.
During this event, I met Mary, 21 who was visiting London for a few months and came across this festival. “The event is quite nice, and I can’t believe how talented these people are”. Mary is from Russia and her friend gifted her the tickets to the festival as she visiting here for couple of weeks. “It’s amazing to be here, even though I was nervous as I didn’t think I’ll be to make a conversation, but everyone is very nice here.”
The K talent show was the second highlight of this event as K-pop fans who participated in this event made the overall experience quite nice. There were group and solo performances who showed of their talent through singing and dancing.
The girl group Kaachi is a group of four girls, Nicole , Chunseo , Dani , Miso also performed in front of the fans and promoted their new song “Your Turn” during the event. During a phone interview, Chunseo said “It was an honour to perform in front such a big audience and I hope our fans appreciate our hard work in the future too”. Miso also said that “we didn’t expect the amount of support we got after our performance” Nicole added “the people loved it”
Before the talent show started, there was a meet and greet for Oli London who is famous for having plastic surgery done to look like the K-pop idol Park Jimin, the korean rapper Santo and the youtuber famous for his K-pop dances Gotoe. The singer Oli London also performed with the other guests and shared his new song “mirror mirror” to the K-pop fans.
The Korean rapper Santo also performed his composed song and the crowd went wild with every beat. His enthusiasm and rhythm of his songs really made the hall into a K-pop concert. Amelia said “omg it was like I was in a concert myself, too much hype with performance but I loved it”
There were so many dedicated, smart and friendly people who were also helping out at the event. They guided the fans around the area, helped out in taking pictures with the guests and made sure of health and safety during the random play. Amelia, 17 is from Italy who travelled to London for this event and she said “I’m having so much and Gotoe is such a good dancer. I’m happy that I got the tickets to this festival.”
The K-pop stalls had many music albums and poster of the groups like BTS, EXO, Blackpink, Twice and many more. Some stalls also were selling keychains, wrist bands, stickers and some stationary of those merchandise. They also included merch of BT21 which was made by the BTS members, BT21 are 8 animated characters and which represents different member is a unique way. The K-pop stall had bt21 merchandise like pillow, plushies, posters, socks and keychains. Amelia added “I bought so much today; my bank account is crying”
In the talent show, there were K-pop fans who participated in as group or solo. They would dance or sing or do both. The talent show was the big K-pop competition and it played a big role on the event overall as many people including the guests were cheering and enjoying the performances of the participants throughout.
Sammy Miller, the owner of K-pop store in London and one of the sponsors of the event mentioned that “this is one of the greatest event I’ve been to and I just the dedication the fans and that’s one of the reason why I opened up store” Sammy Miller has a tiny shop in Shoreditch, London where every day he comes across many different fans and people who generally enjoy the music.
Korean boy woogie also known as Kim said that it was proud moment to see so many K-pop fans on this event and he hopes to do more in the future and help the K-pop fan community to grow and let people be aware that K-pop fans aren’t just crazy 13 years old fan but it has diversity in age, gender and culture. BTS was one of the first groups to come into UK and they paved a path for other K-pop groups to do a concert in London and around Europe.
The day ended well with my Random Play and a short meet and greet with all the guests. Hopefully there will be more of these kpop events for fans, it is on way of meeting new people, buying awesome kpop merchandises, performing and enjoying together and appreciating the love for kpop and the korean culture. The kpop fan community every year organises many event prior to a kpop idol’s birthday or kpop group fandom meeting. Places like Gaza Cafe, Sokollab, Nature republic and the kpop kshop usually are the ones hosting these events and letting more kpop fans know about the events.