In case you didn’t know, the South Korean government is under heavy fire for letting the 2023 World Scout Jamobree descend into what is arguably a national embarrassment. The infamous Fyre Festival seems like an apt comparison in this case.
Anyway, I didn’t want to cover that political mess because it sorta seemed unrelated to Korean entertainment even though there was a K-pop concert set to take place during it, but they’ve fucked it up so bad that now it basically necessitates it.
So basically, there’s a K-Pop Super Live concert that’s being put on for the World Scout Jamboree, which was initially set to take place on August 6 and outdoors, but was moved to August 11 indoors due to the heat wave, safety concerns, and the coming typhoon. They also announced their MCs for the event and a lineup of artists.
On August 9, the 2023 World Scout Jamboree Organizing Committee and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism officially announced that Gong Myung, ITZY’s Yuna, and NewJeans’ Hyein will be the new MCs for the event.
The new lineup includes NewJeans, NCT DREAM, ITZY, MAMAMOO, THE BOYZ, MONSTA X’s Shownu X Hyungwon, fromis_9, ZEROBASEONE, Kang Daniel, Kwon Eun Bi, Jo Yu Ri, P1Harmony, KARD, THE NEW SIX (TNX), ATBO, xikers, Libelante, and dance crew HolyBang.
Later, it was revealed that IVE would “voluntarily” show up as well to add to the star-studded lineup.
Although it was initially uncertain whether IVE will be participating at the concert due to the event being postponed, Minister Park Bo Gyoon of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism shared, “In order to keep their promise to appear at the concert [initially scheduled for August 6], IVE voluntarily adjusted their other scheduled activity.”
Some officials said, “Do we have the power to refuse a national event? Once there is a request for attendance, we have no choice but to match our schedules with it”.
Specifically they mentioned that they have tight schedules, but have now had to adjust everything.
Agency A’s representative complained, “We canceled our schedule to attend the event on the 6th but they suddenly changed it to the 11th, so we are currently adjusting the schedule again. Seems like the organizer really doesn’t understand idol schedules”.
Agency B’s staff added, “Our company and artists poured every effort for this album promotion but our plan has been ruined due to Jamboree’s date and location changes”. Agency C’s staff said, “If a schedule is canceled, we will have to bear complaints from fans and losses from rescheduling activities”.
“The cost of hair and makeup for idols is over ₩10.0 million KRW (about $7,620 USD). It’s a situation where we are unsure whether we can call our staff because there is no guarantee the event will take place.” – Agency D Official
After all, it’s the idol agency that suffers from a general mobilization order for the Jamboree. The Organizing Committee seems to be denying they’re forcing people to appear and downplaying the controversy claiming, “the production team of KBS ‘Music Bank’ was in charge of casting.”
An official from agency E revealed, “No one is thinking it’s just ‘Music Bank’ when they’re recruited to attend KBS ‘Music Bank. No one says I’d rather a concert instead of ‘Music Bank.’ It’s an event being held for our country so we’re risking everything if we don’t go out.”
Basically, the government is trying to use this K-pop concert to pave over the rest of the failures for the event. Perhaps most notably is Sung Il Jong from the ruling PPP calling on BTS members Jin and J-Hope to perform.
We at the People Power Party have said that BTS members who are serving in the military should perform. Are you making the preparations?
The politician had earlier written in a Facebook post, “I am asking the Ministry Of Defense to allow BTS to raise the prestige of the nation at the 25th World Scout Jamboree.”
That obviously didn’t come to fruition, but earned them even more backlash, though HYBE did agree to scramble BTS merch for the event instead.
HYBE will provide BTS goods and photocards for the event at the request of Jamboree organizer. It is said that 45,000 units of merchandise are being prepared urgently.
Uh … so yeah, it’s a mess and more messy than your typical K-pop mess because politicians and government and national reputation is on the line. And I do think it’s made plain how many in power see K-pop, which is a projection of soft power and another tool for them to use at their whims.
There’s also already questions about violation of safety regulations as they rush to setup this concert after the move, and due to the typhoon all the artists aren’t going to even be able to rehearse prior. Hopefully nothing terrible happens, but it just seems like one of those things where if somebody does get hurt, people will be like, “How did nobody see this coming?”
And remember, this is just the entertainment-related messes regarding this event, there’s a lot more mess going on with regards to the event. At this point you just hope everybody comes out of it safely.