K-pop fans go to a whole other level to show their love and support for their favorite artist. They’d devote their time and effort even if they have full-time jobs!
An official fan club for a certain group is created by their entertainment. They’d also select a name for it, usually that’s related to the name of the group. Not only that, but they also have an official color for their fan club. The color even has to be specific. For example, the official color for fan club of Super Junior is blue. On the other hand, the official color of SHINee’s SHINee World fan club is pearl aqua. They sound the same, but they’re apparently different. You can see the pictures below of each fan club’s balloon.
The top one is a blue balloon and the bottom one is a pearl aqua balloon.
The club would also have rules and official gear, such as a raincoat, glow stick, and an official membership card. And every year, they’d open up a new term, allowing new fans to sign up for the club.
Being part of the club, the fans try to represent their artists well, such as sending donations to charities under the artist’s name. They’d even go to the extent of sending them gifts and food to support their artists. Some create certain services, even small businesses. An example of a service they’d make is one that teaches fans how to dance like how the K-pop artists do. Another service is publishing and translating lyrics and updating news on their artists. These are all ways they can help their artists be recognized. Jenny Kim, one of the co-founders of pop!gasa.com, uses a lot of her free time to translate song lyrics into English. Although she has a full time job, she’d download songs as soon as they’re released at midnight in Korea and translate them. Grace Lee, another co-founder of pop!gasas.com, has connections with certain entertainment agencies who give her lyrics to the songs. After she translates the lyrics, she asks fan clubs to spread them around online. Of course, pop!gasa has been recognized for her translations, even from Jin-young Park, founder of JYP Entertainment, for translating one of his songs. Pop!gasa also created apps so fans can access her translations from their phones.
Fans are not always these angelic. There are a group of fans who do hateful things to rival celebrities (or those who just hate them). They are called anti-fans (or just antis for short). They’d write hate mail or even write death threats in their own blood and send them to the artist. There was one case when an anti gave a drink to TVXQ’s Yunho that was filled with a poisonous substance (read more on allkpop).
Even with just the fans, they can start things like fan wars, where fans from different clubs would start “wars” online or even in person against each other. In 2008 Dream Concert, a member from Girls’ Generation fan club SONE was disrespectful to other clubs. As a way of boycotting, other fan clubs did not cheer for Girls’ Generation when it was their turn on stage. Image such silence at a performance.
All of these things happen in Korea, but what about in America? I will update a post about that soon.
Read more about K-pop fan clubs at WebCite and The Wall Street Journal. And to see a full list of fan club names, colors, and even their meanings on soompi.