Debunking Myths: K-Pop Fandom is Cheap

As K-Pop fans, we have heard several stereotypes about us and K-pop in its entirety. This is why KStreetManila introduces a new series to break these misconceptions and show that we’re more than the annyeong’s, the saranghae’s, and the 24/7 fangirling and fanboying.

MYTH: KPOP FANDOM IS CHEAP

At one point in our fan life, we may have heard people say that K-pop is jologs, cheap, or corny. Well, we can pretty much ignore the jologs and corny remarks for obvious reasons but cheap? Really, did they say cheap?

The truth is, there is no cheap fandom. And by cheap we mean always affordable and inexpensive. Unless you’re just a casual fan who’s 100% satisfied to listening to Korean music, everything is expensive, especially since all the good stuff comes from South Korea. So what makes this fandom not cheap? Let us count the reasons because definitely, there are a lot.

First of all, the albums!

Who doesn’t want to buy albums of our favorite idols? If purchased directly from South Korea, an album costs around Php600-800 depending if it’s a mini-album or a full-length studio album. Because not all of us can go to South Korea, there are online shops that cater to our fangirling and fanboying needs. The prices are, however, a bit higher. Shipping and customs fee, anyone?

But we don’t simply buy one album a year. We have a repackaged version, then if our faves promote in Japan, then we get the Japanese version, and at times, if they promote in China or Taiwan, we get the Chinese version, too! Both are a bit more expensive than the Korean albums. Speaking of Korean albums, we also get multiple versions of a single album, too. Super Junior’s “Mamacita” album had two versions: A and B. Their “Mr. Simple” album and Japanese single “Opera” had individual covers. EXO usually release two versions, Korean and Chinese but when they released “EXODUS” and “Sing For You” we got individual covers as well!

Super Junior’s 3rd Japanese single “Opera” with Siwon and Leeteuk covers.

Local music companies used to release Philippine edition of K-Pop albums, which is significantly cheaper than the Korean version and are readily available in local music stores. Unfortunately, they stopped releasing them. In this photo is the PH edition of Super Junior’s 3rd album which costs just Php300.00.

The Philippine version of Super Junior’s 3rd studio album “Sorry Sorry”

MERCH, MERCH, and MORE MERCH.

Some fans show their love for their idols by buying merchandise (be it official or fan-made). These include photobooks, magazines, concert DVDs, dolls, even blankets and food. Some are affordable, some are so expensive that they make wallets cry.  These are not must-haves so don’t worry if you don’t own any of them.

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Concerts and fanmeetings…

Every fan wants to meet and possibly interact with their bias groups.  Concerts and fan meetings are the best opportunity for that. Sadly, tickets do not come cheap (though they are relatively cheaper compared to concert tickets of Western acts like Madonna’s whopping Php50,000 VIP ticket and Coldplay’s VIP ticket worth Php22,000). A general admission ticket costs around Php1000-2000 and the most expensive and closest to the stage costs Php12,000-15,000. Majority of K-Pop fans are students so it’s not easy to shell out such huge amounts just to see our idols.

This article best explains why concert tickets are expensive. It applies not just to Western acts’ concerts but also of K-pop groups as well.

 

…which always happen in Manila.

GOT7 got a Cebu stop which was really so rare of an occasion but for almost every K-Pop concert and fanmeeting, they happen in Manila. And the venue? Either at SM Mall of Asia Arena or at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. For a fan who lives far from these venues, not only you have to save up for that precious concert ticket but also for transportation and accommodation. You’re lucky if you have supportive parents or helpful friends who will help lessen your expenses. But fret not, because we have tips to help you save up for that big day!

“MY IDOLS’ CONCERT TOUR DOES NOT HAVE A PH STOP!”

It was only recently that Philippines has become a frequent stopover for concert tours. Sadly, not all K-Pop tours have our country in the list. For some fans, flying to South Korea or to a neighboring country is the only option.  The concert tickets may be relatively cheaper in Korea but there are also pocket money, airplane tickets, and the accommodation to consider. Before planning to fly ahead, think for a thousand, or even a million, times if you really can afford to do so. Check out this article for a bit of tips!

Fan Events

With the huge popularity of K-Pop in our country, various K-Pop events have been organized by fans for fans. Some events offer free entrance while some require paying a small entrance fee, especially for huge events like the Philippine K-Pop Convention. In these events, you can usually find booths selling merchandise and albums. Going to a fan event is enjoyable so why not consider going to one and meet a fellow fan or two.

So, who said K-Pop is cheap? With the amount of money we have to spend, it’s not really as cheap as what other people think. However, spending too much for a hobby can be a bad thing too so don’t forget to set aside some of that hard-earned money for the future. After all, owning all the albums and merchandise in the world and watching all the concert stops won’t make you a better fan or even make your bias notice you. Loving and supporting them is more than enough.


Written by Irish Valdez

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