How a fan spends money for their idols in South Korea

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Photo by Gowoon Lee

SEOUL — The industry of fandom in South Korea is growing at a rapid speed. In order to support the singer, actor, comedian, and idol groups that they like, fans spend various amount of money.

The amount and the usage of money for supporting the singer, actor, comedian, and idol group have changed as time passed by.

In the 1990s, several idol groups came out to the entertainment field. They attracted fans with their features, singing and dancing abilities, and bright personalities. Some of the idol groups that appeared in this era were H.O.T, Sechskies, and Shinhwa.

In order to support those groups, fans spent money to buy their albums, go to their concerts, and to actually see them in front of their houses and their companies.

However, the average price of concerts was less than that of now. For example, in order to go to the concert of H.O.T, fans paid 30,000 won in 1999. The average price of concerts was around 40,000 won, not over 50,000 won.

Their albums were also in tapes, not like CDs that are being sold now.

Time has passed and the price and the amount and the usage of money have increased a lot.

Yelin Lee is a fan of a Korean boy band called Astro. Last month, she paid 100,000 won and went to Astro’s concert. As she does not live in Seoul, the city where the concert was being held, Lee had to spend an extra amount of money, including the transportation and food fee.

“Although I have not experienced the fan life when it was 1990s, I heard a lot from my cousins that concerts and albums were much cheaper and that there were not many goods, the things that the companies produce and sell to the fans regarding the idol groups,” said Lee.

Before watching the concert, Lee bought the light stick, slogan that are sold by the company of Astro.

In addition to the official goods that are sold by the company, Lee bought some stickers and postcards that are being sold and being distributed for free by other fans.

“I have spent an overall amount of 80,000 won for goods. Although it was quite expensive, I am happy that I am supporting Astro in my own ways! I do have to keep on working for my part time job in order to keep my budget though,” Lee said.

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