Daily DripEntertainment

Chinese K-pop Fans Are Equal Parts Excited and Jealous Over Kpop.Flex


Monsta X, NCT Dream, Enhypen, Mamamoo, AB6IX, (G)I-dle, Dreamcatcher, and Ive — names any K-pop fan will recognize in a heartbeat — were among the featured artists at KPop.Flex at Deutsche Bank Park Stadium in Frankfurt, Germany on the weekend of May 14-15. Never before had Europe hosted a K-pop festival of this scale.

Sharing their support from afar, K-pop fans in China drove a hashtag for the festival to the top of the trending chart on the microblogging platform Weibo on May 16. At the time of writing, it had garnered more than 260 million views.

A clear favorite among Chinese netizens, Kai, a member of K-pop boy band Exo who struck out on his own in 2020, was the subject of much adulation.

“Kai is God,” reads one commenter’s hyperbole about the handsome artist and the festival’s only solo performer.

“People will fall in love with Kai a million times. He is the best,” wrote another netizen, proving that despite the Chinese government’s best efforts to water down idol worship, it remains a powerful temptation for some youth.

Many Chinese netizens were openly envious of those able to travel to Frankfurt for the festival. Residents of China are currently limited in their travel capabilities due to the nation’s zero-Covid policy.

“I have nothing else to say except I’m jealous,” sulked one commenter.

“America’s Coachella, Tokyo Dome, Germany’s KPop.Flex… My life is wasted,” lamented another netizen, listing several big-name concerts that Chinese citizens have missed out on.

On the bright side for K-pop fans in China, KPop.Flex will host a global livestream on May 29, enabling anyone from around the globe to join fan-exclusive group chats.

The festival is far from the first to include a virtual component, as more and more musicians explore metaverse performances — a phenomenon that Covid has helped to fuel.

Many are also setting their sights on next year’s edition of KPop.Flex, which will return to Frankfurt on June 17-18, 2023, and travel to London on September 22-24, 2023.

Cover image via Weibo

Hanna Ramirez
    Hanna is currently a grad student at the University of Southern California in their East Asian Area studied department. She is currently an editorial intern at RADII based in Los Angeles, California. She is passionate about Chinese culture and language, especially Chinese film and contemporary art. In her free time, you can find her exploring new restaurants in Los Angeles, shopping for makeup with her friends, or painting.

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