Title pretty much says it. For a period of about 2 years I used to plan, organize an execute k-pop concerts in my country.
I'm not going to be specific here since I don't know actually how much I'm allowed to say, but I helped in around 10-20 concerts in my time.
Working in the industry is fun at first, but ngl it gets really really tiring and I'm so glad I have since quit, so I just wanted to share some funny/crazy/weird anecdotes for you guys to enjoy (or cringe at, the choice is yours)
[DISCLAIMER: I'm just one person of many in the industry, and my experiences do not reflect the industry as a whole. I may talk about particular staff/idols without mentioning names, but again this does not reflect the industry as a whole]:
1. When idols wipe their faces with towels and throw them to the crowd, it actually kills us a little bit on the inside. There have been numerous times I would be with the manager on the side stage watching the fans go crazy as the idols wipe the towels, and I would hear the manager on the side praying to him/herself to not have the idols throw the towel, and when they throw them out to the audience, would curse in Korean. It's a small thing, but just because we are required to follow a strict list given to us by the idol companies which includes exactly how many towels there are supposed to be on the stage, combined with the fact that we might be travelling to the next city that night, it leaves very little time for us to fill replacements. Often at the end of tour legs we may end up having garbage bags full of towels just because we bought that many in advance in the event of the idols throwing them out to the crowd, or we may end up with none at all. It just depends on the idol group and their tendencies
2. Attitudes - Idols in general, ESPECIALLY the younger idols, are quite nice, but the ones who have attitude have SERIOUS attitude. I've worked with groups where within the bands there would be some of the most angelic and wonderful members, yet also manage to have members that have a serious prince/princess syndrome. I've had idols (namely, English speaking idols), come up to me and try and make conversation but be pulled back because of their managers, and I do still keep in touch with some idols (mainly through Katalk). Also, it's pretty easy to spot the groups that have member discord, and so when members of groups leave their groups, it usually is pretty well known and not a surprise to those who have been in the industry.
3. Staff - I seriously feel bad for some of the staff sometimes. Korea has a very hierarchical system in their work, and so often I would see stylists come rushing in with masks covering their mouths and eye bags yet have to go straight into work, compared to the idols that would come in and go straight to sleep, or the managers and more top people in their party who would be telling us what to do. Also, managers of idol groups can be pretty sleazy and the industry itself seems pretty dirty. I've had countless managers hit on me, especially during after parties when everyone is drunk, and had some ask me specifically to sit on their lap, give them a kiss/hug etc. Makes for very awkward experiences lol.
4. Smoking - Sorry to break it to you guys, but NEARLY all idol groups smoke. Not saying all of them do, and not saying all the members in one group do, but a lot do. The most common areas to smoke are the bathrooms of their waiting rooms (when you clean out the waiting rooms after and you open the bathrooms it tends to smell like crap lol) and their hotel rooms. The amount of times the fire department has been called and we've been fined is unbelievable. A lot of idols vape though, which is a lot (?) safer (but still gets caught through the fire alarms which still leads to fines). And I will admit, working around people who constantly smoke ended up influencing me to smoke during concerts as well (kids, its not worth it trust me)
5. Sasaengs - Sasaengs are VERY VERY real and VERY VERY annoying. I've seen idols, particularly underage ones, actually scared for their life because of sasaengs, and feel as though they need to move everywhere carefully in order to travel which makes me sad since they would be so young. I've seen fans parked outside hotels and on actual planes (how do they even get there?) that we've been on, and I've had a few encounters that honestly make me feel like I'm in a zombie apocalypse movie. I was in the car with an idol group member once and when a fan literally THREW herself on the top of the windscreen, had that member remark to me that he wouldn't be able to sleep for a while, and that he was questioning why people do these things. So for anyone who thinks its fun to become a sasaeng, or do something as 'tame' as to follow them around while they are in your city or try and find out where they are, I would seriously advise you to reconsider. Literally no one likes them.
6. Fangifts - Idols tend to keep fangifts, but the younger ones are the ones that really treasure and read through each fangift, and the older ones are the ones who tend to neglect the letter and only take the (expensive) gifts. Theres a reason some concerts don't allow fangifts, mainly because they are such a nuisance to transport but also because a lot will get thrown out (its not that they don't care, its that they just don't have the space for it at that point) and we need to figure out a way to do it nicely. If you ever want to send a fangift to an idol your best bet is to actually send it to the company.
IDK if this was too much, too harsh or too revealing, but I did overall have a fun time working. If people want, I guess I could do a followup? But i'm not planning to at this stage.