When teen fans ‘behave like animals’ at K-pop concert

Singapore Showbiz

Ugly, violent fan behaviour at concerts. (Photo courtesy of Sim Xuan Wei)

Kicked, elbowed, pushed, scratched in the face and tufts of hair clawed out.

Certainly not what you'd expect from a concert but this is exactly what two fans at last weekend's Big Bang concert got for their money's worth.

20-year-old students, Wendy Wong and Sim Xuan Wei, were first-hand victims of extreme violent fan behaviour during the full-house show at the Indoor Stadium.

Having paid S$231 each for the mosh-pit where fans can get up close to the stage and band members, they said they expected some pushing and shoving, but never in their life were they prepared for what happened.

When one of the band members, G-Dragon, threw his black jacket in their direction at the mosh pit, about 20-30 fans launched themselves towards the jacket to grab it for themselves.

"The jacket flew towards me and I was covered by it. The next thing I knew, I got pushed onto the floor as the group of fans around me fell," Sim said.

"For a while, I lost sense of what was happening and grew breathless, and I could only see legs around me," she added.

About five people were grabbing onto G-Dragon's jacket and one teenage fan even squatted on the floor with two hands pulling the jacket with all her weight, Sim recounted.

"She had a broken Big Bang light stick with sharp edges in one hand and she accidentally scratched my face with it when she pulled the jacket toward her," Sim said.

"When I told her she scratched my face, she just smiled at me and didn't hesitate to do it again, waving her broken light stick around without thinking how dangerous it was," she added.

When Wong tried to pull Sim off the ground and out of the chaos, she was attacked by other fans  in the tug-of-war over the jacket. She described them as mostly young and in their teens.

"There was a tall guy in his 20s standing behind us and he just grabbed my hair and didn't let go. (I think) he thought that I wanted the jacket but I was just trying to get my friend up," Wong said.

In the end, two slightly older fans dressed in working attire helped the duo out of the desperate situation.

"When I went home that night, I had bruises all over my body and a bunch of my hair fell out because of all the hair pulling", said Wong of the harrowing experience.

The pandemonium lasted about 10 minutes and the two students described the fans to be completely irrational and behaving "like animals".

Both girls also said none of the security crew near the stage came to their or other fans' help.

The experience has left Wong and Sim, both ardent K-pop fans who also like 2NE1, with a bitter taste.

"I paid for the mosh pit tickets to enjoy the music and the atmosphere but ended up being attacked by other fans. It's so not worth it," Wong said.

Yahoo! Singapore did a search on Twitter on "GD jacket" and found fans who attended the concert had tweeted about the experience.

A fan tweets about her experience obtaining GD's jacket sleeve. (Yahoo! photo)

This Twitter user was also hurt when the idol threw his jacket at the crowd. (Twitter screenshot)

Another K-pop fan Esther Shen, who was in the same mosh pit, also experienced violent fan behaviour of her own and was elbowed in the face repeatedly.

"While I can understand their excitement, I'm shocked (that) fans actually get violent towards each other. I got elbowed in the face," Shen said.

She said it happened every time a Big Bang member performed a "fan service" -- such as giving eye contact or throwing items from the stage such as  towels, t-shirts, jackets and even sunglasses -- triggering a human tsunami as waves of bodies pressed forward to grab the items.


(Seungri throwing a towel at fans on the first night of the concert in Singapore.)

Ugly fan behaviour is not unique to just K-pop concerts. They happen everywhere, in all kinds of concerts.

Earlier this year, Norwegian police nearly declared a state of emergency when teenage heartthrob Justin Bieber performed at Norway.

14 girls had to be taken away for emergency care when the stampede happened. Similarly, a stampede at Germany's Love Parade 2010 left 19 people crushed to death and 342 injured.