For many fans in Singapore, crossing the Causeway to attend concerts or fan meetings in Malaysia is not an uncommon thing to do.
But for some Singaporeans who attended K-pop boyband Wanna One’s recent fan meeting in Malaysia last Friday (19 January), the experience was not something that they ever want to repeat again.
According to Malaysian media reports, some fans in the 5,000-strong crowd at the Stadium Negara fainted because of the overcrowded environment, while others were injured because of the pushing which occurred in the first 10 minutes of the band’s performance.
The Wanna One members even had to be sent backstage while security and paramedics provided aid, resulting in a 110-minute delay and a threat from the police to call off the event if the fans did not cooperate.
Marketing manager Sally, a frequent concert-goer who flew to Malaysia to watch Wanna One perform, described the event as “an experience like no other”.
“Getting pushed in concert mosh pits is inevitable, but this event at Stadium Negara really got me worried for my life,” the 26-year-old told Yahoo Lifestyle Singapore.
“The two mosh pits in front were filled to the brim with people, and while the boyband performed the first two songs, everyone started pushing to get nearer to the stage. All I could see were security guards and medics continuously pulling people out of the pits. Many of those who were pulled out were hyperventilating,” she recounted.
Another Singaporean fan who flew to Malaysia, who only wanted to be known as Miss L, likened the pushing in the pits to a tsunami wave, where everyone was pushed in all directions and could not even stand still for one moment.
She said that her shirt was ripped slightly at the back, but admitted that she could’ve also ripped someone else’s shirt because “everyone was trying to grab on to anything in order not to fall and get trampled”.
According to 26-year-old M, who also witnessed the situation the fan meeting, all she could hear around her was “don’t push”.
“And I was still just being pushed around. I wasn’t even able to move or stand still on my own for a while, I was literally swept off my feet in the crowd,” M said.
“My friend in the other standing pit fell flat on the ground and people stepped on her feet to get a better look at the stage. But thankfully security pulled her out in time before she was seriously injured,” she added.
A video of the situation in one of the two standing pits was uploaded on YouTube:
Melt, a 28-year-old professional in the education industry, said that two Wanna One members took the initiative to pause the show after seeing too many people getting hurt. However, according to her, even after the boyband left the stage and the show was halted for more than an hour, the pushing did not stop.
“A young girl about 11 to 13 years old came crying to me after we left the pit, saying that she lost her older sister. I felt helpless and frustrated that fans at her age had to experience such a traumatic incident,” she told Yahoo Lifestyle Singapore.
Having attended numerous K-pop events over the past 10 years, Melt said that this was by far her worst experience.
“This was my first time seeing the band but all I could remember were people screaming and crying. I have bruises on my legs and my bag was ripped, so not only was I traumatised and injured, but also beyond pissed. As much as I really like the band, I am seriously considering if it is worth putting my life at risk just to see these boys again,” she said.
After the fan meeting ended in Malaysia, concert organiser IME Asia posted an apology on their Facebook page.
Daniel, Jihoon, Daehwi, Jaehwan, Seongwoo, Woojin, Guanlin, Jisung, Minhyun, Jinyoung and Sungwoon eventually returned to the stage for the rest of the event.
The popular boyband visited Singapore in September, and continued their fan meeting tour in Indonesia on Monday (21 January).
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