At the ‘KCON’ event held in Los Angeles, USA, where singer Rain performed, it has been reported that he received a ‘boycott’ from local fans.
From the 18th to the 20th of this month (local time), ‘KCON LA 2023’ took place in Los Angeles, USA. The main stage of this ‘KCON’ event, held at the Cryptocom Arena, which can accommodate around 20,000 spectators, sparkled with the enthusiastic cheers and light of cheering sticks from fans that filled the venue, showcasing the popularity and status of K-pop artists.
Representative global artists from K-pop in South Korea, including groups like AB6IX, ONEUS, ITZY, KEPLER, ATEEZ, CRAVITY, Stray Kids, and Taemin, participated in this main show of ‘KCON.’ Fans demonstrated their love and interest in K-pop through fervent cheers and support for each performance.
Amidst praise for showcasing the popularity and status of K-pop artists through ‘KCON,’ the issue of Rain’s local fan reaction spread through online communities in South Korea.
While some seats turned off their cheering sticks during Rain’s performance, others remained silent without any response to the stage. Some online users added strength to the theory of a ‘silent boycott,’ reacting with comments like “Turning off the cheering sticks means boycotting” and “They turned off the cheering sticks only for Rain and didn’t respond at all.”
However, upon checking actual footage of Rain’s stage performance, the aspect of ‘silence’ differed quite significantly from what was being spread online.
Audiences at the venue showed responses of support during Rain’s performance and even sang along to ‘Rainism.’ While there were posts circulating online encouraging fans not to send reactions during Rain’s performance, the atmosphere at the venue wasn’t as ‘negative’ as suggested by the online community.
Regarding the matter of the cheering sticks, they weren’t completely turned off in all sections. Although there were indeed posts among international fans suggesting to turn off the cheering sticks while still responding to the stage, at the venue, many spectators brightly lit their cheering sticks while supporting Rain and singing along to his songs.
So, why was the ‘boycott theory’ surrounding Rain raised in the first place?
Some fans speculated that this was due to the recent situation with Rain’s produced group Cipher coming close to disbandment.
Especially since Ciipher, which included KAITA, who gained attention through Mnet’s ‘Boys Planet,’ had garnered significant attention overseas, and KAITA, associated with Ciipher, was receiving much love as well. Footage from the event showed an overseas fan holding a picket with the message ‘We want Cipher,’ while watching Rain’s performance.
With the situation of Ciipher, which Rain had a hand in producing, coming close to disbandment, there were also voices criticizing his appearance on the ‘KCON’ stage as being ‘irresponsible.’
Of course, Rain’s agency, Rain Company, had explained the departure of Cipher members as a decision made after a long period of mutual respect and thorough discussions, taking into consideration the personal reasons and opinions of the members. However, both domestically and internationally, many fans continued to criticize Rain, emphasizing that he hadn’t taken full responsibility for Cipher’s situation.