Is it a waste of money to invite Kpop idols to university festivals?

Many Korean netizens believe that the gigantic amount of money spent to invite Kpop idols to universities is a complete waste. 

After two years of social distancing due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Kpop industry is finally resuming as normal, with huge audiences at weekly music stages, large events, and concerts with hundreds of thousands of fans. 

In addition, music festivals at Korean universities have also returned, with huge stars hitting the stage like PSY, aespa, Red Velvet, IVE, (G)-IDLE, Jessi, HyunA, and so on. 

psy university festival
PSY attracted a huge crowd at the music festival of Sungkyunkwan University 
The male artist turned Sungkyunkwan into his concert with a lit performance of “That That”
aespa is also a popular name at university festivals
The group’s performance at Hanyang University drew a lot of attention

With countless Kpop stars, university festivals seem to be just as heated as full-fledged concerts or award ceremonies. However, to get idols to perform, schools need to doll out shocking appearance fees, drawing mixed reactions from Korean netizens.

aespa became embroiled in controversies after their appearance fee was revealed to be 3 times higher than PSY

In particular, insiders shared that it costs universities an average of 30-40 million won to invite Kpop idols. For example, Busan National University paid 27.5 million won for WINNER and 13.5 million won for Gummy, while Chonbuk National University paid 18.7 million won for Paul Kim.

It costed Busan National University 27.5 million won to invite famous boy group WINNER

The revelation immediately became a hot topic in Korea, with various netizens expressing that spending such huge amounts of money is a complete waste. As the focus of universities is the academics, many believed that schools should save those money to fund scholarships for students instead.

Below are some comments from netizens:

  • Is it that necessary to invite celebrities? 
  • Can’t the schools save those funds and provide scholarships instead?
  • School festivals are supposed to be about the students, not the idols, what a waste 
  • If you want to see idols, then buy tickets to their concerts. Universities should cater to poor students and give them scholarships with that money
  • What kind of sky-high fee is that? Fix the facilities, improve the buildings, so many other things the universities can do instead…
  • Inviting idols brings no value to the students, shouldn’t the school think for their students first?
  • These expensive university festival needs to be canceled
  • For those who defend inviting idols, are you guys seriously fine with your tuition being spent on some minutes of screaming?
  • I’m speechless at those figures… the universities could have done so many other meaningful things
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