Is K-pop the solution to everything? Apparently, it is.
A World Scout Jamboree scarred by poor management and even more unhelpful weather was salvaged by a surprisingly successful finale concert held at the Seoul World Cup Stadium to close the event on Friday night.
The “K-pop Super Live” concert began at 7 p.m. after the closing ceremony for the 25th World Scout Jamboree in western Seoul, the 12-day global scouts’ event that had come under fire for its disappointing execution and hasty attempt to make up for the whole fiasco with the reputation of K-pop artists.
The lineup of 20 K-pop acts took the stage at the “K-pop Super Live” concert included IVE, NewJeans, NCT Dream, ITZY, Mamamoo, The Boyz, Shownu & Hyungwon, fromis_9, ZeroBaseOne, P1Harmony, KARD, The New Six, ATBO, xikers, Holybang, Libelante and Fortena, as well as singers Kang Daniel, Kwon Eun-bi and Jo Yuri.
Fortena, a cross-over quartet, was added at the last minute. The concert was hosted by actor Gong Myoung, ITZY’s Yuna and NewJeans’s Hyein.
Industry insiders and fans alike were kept on their toes until the last minute lest the concert, which had less than a week to be planned and produced, go awry and end up in an accident involving either the artists or participating scouts.
Not only did nothing go wrong, everything fell perfectly into place — a well-organized production, flawless performances by artists, no technical glitches and even cooler weather after the storm passed.
The concert with 20 different acts came together in just five days from scratch. The venue was decided on Tuesday, and the final lineup came on Thursday, but that apparently was enough.
“The scouts’ passion seems just as great as the passion of the artists,” Hyein, host of the concert, said to an excited crowd as they filled the stadium with a thundering roar each time a new team stepped onto the stage.
The concert mostly took the form of a televised music program where each act only performed one or two songs and quickly exited the stage to welcome the next artist onto the stage, as opposed to festivals or concerts where artists perform multiple songs. The artists gave not much more than a few greeting remarks, but that was enough to bring the scouts to a state of sheer joy and frenzy.
Fireworks and water canons were shot into the air in between the sessions to add an energetic touch to the performances, while audiences kept their light sticks on throughout the show to light up the stadium like a milky way in the night sky.
Some of the most popular songs in K-pop were performed, including NewJeans’s “Hype Boy” (2022), IVE’s “Love Dive” (2022) and Mamamoo’s “Hip” (2019), as well as the newest tracks from up-and-coming boy bands such as The Boyz’s “Lip Gloss,” P1Harmony’s “Jump” and ZeroBaseOne’s “New Kids on the Block.”
The night ended with all participating artists joining the stage to sing “Balloons” (1986), a Korean pop song remade by dozens of K-pop artists, including TVXQ, in 2006.
“It’s so exciting to be a part of this dream-like experience,” Yuna said.
A total of 43,000 seats were prepared — 37,000 regular seats and 6,000 seats on the ground near the stage. The seating arrangement was made taking into account their transportation routes.
Attendees were given a gift bag prepared by the Culture Ministry, HYBE and Kakao Entertainment, containing light sticks, Kakao Friends merchandise and BTS photocards. A packaged dinner was served to attendants during the break between the closing ceremony and the concert, consisting of snacks, beef jerky, croissants and an energy bar.
Fireworks took place after the concert ends to provide entertainment for scouts as they exit the stadium at different times for traffic. Scouts who have been accommodated in nearby Seoul areas will took the subway.
BY YOON SO-YEON [email@example.com]