Dispatch has revealed that even though BTS is unable to appear at the 2023 World Scout Jamboree K-Pop Concert, HYBE ended up sending BTS photo cards to distribute to attendees and other K-Pop agencies are pissed off at the proceedings.
In an exclusive multi-part report from Dispatch, the media outlet first reported how even though BTS was unable to attend the concert to perform, with not even a single member having their schedule available, HYBE was able to get BTS involved in the concert in some capacity. HYBE will reportedly be sending the organizers of the concert roughly 45,000 BTS photo cards for distribution to the attendees.
The organizers’ plan is to use the concert as a compensation plan to make their final appeals to the scouts who travelled to Korea. Ideally, they would try to turn the nightmare that was the World Scout Jamboree into a positive memory of K-Pop.
Dispatch then asked several entertainment agencies who wished to remain anonymous about their artists attending the Jamboree concert and the progression of the events leading up to, and including the postponement of the concert.
Do we even have the power to refuse events put on by the government? If they ask us to attend, we have no choice but to match the schedule.
— Unidentified agency official
Idols are very busy people, who cannot simply be casted just a day or two in advance. Many popular idols carry out multiple schedules per day. This makes it very difficult to remove pre-scheduled events in favor of others, as their schedules are already optimized to ensure constant promotion around their promotional periods, with schedules such as fan signings, performances, fan meetings, interviews, content filming, and others.
The World Scout Jamboree committee only cared about their personal goals though, not taking into account any of the agencies’ circumstances. This started with the changing of the concert venue two different times and causing all performers to be on emergency standby.
We cancelled out schedules on August 6 so we could attend the concert. Then the concert date suddenly changed to August 11. We are rescheduling our Friday schedules now. I don’t think they understand idol schedules.
— Agency A official
The company works hard to produce an album. The singers pour their hearts into the album during that time. If the date of the concert and the venue changes two times, plans will inevitably get mixed up all over the place.
It’s nice that K-Pop performances will be able to bring comfort to the scouts who suffered. However, it is regrettable that there is no understanding or consideration to the artists themselves.
— Agency B official
When a schedule is cancelled, both the fans and the other parties involved complain. If we rented a venue or something, we have to rent it again. That doubles the costs. The company must then settle all of the complaints and bear the weight of the monetary damages.
— Agency C official
The cost of hair and makeup for idols is over ₩10.0 million KRW (about $7,620 USD). It’s a situation where we are unsure whether we can call our staff because there is no guarantee the event will take place.
— Agency D official
The organizing committee for the Jamboree concert has tried to deflect responsiblity, saying that the Music Bank production team was in charge of casting the artists for the concert. But another agency official quickly refuted that claim.
No one will think this is Music Bank just because Music Bank’s team is casting the artists. You can’t just say it’s a concert and not Music Bank, and artists will appear. It’s an event that is held for the country, so everyone must deal with it.
— Agency E official
The confirmed artists for the Jamboree (including IVE, who were belatedly added to the lineup) will be gathering starting from the morning of August 11 to conduct rehearsals and check the order of performances.
Some people compared this event to the celebratory concert following the 2002 World Cup, where South Korea’s team advanced to the semi-finals. However, what made that different was that the artists volunteered to participate in that concert. This concert is more for the Jamboree organizing committee to save face.