K-Pop Fans Debate Proper Light Stick Etiquette At Concerts

Which is more disrespectful?

One of the most striking characteristics of K-Pop concerts is the beautiful “oceans” of light created by light sticks, which fans bring to show their support for their idols.

These light sticks are custom-made for each group and intended to represent the fandom.

Since light sticks are intended for performances, fans will bring their light sticks or purchase them at the venue when they attend concerts to get the full concert experience. Unfortunately, light sticks can be expensive, especially when fans belong to multiple K-Pop fandoms, and some groups (typically new K-Pop groups) don’t have official light sticks. This can lead to K-Pop fans bringing other artists’ light sticks to concerts, receiving mixed reactions from netizens.

Netizens opposed to the idea of bringing another artist’s light stick to a concert suggest that it’s rude to “support” another artist at a concert.

And are pointing out that fans are not required to bring light sticks, and since only the performing artist’s light stick would sync with the concert venue, it doesn’t make sense to bring any other.

On the other side of the debate, fans are pointing out that bringing a light stick, regardless of whose light stick, is a way of preventing a “black ocean.” These “black oceans” are usually an organized protest of an artist during their performance when the audience will turn off their light sticks. In the past, these “black oceans” have been arranged by fans of different artists protesting a group and sometimes even by the artists’ fans themselves. Thus a way to avoid a “black ocean” would be to use a light stick, even if it was a different artist’s.

Other fans are explaining that they’d rather spend money on concert tickets than worry about having the light stick of every group they like.

Many fans are also sharing instances when K-Pop idols themselves have addressed the issue, sharing their gratitude at seeing other light sticks in the audience.

What are your thoughts?

You can read more here.

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