Seoul Turns Into “Irene City” Ahead of Red Velvet Irene’s Birthday
From giant billboards wishing her a happy birthday to subway ads and cafe events, Red Velvet‘s Irene has taken over the metropolitan city of Seoul. Irene’s fans have always been known for going above and beyond when celebrating their idol’s birthday, but this year they’ve definitely outdone themselves. In fact, the city is so full of Irene today, fans have started calling it “Irene City.”
Fan birthday events are familiar to any K-Pop fan, seeing your bias’s face on multiple ads around the South Korean capital will always be a special feeling. The idols themselves talk about how the events give them more motivation to show the same amount of love back to their fans.
Irene is one of the most popular K-Pop idols in the country, being one of the most beautiful and talented stars in the industry has helped the idol build a strong and supportive fanbase with whom she shares a special bond. Fans have supported her since the day she made her official debut with the rest of Red Velvet on August 2014 and their love for her has never wavered.
almost 6k convenience stores with Irene birthday support ads from Irene Bar 😳 wow
— ʙɪᴇ (@pinkredbie) March 23, 2021
Proof of this are the countless birthday events and ads that continue to take over Seoul every end of March, despite it being the eighth year in a row she has celebrated her birthday with fans. Back in 2020 she even became the first female idol to have more than 1000 subway ads, showing the power of her fanbases.
irene just became the first female idol in sk to have more than 1,000 subway ads… the power of these fansites
— 🦋 (@baetteoki) March 28, 2020
Last year, Irene even went on a birthday cafe tour herself to show her gratitude. She appeared at various birthday cafe events organized by fans and made sure to grab some of the goods available and save them as sweet memories.
The idol later went on DearU Bubble to share pictures of herself with the goods from the cafes.
For her birthday last year, Irene said she wanted to buy herself flowers.
This year, she visited a cafe holding a birthday event for her and bought purple tulips for herself a day before her birthday 💗#ReneDayDay#올해_현탄절은_처음이라 pic.twitter.com/bGGzRYcCUv
— Irene 아이린 Global (@irene_global) March 28, 2022
This year also, Seoul has Irene showing in almost every corner of it. Some fans have chosen to cover buses with fanmade edits that wish her the happiest birthday.
Irene Bus pic.twitter.com/Yyekoljw4f
— мүвαε (@SoloBae91) March 26, 2023
Other fanbases, such as her popular Chinese fanbase IreneBar have plastered different pictures of Irene through the years on the walls of Seoul’s underground subway stations, frequented by many.
📍 신촌역 아이린 DID 광고 by @IreneBar_ 💝 pic.twitter.com/w8TmUrfcHN
— N 💤 (@everyyeriworld) March 26, 2023
Following the popularity and success of last year’s birthday cafe events, they have seemed to multiply this year with several already having started hosting fans who come to celebrate their idol’s birthday together and leave the site with different fanmade merchandise. Irene’s fans took to Twitter to share pictures from their experience when visiting these cafes.
오늘 재밌는 투어되었습니다🥰
주현이을 위해 준비해준 것들 많이 구경하는 시간을 가지면서 힐링 했네요
다음엔 특전을 다 받을 수 있게 빨리 움지여야 겠어요@_DC_Irene#HAPPY_IRENE_CITY pic.twitter.com/IiorH3Y2sw
— 아프 (@alswh0269) March 25, 2023
레어한 아름이 고화질 컷 액자를 볼 기회 놓치지 마세요 ▶️ 레필로소피 #HAPPY_IRENE_CITY pic.twitter.com/MgJ0RMiF7L
— 2023 현탄절 서포트팀 (@IRENE_329_KR) March 26, 2023
Some of the most famous and frequented streets of Seoul, such as Hongdae, are also full of billboards with several fan edits and different banners.
2023 Happy Irene Day
Hongdae outdoor billboards Ads#아이린 #IRENE pic.twitter.com/0AOftu3IRd
— мүвαε (@SoloBae91) March 27, 2023
Though celebrating Irene’s birthday all over Seoul, and other big cities in the world, isn’t the only way Irene’s fans chose to do it. Many fanbases are known to fund multiple charity projects under her name. This year, her Indonesian fans have donated 50 Mangrove seeds on her behalf.
"Save Mangrove Save the Earth with Irene"
Queeri have donated 50 Magrove-seeds on behalf of "Irene Red Velvet" through Lindungi Hutan.#Queeri #Queeri_Vote pic.twitter.com/Q7W9V8L2m2
— QueeRI (@queeri_official) March 27, 2023
Last year, her Chinese fanbase IRENE-iRecord did several charity donations, including funding the education of young girls part of different ethnic minorities as well as donating rice cakes to schools that rehabilitate children with impaired hearing.
IRENE_iRecord 2022 Birthday Support 💗
Part 1: Charity project for the education of 14-18 year old girls from ethnic minorities
Part 2: Donating rice cakes to schools for the rehabilitation of children with impaired hearing, in an attempt to make their childhood a little warmer pic.twitter.com/2Nievn1csz
— Irene 아이린 Global (@irene_global) March 16, 2022
Irene’s international fanbase chose to donate to the Korean Unwed Mothers’ Families Association through one of Irene’s Twitter fan update accounts Irene Global.
KUMFA fundraiser update!
The donation has successfully been made in Irene’s name! We ended up raising $1,398.25 total after fees!
Thank you for trusting us once again 💗#IRENE #아이린 #RedVelvet @RVsmtown pic.twitter.com/2WttpLSRC4
— Irene 아이린 Global (@irene_global) April 6, 2022
On March 29, Irene will celebrate her 32nd birthday (the idol is 33 years old in Korean age) alongside countless fans.
Final hashtags for Irene’s birthday 💝
🗓️ March 28, 2023
⏰ 11PM KST
Please don’t use the hashtags before the indicated time!#IRENE #아이린 #RedVelvet @RVsmtown pic.twitter.com/dMLOx7bukQ
— Irene 아이린 Global (@irene_global) March 28, 2023