Korea officially welcomed summer with the WATERBOMB 2023 music festival from June 23 to 25.
WATERBOMB is a yearly summer festival where everyone shoots one another with water—whether they are performers or audience members. Numerous K-Pop artists performed this year, including aespa, Sunmi, BTOB, STAYC, Jay Park, and more.
Some celebrities went viral for their striking visuals at the festival, including Kwon Eunbi and her sexy outfit.
Although the water worked in Kwon Eunbi’s favor during her performance, making her sexy look complete, it wasn’t as glamorous for some other artists. Rapper Lee Young Ji was also a performer at WATERBOMB and dressed in an all-black outfit, she performed nine songs with power and charisma.
There were moments throughout her set when the rapper stopped performing because people shot water at her face.
One of her contact lenses came out during her performance, and her eyes seemed to be in a lot of discomfort. By the end of her performance, Lee Young Ji told fans to tell aespa, who was performing after her, to take out their colored contacts and wear goggles.
yes pls i agree i hope they’d wear goggles all the time bc the crowd is sometimes shooting directly at the performers’ faces and aespa esp ningning could be harmed and we dont want that to happen so please be careful everyone!! 🙏 https://t.co/yeb21NVu1Q
— audi (@aeloveyu_) June 25, 2023
Up to this point, we saw our favorite stars perform on stage from the audience’s point of view. However, after her performance, Lee Young Ji posted a video on her Twitter account that showed the festival from her point of view. The video shows Lee Young Ji performing her song “WITCH” passionately while being drenched with water being shot at her face. The video’s audio was muffled, and the rapper could not open her eyes. Behind her was a massive crowd of people enjoying the concert.
워터밤 가수시점 pic.twitter.com/0T7aMvkHlX
— 이영지 (@dokgodieinsaeng) June 25, 2023
WATERBOMB, singer’s point of view
— Lee Young Ji
In response to the video, some netizens applauded the singer for continuing to perform even when it was difficult to see.
아휴ㅠㅠ 얼마나 고생했으까ㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠ😭😭 얼굴에 좀 쏘지말라고 진짜 말을 좀 하면 들어처먹자 인간들아
— 밍 (@O411jm_eternity) June 25, 2023
Ahhh ㅠㅠ How difficult it must have been ㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠ😭😭 Stop shooting at her face, let’s listen to her when she says not to shoot her in the face, you humans.
헣ㅠㅠ.. 그래도 열일하는 영지쨩은 프로….
— NUY(누이) (@arty_nuy) June 25, 2023
Wow ㅠㅠ.. Still, Young Ji works hard; she is a professional…
Another netizen raised concerns about how dangerous this can be for artists.
근데 이거 눈에 쏴서 막 병원가고 그런애들도있던데 안전대책이 너무 미흡한거 아닌가,,
— 아카바네 (@ssamachi6) June 25, 2023
There were people who went to the hospital because they were shot in the eye; aren’t the safety measures insufficient ,,
언니 눈 괜찮야..?
— slou유금쪽(유채) (@mbbyeji0050) June 25, 2023
Unnie, are your eyes okay?
Although water shooting is meant to be fun, it can be dangerous. Aespa’s Ningning revealed in March that she had eye surgery when she was young and is almost blind in her right eye. For Ningning, having water shot in the eye would be dangerous, so fellow member Winter was constantly seen checking up on her throughout the performance. Also, Ningning performed wearing goggles.
In addition, (G)I-DLE‘s Shuhua once talked about the hardships of performing at WATERBOMB after performing at the event last year. On a live stream, she shared that she was surprised to find out there was so much water involved in the concert.
I just performed at WATERBOMB and I didn’t know we would be in the water like that. I was surprised… I really couldn’t see. I had contact lenses on, and when I opened my eyes, I couldn’t see for like thirty seconds. I told you guys not to go overboard.
shuhua scolding the crowd on waterbomb festival bcs they kept on hitting their eyes with water😂 pic.twitter.com/YC34X5psz5
— peach🍑 (@yontararich) June 26, 2022
Shuhua shared that even fellow member Soyeon asked audiences not to shoot water in their eyes because they wanted to see the audience—but “it was no use” because people continued to do so anyway.
Another artist affected by the excessive water shooting at WATERBOMB was Jay Park.
Last year, pictures of Jay Park performing at last year’s WATERBOMB circulated the internet because of how puffy and red his eyes were. Netizens claimed that his eyes looked completely different from the start and end of his set.
Rapper GRAY was also pictured with bloodshot eyes after performing at WATERBOMB 2022.
Having fun is important, but caring for one’s health is more important. Having extra safety measures to prevent artists and audiences from getting injured from the water at future WATERBOMB festivals could ensure everyone’s safety.