K-POP SuperFest (케이팝 슈퍼페스트) 2021. Rain, Jessi, AleXa, The Boyz, Cravity, & many more unite the world
By Rosa Gulliver of TINYGMUSIC | 21st June 2021
The 2021 K-Pop SuperFest (케이팝 슈퍼페스트) was a joint venture between Joy Ruckus Club and Sessions. It was the first of its kind, and TINYgMUSIC was delighted to have been asked to help promote this landmark event.
The 8-hour long event successfully brought happiness to fans worldwide and left many begging for more. The biggest K-Pop festival in the west delivered memorable performances by idol groups and solo artists. These included AleXa (알렉사), Lovelyz (러블리즈), MOMOLAND (모모랜드), The Boyz (더보이즈), CRAVITY (크래비티), Ailee (에일리), Jessi (제시), and the one-and-only Rain (비), plus many more!
On 19th June at 6 PM PST, 20th June at 2 AM GMT & 10 AM KST, the K-Pop SuperFest, regarded as one of the largest non-face-to-face Asian American K-Pop festivals in the world, was presented by Joy Ruckus Club and broadcast around the world via live streaming platform Sessions.
Kublai Kwon, the founder of Joy Ruckus Club has made his name pioneering the Asian American music scene. Kublai came up with the idea and created the K-Pop SuperFest. Kublai's first cousin is the late great Shin Hae Chul, South Korea's first K-Pop superstar and creator of the K-Pop music genre. According to Kwon, the K-Pop SuperFest honors his legacy by highlighting the superstars of K-Pop today. Kublai unquestionably managed to successfully deliver his vision. K-Pop SuperFest united K-Pop fans from every corner of the globe with the K-Pop superstars of today. They successfully left their mark on the world with this massive event, an event we fans hope we will not have to wait too long to enjoy once more.
The 2021 K-Pop SuperFest took place at Yes24 Live Hall (예스24 라이브홀) in Gwangjang-dong, Gwangin-gu, Seoul, South Korea. Korean-American female soloist AleXa (알렉사) and Korean-Canadian idol Kevin (케빈) from The Boyz (더보이즈) acted as the festival hosts. Their energy was infectious, and their dynamics made them the perfects hosts for the event. AleXa (알렉사) and Kevin (케빈) took the opportunity to utilise this worldwide platform to address social issues regarding the hate minority communities currently receive. They extended support on behalf of the festival to those affected.
The order of the K-Pop SuperFest
To kick off the 8-hour festival, AleXa (알렉사) delivered a powerful performance of her 2020 title track "Revolution."
A late addition to the line-up, Rookie girl group, woo!ah! (우아) was next to perform. The five-member group comprising of Nana (나나), Wooyeon (우연), Sora (소라), Lucy (루시) and Minseo (민서) performed three songs, “Bad Girl”, “Scaredy Cat” and their latest release "Purple."
After woo!ah! (우아) the other late addition to the line-up was GWSN (Gongwon Sonyeo; 공원소녀), also known as Girls in the Park. The seven-member girl group comprising of Seoryoung (서령), Miya (미야), Seokyoung (서경), Anne (앤), Minju (민주), SoSo (소소) and Lena (레나) took to the stage. They gave fans brilliant performances of "Like It Hot," demonstrating amazing synchronisation and their first live performance of "Starry Night." They got us all into the summer mood by performing "All Mine."
Lovelyz (러블리즈) also participated in this year's K-Pop SuperFest. The eight-member girl group not only performed their 2020 song "Obliviate," but performed some of their tracks spanning their seven years together. Girl group members Baby Soul (베이비소울), Jiae (지애), Jisoo(지수), Mijoo (미주), Kei (케이), Jin (진), Sujeong (수정) and Yein (예인) took their fans down memory lane. Lovelyz's (러블리즈) setlist included "That Day," "Now, We," "Rewind," "Hi," and their iconic track "Ah Choo."
Woollim Entertainment's latest boy group Golden Child (골든차일드), treated their fans to epic performances and had lots of interactions with the fans.
The ten-member boy group consisting of Dayeol (대열), Y (와이), Jangjun (장준), Tag (태그), Seungmin (승민), Jaehyun (재현), Jibeom (지범), Donghyun (동현), Joochan (주찬) and Bomin (보민) started their explosive stage with "Wannabe." They then moved on to sing “Without You,” and “One.” "Compass" was their next track, followed by their ballad, "Milky Way." Golden Child (골든차일드) then finished their set with their latest song "Burn It."
Next at 2021 K-pop SuperFest was Starship Entertainment’s rookie boy group CRAVITY (크래비티). They were dubbed as “Super Rookies” in 2020 emerging as global artists that attracted attention from fans globally. The nine-member group comprises of Serim (세림), Allen (앨런), Jungmo (정모), Woobin (우빈), Wonjin (원진), Minhee (민희), Hyeongjun (형준), Taeyoung (태영) and Senongmin (성민). They sang "Jumper" and "Stay (낯섦)" tracks from their debut mini-album, ‘Hideout: Remember Who We Are – Season 1.’ The boy group also sang their newest release, "My Turn" after singing “Sunrise,” and “Mammoth.”
CRAVITY (크래비티) led way for the global girl group MOMOLAND (모모랜드), who performed their latest songs: "Ready or Not," "Pinky Love," and "Thumbs Up." The six-member girl group comprising of Hyebin (혜빈), Jane (제인), Nayun (나윤), JooE (주이), Ahin (아인), and Nancy (낸시) did not forget to sing their signature songs "BAAM" and "BBoom BBoom."
AB16IX (에이비식스) and The Boyz (더보이즈) were the last two idol groups to perform. "Salute" was one of the six songs performed by Woong (웅), Donghyun (동현), Woojin (우진) and Daehwi (대휘) of AB6IX (에이비식스). The other songs were “Stay Young,” “Shining Star,” “Luluala,” “Close” and “Heaven.”
The Boyz (더보이즈) the eleven-member boy group comprises of Sangyeon (상연), Jacob (제이콥), Younghoon (영훈), Hyunjae (현재), Juyeon (주연), Kevin (케빈), New (뉴), Q (큐), Juhaknyeon (주학년), Sunwoo (선우), Eric (에릭) and Hwall (활). Their setlist included their hit "The Stealer" in their setlist and “Reveal” and “Scar.”
Now it was time to hear some of the biggest solo acts in K-Pop at the 2021 K-Pop SuperFest. Singer-songwriter Ailee (에일리) was the first of them to perform.
The "Korean Beyonce" said she was supposed to rest today as she performed a concert the previous day, but wanted to be part of the 2021 K-pop SuperFest.
Ailee (에일리) started with a mind-blowing performance of “U&I” one of her earlier songs. With her next track, “Make Up Your Mind” she showed her true professionalism. Not even technical difficulties with her in-ear piece were going to stop Ailee (에일리) from delivering her powerful vocals. She then went onto sing “I Will Go To You Like The First Snow.” Ailee (에일리) opened up and told everyone that this particular song had a new meaning and affected her differently since her mother passed away in February of this year. She felt it was something her mother would tell her. Ailee (에일리) not only performed the songs she prepared for her setlist but songs requested by her fans but sang "I Will Show You."
Next was South Korean rapper BLOO (블루), who showed off his unique rapping skills with his solo songs: "Ssajagi," "Nae Nat," "Hennessy," without a break. His raps were effortless. He then performed his debut song “Drive Thru” and progressed straight into “Drama.” “Come and kiss me” his latest release, was next followed by “I’m the One.” After performing seven tracks back-to-back, BLOO (블루) took a water break and announced the next song was his final song. He finished off his non-stop setlist with “Downtown Baby.”
"Unpretty Rapstar" Queen Jessi (제시) then hyped up fans with her high-quality performances of "Who Dat B," “SSENUNNI,” “GUCCI” and "What Type of X." Jessi’s (제시) charisma shone throughout her performance. Performing in an empty concert hall was not going to deter Jessi (제시) from giving it 100%. Oozing bags of energy, Jessi (제시) made sure all within Yes24 Live Hall (예스24 라이브홀), and the fans around the world were going to have fun. You could see Jessi (제시) was missing performing to a live crowd and felt it a shame that the festival hosts AleXa (알렉사) and Kevin (케빈) were dancing in front of her when she wanted them on stage. So in true Jessi style, there was only one thing to do, that was to bring the hosts to join her on stage for her final song, “Nunu Nana.” AleXa (알렉사) was quick to agree to this. When Kevin (케빈) was hesitant to join, Jessi (제시) shouted out, “Your company doesn’t matter right now – it’s about having fun!” An impromptu action that just made her set that extra bit special.
For the penultimate act, we had quite possibly the best introduction from the hosts.
For many, the highlight of the K-Pop SuperFest was first-generation legendary K-Pop dancer Rain (비) showcasing his impeccable dancing and singing skills. He began his setlist with "Why Don't We." Rain’s (비) infamous stage presence and charm were quick for all to enjoy. He then greeted the audience and swiftly went into his next performance of “How to Avoid the Sun.” He then showed off softer vocals when singing “I Do.” During “Love Story,” Rain (비) performed a heart-warming acapella towards the latter part of the song. He finished off with his up-tempo songs “It’s Raining,” and “Hip Song.”
The final act for this year's K-pop SuperFest was DJ Soda. She captivated the stage with her energy and revitalised the stage. Some of her tracks included “Lose Control” by Meduza, Beck Hill and GOODBOYS, and “You Little Beauty” by Fisher.
The bass-pumping songs ignited the atmosphere to a crescendo with “Milkshake” by Kelis and Rihanna’s “Disturbia.”
The K-Pop SuperFest was an unforgettable experience and one that many want to repeat sooner rather than later. Sessions and Joy Ruckus Club did a brilliant job. The concert planning, production, and execution were superb. K-Pop SuperFest also offered fans innovative ways to interact and show love and support to their favourite idols. Fans were allowed to request songs and chat with their Idols. It was great to see most of the artists read the fan messages. Fans could buy various online 'gifts' and help boost their fan status and get featured on top as per the number of hearts they had via their gifts purchased.
The concert was great value for money with ticket prices starting at $20. The majority of the artists performed for at least 20 minutes, and some even performed for 35 minutes.
Here in Europe, it was an incredibly early start, 2.00 AM. There was no point going to bed! It was an all-nighter. Ready with an array of snacks and drinks, the marathon of approximately 8 hours of K-Pop SuperFest started. Did we mind we enjoyed no sleep? No, not at all. We loved the festival and look forward to more.
One of the things that have kept K-POP fans sane during this pandemic is the facility to attend online concerts. Many who watch these online events will agree there is nothing quite like watching a live concert, soaking up the atmosphere, and seeing your idol(s) almost within touching distance.
With that said, there is something quite magical about these online concerts too. Online concerts have eliminated the geographical factor and made them accessible to all. These concerts currently connect the entire world simultaneously. The K-Pop SuperFest united 194 nationalities with the one combined factor, watching and listening to the one thing we all love K-Pop. With the magnificent organisation and production, K-Pop SuperFest perfectly captured all the feelings of a physical festival.
Thank you, Kublai Kwon, for asking TINYgMUSIC to help promote this marvelous K-Pop Festival. We both enjoy the same passion, to spread the love of K-Pop to all the fans around the world.