With SEVENTEEN’s Ode To You North America Tour coming to an end, now is a better time than ever to mention one of the many things that helps a group of people come together, the fan projects!
In many different fandoms within K-pop, fans will find a way to set up projects that the audiences can be involved with during the shows. Things such as meet-ups, freebies, and banner events are planned during performances, allowing for the audience and artists to interact through meeting new people; but these projects don’t come together on their own.
After finding out that I would be able to attend the last stop of SEVENTEEN’s North American tour, I decided to reach out to some individuals and groups that help fan projects come together for something as big as a concert. People such as SVTCaratsUSA, LightersFlame, and Raniillustrates all reached out and offered the most for those who would be attending the concert in Seattle. Each of these accounts are run by people who organize, create, and hand out items before concerts so the fans can have multiple pieces of merch to remember their experience by.
How do all these events come together? Here’s what each of these accounts have to say:
- SVTCaratsUSA - @SVTCaratsUSA
This account is run by a group of people who have all found the common interest of supporting SEVENTEEN and creating an unofficial fan club as the USA does not have an official one. Without an official fan club in the U.S., this group is made up of volunteers who have participated in overseas projects. Through those activities, they hope to bring similar experiences to the USA fans who cannot travel internationally.
Starting in 2017, SVTCaratsUSA has participated in multiple fan events and projects that have allowed for quick growth and support from many CARATs. Some of these events include fan banner projects for KCON three times, fan projects for the North America stops, and official stadium banners for four of the stops. Their hope is to create wonderful experiences and memories between fans and artists that they can remember forever. As far as creating an event this big, they emphasize the importance of having the same goals in mind while also being able to stay focused on building connections and networks.
Fan projects like these can take months to plan, but can be handled in about an hour prior to the concert. Because of this, it is important to remember to be respectful to those handling the events and respectful to the venues so groups like these can continue their amazing efforts.
- LightersFlame - @lightersflame_pins
Coming from a college art student, freebies and tour merch were made by LightersFlame . Offering pins specific to the Ode To You Tour and some original prints, LightersFlame handed out these items before the concert for those waiting.
Prior to this event, he has handed out freebies at two other events and finds inspiration in the fact that there isn’t much USA-specific merch for tours like this. Set-up includes packing hours before the concert and then keeping everything in a bag for quick, easy, and discreet access to keep the process from becoming too long. Although it may take quite a bit of time to set up, LightersFlame shares that one of the best parts of these events is meeting new people and being able to expand the audience reach for a brand that supports small content creators and bringing together fans.
With this being said, LightersFlame shares that it’s important to look for smaller, less-known creators when buying merch for events because they are straightforward with their prices and want to create things that the audience can keep as a memory for a long time. Help smaller artists reach out to a larger audience by sharing their artwork and content while crediting them!
- Raniillustrates - @raniillustrates
After handing out freebies at a GOT7 concert and KCON 2019, Raniillustrates decided to take on SEVENTEEN’s Ode To You stop in Seattle. Including freebies, keychains, and photo-cards Raniillustrates incorporated the classic Space Needle to add a special touch to what was handed out as a gift for those who went to the concert. Part of the inspiration behind these items was the idea that they represent the unity in the K-pop fandom and they’re something that can be cherished for a long time. These freebies also offer an icebreaker to making new friends and helping shy fans interact with people who have a common interest.
Raniillustrates creations also offer a physical copy of a “ticket” that can replace the electronic version because it can reach a wider audience through visual representation and originality. Since creating content can easily take up a lot of time, Raniillustrates tries to find a balance between how much time and money is put into something that will be given away for free, but makes sure the quality is still something that is worth offering to such devoted fans.
After all the hard work put into organizing things like this, Raniillustrates emphasizes the fact that this is something that not only makes them happy, but makes the fans happy as well.
Fan projects are nothing to joke around about; and with so many people offering and organizing such big events, they should be credited for all the hard work they put into making things work. These are just a few of the amazing content creators that are in the K-pop world.
If you attend any K-pop events make sure to keep your eye out for those offering these one-of-a-kind items and make sure to share them on social media to support the artist. By showing off and crediting the content, we can continue to build up smaller content creators and allow for more opportunities such as these to be available at concerts and other events.
What are some fan projects you’d like to see happen in your area? Share in the comments below!
Cover Image: SEVENTEEN (Pledis Entertainment)
Written by Tessa Buckman