Why football fans are outraged by the ‘bombing’ jamboree concert
The 25th World Scout Jamboree, which was marred by controversy over its sluggish management and disruption, ended with a closing ceremony and K-pop super live concert on the 11th.
Although the event barely ended after a series of twists and turns, the aftermath of this incident is not light, as it exposed the inherent complacency and desk-based administration of Korean society. And the backward way in which ‘politics and administration’ were blamed for the mistake and ‘sports and pop culture’ were used to clean up the mess leaves an even more bitter aftertaste.
The government and the Jamboree organizing committee had originally planned to hold a K-pop concert and closing ceremony around the campsite, but decided to change the date and location due to safety concerns, including the heat wave. Faced with the sudden change and a lack of space to accommodate the large number of people, the organizers turned to a soccer field as a last resort.
The organizers chose Jeonju World Cup Stadium, which is adjacent to the venue, but due to the impact of Typhoon Kanun, the venue was changed once again to Sangam World Cup Stadium in Seoul. It was the fans of the K League and soccer who suffered the most from this unpredictable ‘bomb drop’.
Jeonbuk’s FA Cup quarterfinal match against Incheon was canceled on the 9th at Jeonju World Cup Stadium. The final venue was moved to Seoul for a second time, but it was inevitable that the already disrupted schedule would be disrupted. Above all, the unilateral announcement by the government and local governments without prior consultation with Jeonbuk defied common sense. “I can’t believe it,” said Jeonbuk coach Dan Petrescu, a Romanian national. I’ve never experienced anything like this in my life,” he said in disbelief and anger.
FC Seoul was not spared from the loss of the Sangam World Cup Stadium. Large-scale stages and seats were set up for K-pop concerts and closing ceremonies, causing damage to the turf. The condition of the turf was a sensitive issue, as it affected the progress of the game and whether players were injured.
Sangam is one of the leading venues in Korean soccer, often hosting A matches, but the national team has been criticized by players for poor turf maintenance. This year, the Seoul Metropolitan Government invested KRW 1 billion to install a new hybrid turf, but the unexpected jamboree wiped out all the hard work.
The government explained that it was careful to set up the stage to minimize damage to the grass. They also promised to restore it as soon as possible after the event so that soccer games could continue. However, soccer fans are not impressed, calling it a “sickening and drugging” event. Many soccer fans are calling for the government to be held accountable for the disruption of the jamboree and for “unilateral sacrifice under the guise of cooperation.
The mobilization of K-pop and idol stars as “relief pitchers” for a failed national event is also seen as backward. The K-pop concert, which was hastily organized and promoted by the so-called “higher powers” to mask the incompetence of the government and local governments, was so far-fetched that it was lucky it didn’t cause an accident.
While the stage was being set up for the K-pop concert, a typhoon was passing over the Korean Peninsula. Experts pointed out that large-scale concerts of 30,000 to 40,000 people require a long preparation period, and sensitive outdoor performances need to be prepared for even more variables. However, the workers on site at the time had to work under tight deadlines and unfavorable weather conditions, risking their safety to set up the stage.
The artists involved in the performance were equally frustrated by the rushed schedule. There was not enough time to prepare a complete stage, and rehearsal conditions were reportedly poor due to the typhoon’s impact, with rain continuing to fall until the day of the performance.
In addition, the government and its officials have come under fire for “forced mobilization” during the recruitment of artists for the K-pop concert, using the guise of voluntary participation. One lawmaker, Sung Il-jong, suggested that BTS, who is serving in the military, be invited to perform at the jamboree concert, which backfired on fans who said, “Why should K-pop stars take over a jamboree that is going nowhere?”
Fortunately, despite the chaotic atmosphere and poor conditions, K-pop artists such as NUJINS, ITZY, The Boys, and I.V. were upbeat and gave their best performances. BTS, who were at the center of the controversy, did not participate, but their agency supported them by providing a free set of photo cards. The concert was successfully completed without any major incidents thanks to the artists’ efforts and the audience’s enthusiastic response. This proved once again that K-pop has been recognized for its competitiveness based on years of experience and know-how on the world stage.
However, the success of the concert is a separate issue from the jamboree itself. The brand image that K-pop has built up over the years, and the dedication and sacrifice of the laborers and artists who struggled on site, have made the worst of a bad situation into a ‘beauty of the species.’ This is by no means an exoneration of all the processes and mistakes that went into the jamboree.
It is difficult to overturn the assessment that the Jamboree was a ‘failed event’ apart from the K-pop concert. It was an event that brought together people from all over the world and was organized after six years of preparation and a huge budget, but it was a mess, with feverish patients, outdated and abnormal facilities, a lack of professional staff from planning to execution, and the absence of a responsible control tower. In the end, some participating countries had to leave early, and the humiliation of becoming a “worldwide international embarrassment” due to poor preparation became a major issue in the media 메이저놀이터.
What is even sadder is that in the process of cleaning up the mess, there is still a cavalier and frivolous perception in the political sphere that sports and popular culture are viewed as subcontractors or expendables for political cleanup in the name of ‘national and international interests’.
In the process, they showed no common sense, no communication, and no respect for the sports and pop culture communities that were forced to make unilateral sacrifices. We should not forget that this pathetic situation can be repeated at any time as long as there is a perception in the political sphere that they can take away soccer stadiums, hold concerts, and mobilize BTS and other artists at any time like a control event.