2018’s Most Groundbreaking And Shocking Moments In K-Pop

The year of 2018 had many big moments, both historical and shocking! I’ve compiled a list of events that I thought were important, alarming and game-changing within the HallyU community. Here they are in no particular order.


January 2018, London, United Kingdom

An unknown promoter who had never arranged a K-Pop event before, charged over £300 for tickets to see Se7en, Tahiti, and 7 O’Clock. MONSTA X was added to the bill as “headliners”, last minute. Ticket prices were then decreased to £160, and finally, £120.

There was speculation that this was a fake event for the following reasons:

  • The concert was only announced online 2 weeks before the concert.
  • The dodgy/suspect looking ticket website, which had only been created a few weeks before, via WordPress.
  • No artist pages or record companies had announced it. It was then confirmed by them a week or so before.

I applied as press for this event and was given an affiliate ticket link, which meant that I’d receive a percentage of any ticket sales made, via my link.

I received nothing.

I then had to chase KPopKnight for weeks, asking them to confirm my “interview slot” with MONSTA X.

In the end, I ended up buying a ticket, as communication was terrible. I ended up wasting my money as I was given press access at the last minute with some other online creatives, and we patiently sat waiting for MONSTA X to come outside and do a “press conference.”

We were all in the same room as them, but they were behind a curtain being interviewed by the Metro Newspaper.

All in all, KPopKnight sprung the interview on them last minute, and their management, of course, said no.

The boss of KPopKnight charged an extra £400 for Se7en’s meet and greet, in which only 4 fans paid for (on top of their concert ticket).

He then advised Wembley Arena staff to grab the whole standing queue from outside, and bring them to the meet and greet. The whole meet and greet was fabricated, and everyone was told to pretend to be Se7en’s fans; Se7en knew exactly what was going on.

Out of 12,500 seats, only 700 were sold. With lack of organisation, late and slow promotion and extortionate ticket prices, this isn’t shocking.

BTS Fever in America – Summer 2018

I’m not sure what happened this year, but BTS fever really hit the United States this summer. They won the award for “Best Social Artist” at the 2018 Billboard Awards, and also performed “Fake Love” at the ceremony. With countless interviews and appearances, the summer of 2018 was definitely BTS’s for the taking!


Jessi- First Europe Tour

The Queen! Jessi embarked on her first ever Europe tour, in November 2018.

She was so down-to-earth, real and very girl-next-doorish. Her one-woman-show was worth every single penny, and more!

This was the closest I felt an artist had allowed themselves to get to us (the audience). It felt like catching up with a friend, and reminiscing about good times, talking about real life, and complimenting all of the memories and triumphs with music.

Her performance overall was meaningful, personal, empowering and high-energy. Jessi is a beautiful and humble soul, who is often deemed something she isn’t.

You go, girl!


Western and Eastern Collaborations

This year we saw a number of Western Hip-Hop. Electronic, Alternative and R’n’B artists collaborate with K-Pop groups.

  • John Legend and Wendy of Red Velvet
  • Jackson Wang (GOT7) featuring Gucci Mane
  • MONSTA X and Gallant
  • Nicki Minaj and BTS.
  • Steve Aoki and BTS

I would never have expected the above (and more) to cross over. It’s a positive change, and definitely has opened the West to the HallyU wave.

It’ll be interesting to see what collaborations we have in 2019.


E’Dawn and Hyuna -August 2018

This is something that will go down in K-Pop history. The “product” rejected their environment. Hyuna and E’Dawn openly started dating and admitted it to the Korean public. They both parted ways with Cube Entertainment, and it is evident that there is no way that they’d be allowed to stay within the company due to the “scandal.”

I saw this as a turning point within the K-Pop industry, and I hope that others will follow their lead…

MONSTA X And the 2018 Jingle Ball Fiasco: November-December 2018

The fact that MONSTA X was the first K-Pop group to perform at the Jingle Ball was an amazing achievement.

However, I feel that some of the American media and their American promoters really didn’t take enough care, and lacked consideration.

MONSTA X’s American promoter and his staff were unprofessional, and publicly showboated and tweeted MONSTA X’s arrival time; and constantly threw themselves and other randoms into photos with the group.

The promoter would tweet wrong and false information to fans, and when everything went wrong, he’d block and stop answering.

In my opinion, the PR team should remain unknown and should be in the background, not the limelight.

MONSTA X fans were promised numerous things during the jingle ball, such as MONSTA X being featured on the CW’s broadcast of the show. They were asked to tune in to see them perform, and yet their performance was cut from the TV show!

Companies including iHeart radio and connected stations, journalists and radio DJ’s used this opportunity to raise their following, reach and social statistics.

Yet MONSTA X’s stage time and schedule were swapped and compromised on numerous occasions.


View the following PDF file for more information.


The Access Incident

A journalist from Access, (a celebrity news website) conducted an interview with MONSTA X. She didn’t seem to have any knowledge on them and had to ask HOW they were making history today. When they told her, she replied with

“BTS got a Grammy nomination…”

Zero research, lack of respect and her attitude screamed: “okay, this is K-Pop, let me mention BTS.”

Check out the video for more context.

SHINee The Story Of Light Epilogue 1, 2 and 3: May – September 2018

10th Anniversary

SHINee’s first comeback as a 4 was beautiful, and it not only commemorated their 10th anniversary, but also Jonghyun. The amount of promo within music shows, their own Mnet series and the overall production quality of the album and aesthetics were their best yet. A classic 3-piece epilogue which really highlights the King’s of K-Pop!







What were some moments that stuck out to you in 2018?

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