Fans have turned their criticism towards HYBE once again. Idol group SEVENTEEN announced their live concert, BE THE SUN recently. The concert is to be held at the Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on June 25 and 26, 2022.
Unfortunately, when the ticketing regulations and instructions were released, fans realized that there was a lack of instruction and consideration towards fans that needed to move via wheelchair.
With most popular concerts including SEVENTEEN’s, ticketing is war. Users are only allowed to buy one ticket per day, and fan club members get priority entry. For South Korean concerts, it is the usual protocol that there are special areas or seats reserved for those in wheelchairs, and their guardian will automatically get an adjoining seat. BE THE SUN failed to provide these regulations for wheelchair-bound fans. When questioned, the company provided a statement to explain its protocols.
All concert-goers have to use online reservations to book tickets and for concert-goers that need a wheelchair seat, they can contact the customer service center after making a booking and we will switch it for a wheelchair seat. Although the same standards apply to their companions, we will make provisions such that it will be sufficiently convenient even without a companion. Staff will help them move during entry and leave. Inside the concert hall too, the staff will be available such that there will not be inconveniences to them.
— Pledis Entertainment
While wheelchair-bound fans who have secured a ticket can contact the concert team to exchange their ticket for a seat reserved for those in wheelchairs, what would be difficult for them is for their guardian to secure a ticket too. Given the tough battle for tickets, it is unlikely that their guardians will make it in too. To even the odds, both the guardian and the fan need to be a part of the fan club, which has been pointed out as unrealistic.
Fans complain that these new regulations have only been implemented after Pledis joined hands with HYBE.
- “I miss Pledis. F*ck HYBE. What can they do right?”
- “It was always like that since BigHit so talks about the wheelchair seats always came up from time to time but it didn’t become a controversy. This time, it’s different from back before it was just Pledis, so it cropped up and became a controversy so I hope it will become feedback.”
- “Money thief HYBE”
- “Just how many hot posts [on theqoo] is HYBE being mentioned in? Did they rent out the page? It’s all band things. Do a good job, HYBE.”
- “HYBE is using the hot posts page [on theqoo] all by themselves.”
- “HYBE really… my blood pressure is rising.”
- “I want to put a filter on HYBE.”
The news comes at a bad time with South Korea rife over the lack of measures put in place for the disabled. Protests have been held in the city to call for a response. Director Hong Yoon Hee of a cooperative that creates content for the rights of the disabled in South Korea also spoke up regarding the controversy.
My wheelchair-bound daughter is a fan of a singer in HYBE. It’s not like the Gocheok Dome doesn’t have wheelchair seats. I don’t know the reason they have to operate these perfectly fine seats in such a pickyway.
— Hong Yoon Hee