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MANILA, Philippines – Over the past week, FELIP aka SB19’s Ken held two shows in Singapore. He performed at Warner Music’s MUSIC MATTERS event on September 12, which was his first international show as a solo act, and he had another solo show the night after.
When he was announced as one of the performers for the music festival, I remember Twitter being flooded with fans going crazy. It was a free event, but it turned out that tickets were limited, and fans who’d already booked flights and hotels were expressing disappointment about the limited slots. Then, a few days later, it was announced that FELIP would have a second solo show after the music festival and that it would also be free. One can only speculate as to why this happened, but it was likely due to public demand.
As I continue seeing how these fans behave on social media and in concerts and other events, I really cannot deny how fascinating they are. I mean, the power they hold – to actually make a music label produce a second solo show for an artist?
At the bottom of it all, I’d like to believe that it’s really because they are united in one goal, and that’s to support their idol.
A very recent example that I came across was Nini’s story. It was for FELIP’s Singapore show that she flew out of the country alone for the very first time.
She didn’t know how to get to her hotel from the airport, and resorted to asking her Twitter moots her commute options. When FELIP’s solo show was announced, she immediately extended her stay because she said she couldn’t miss that one either. She was definitely not the first nor the last person to fly to another place just for an SB19 show.
Despite most fans being unable to fly out, they still made sure to express support in the next best way – through social media. On the night of September 12, my Twitter feed was full of fans changing their display photos to a red template, saying they wanted to create a “red sea” for FELIP. Fans even challenged each other to change their display photos so that their notifications would all be red, calling it a mini-bingo game.
One fansite, JustinTime, also flew to Singapore for FELIP’s two shows and then to Pagadian City, where the P-pop idol performed at the Miss Zamboanga Del Sur 2023 Grand Coronation Night on September 17. (In a recent episode of Rappler’s show Stan By Me, we unpacked how fansites worked – check it out!) It was a joke around stan Twitter how JustinTime was just surprising everyone, popping up in events and taking photos of FELIP – and they were really good photos.
These are just some of the things these fans were willing to do for their idols. I know FELIP is talented and charismatic, but the fans are fascinating in their own right. The events of the past week just proved how dedicated they are.
As a producer from a news site that understands the value of community-building, I am sure that the P-pop community (powered by fans) is worth watching out for. My fascination might be stemming from bewilderment, but I know that at the end of the day, their community is a community of action, and communities like theirs are something our country needs right now. – Rappler.com