K-POP.FLEX festival brought a variety of artists for successful performances in Frankfurt

K-POP.FLEX festival in Frankfurt

On May, 14th and 15th, the German city of Frankfurt became the meeting place of K-Pop fans from all around the World. It was the week-end of K-POP.FLEX, a mega festival that became Europe’s biggest K-Pop festival to date.

And there was no way to miss it. All around the city, all you could see was fans wearing their best outfit, showing proudly their lightstick or wearing their favourite group’s keyring on their bag. You just had to step in the train station, on the subway or in pretty much any hotel to spot a fan.

 From the moment the festival was announced, the promising line-up quickly allowed the festival to sell out the more than 40 000 seats available in the stadium on Saturday. This led to add a second concert on Sunday.

Over the two days, experienced groups as well as rookies took over the stage. Monsta X, Kai, Mamamoo, NCT Dream, G-(I)dle, Ab6ix, Enhypen, IVE and Dreamcatcher received cheers from the fans. Oneus unfortunately had to cancel their participation due to Ravn and Keonhee’s positive Covid-19 tests results.

During the day : a festival to enjoy the Korean culture.

During daytime, fans could enjoy the “Korea Festival”. The event was a mix of everything Korean, with tents, food, games, performances and more.

The festival hosted the final round of a K-Pop dance cover contest. The 4 contestants had the honour of performing in front of famous dancers and choreographers who worked with SM Entertainment, IST Entertainment and more. Lee Bada, Park Bengal, Kim Nino and Baek Jrick received a warm welcome from the festival-goers.

Among performances, the Sachoom team from Let’s Dance, Crazy!! captured the attention from viewers. Sachoom is a non-verbal performance where the artists seek to express themselves through the universal language of movement. It uses various music genres and the dancers’ outstanding skills left the festival-goers speechless.

A beautiful Hanbok fashion show displayed the diversity of the korean traditional costume. The beautiful fabrics, ornaments and distinctive design of the outfits were highly appreciated.

Jinjo Crew, World champions in B-boying, also came to showcase their talent. Breaking, which is about to become an Olympic sport at the 2024, is getting more and more popular. With a crew as renowned as the Jinjo crew, Korea definitely is one of the countries looked up to when it comes to B-Boying.

All these performances were not only seen at the Korea festival but also at the pre-show that led to the most-awaited K-Pop concert.

Seniors and rookies gathered to show the power of K-pop.

Through a K-Pop concert that lasted approximately 2 and a half hours on each day, K-Pop fans in Europe had the unusual opportunity to enjoy a variety of groups.

From Kai, who debuted with EXO in 2012 to IVE, who debuted less than 6 months ago, senior and rookies all seemed to particularly enjoy the cheers from international fans.

IVE, who performed on both days, opened the show on Saturday. Despite not being used to performing on stage in front of fans (besides Wonyoung and Yujin who were Iz*One members), their youthful performance was well executed.

True to their title of Monster Rookies, the cheers proved their popularity. Their debut track Eleven especially seemed to be well-known by most of the Audience. If the girls looked slightly nervous when opening the festival on Day 1, they already seemed more confident on Day 2, probably empowered by the knowledge that fans would be here to cheer them on.

Then came ENHYPEN. Like IVE, the group created through the show I-Land in 2020 had never been in front of such a big audience. For the member’s international activities, the festival-goers from Saturday were the only ones able to see them on stage. The group’s stage presence even for such a new experience was impressive. Both while performing and during their ment, they were at ease. With tracks like Given-Taken, Fever or Drunk-Dazed, they proved that they have everything it takes to successfully stand in front of the crowds worldwide. And from doing aegyo to singing Acapella and teaching fans their dance moves, they’re ready to use all their assets to capture everyone’s heart.

(G)I-dle, one of the oldest 4th-gen groups, performed both nights. Far from the outdated cliché of cute and childish girls that sometimes stick to K-Pop girl groups, the members delivered a powerful performance. With pop tracks mixed with rock and punk sounds (such as their recent release Tomboy), they totally cater to the taste of European audiences. They also took part in the special performance of Day 1 and sang “Love Yourself” by Justin Bieber.

AB6IX‘s members Daehwi, Donghyun and Woojin first debuted in 2017. They could be considered the perfect hyphen between rookies and senior groups. Performing on Saturday with angelic white outfits, they switched to all-black on Sunday. While the group definitely has a steady fanbase, the announcement of their participation to the festival has been slightly overshadowed by Kai’s. Their announcement had been made on the same day, which kept most of the general audience’s eyes on the senior artist. AB6IX managed to change it by delivering a fresh and charismatic performance. Many festival-goers have now joined the ranks of ABNEWs right on time for the group’s come-back (May, 18th).

Daehwi also had a special time to shine when he shared the stage with Mamamoo’s Solar. They both sang a heart-warming rendition of Let It Go from Frozen.

Mamamoo were, undeniably, one of the surprise of this line-up. The group who’s about to turn 8 years old, had never performed in Europe. Their praise-worthy vocals, their teamwork and their overflowing charisma enchanted the audience from both days. While all the members are working a lot on their solo careers, we can feel their happiness when performing together. The many fans singing together with the members and getting hyped to HIP proved Mamamoo’s legacy in the K-Pop industry. They’re definitely one of these group that will make people (Moomoo or not) feel lucky that they got to hear them live.

NCT Dream, who performed for the Saturday audience only, were also finally meeting their fans in Europe for the first time. Missing 2 members (Mark and Haechan) due to their schedule with NCT 127 in Japan, the group performed with five members. Despite that, fans were happy to see the members performing iconic songs such as Hot Sauce, Ridin’ or Hello Future. The remaining members efficiently filled the voids left by Mark and Haechan’s absence. They enjoyed hearing cheers for the first time in while.

Dreamcatcher is quite the opposite when it comes to experiencing Europe. They toured the continent in both 2018 and 2019, as well as performed to previous festivals. On Sunday, they brought their recognizable mysterious concept with them and fans were happy to follow suit. Some fans came wearing the group’s cap and holding their sceptre-like lightstick. The girls were on conquered ground and the energy during Scream proved it.

The same could be say about Monsta X. The group, who performed on Sunday, has also toured Europe three times in the past. They’re here at home and after a VCR that showed how far they’ve come in their career, the members just ate the stage. Their overflowing charisma and stage presence made the fans go crazy. They dealt with this performance as if it was a solo concert, leading the crowd and bringing fans right where they wanted. They were, together with Kai, definitely one of the highlights of the evening.

Kai debuted with EXO in 2012. He was the most “senior” idol of the line-up, yet it was his first solo performance in Europe. Even as a group, EXO had very limited experience on the continent. The announcement of his participation to the festival left many fans ticketless. He basically became the reason why K-POP.FLEX happened over two days. When performing, his sexy charisma and graceful moves captivate the audience. A strong contrast to how easy-going he seems to become as soon as he starts talking.

What’s next ?

The strength of this festival probably lies here. The market for K-Pop in Europe has expanded drastically over the past years. However it remains, for many industry insiders, second to the US market. The number of solo tours has increased in 2019. Despite that, many artists with a strong fanbase have never performed in Europe. By gathering performers from several generations, K-POP.FLEX managed to prove that a variety of K-Pop artists have many fans waiting for them. Maybe through such major events, K-pop fans in Europe can hope to not always be the “And more…” on world tour initial announcements.

And it’s not over : K-POP.FLEX is coming back to Frankfurt in June 2023 and is adding a festival in And it’s not over: K-POP.FLEX is coming back to Frankfurt in June 2023 and will also visit London in September 2023. Europe is definitely becoming a hot place for K-Pop! These new editions will be the perfect opportunity for the festival to prove their growth and improvement.

We’d like to thank K-Pop flex and Live Company Group for having us this week-end.

KAvenyou: Singapore to Korea – Music, Wanderlust, Foodie, Lifestyle.

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