BTS’s Jin Fan Event Sparks Controversy Over CD Purchase Requirement

bts jin military discharge
bts jin military discharge
Credit: iMBC

Big Hit Music, the label under HYBE that manages BTS, has responded to mounting criticism regarding the criteria for entering a fan event celebrating Jin‘s return from military service. Fans were outraged upon learning they needed to purchase CDs to qualify for entry, prompting the label to issue an apology and announce a revision of the rules.

On June 2nd, Big Hit announced via Weverse that they would alter the entry criteria for the “2024 FESTA” event featuring Jin. This highly anticipated event is scheduled for July 13th, the day after Jin’s military discharge, at Jamsil Indoor Gymnasium in Seoul. The event, split into two parts, includes a “hug session” with 1,000 fans in the first part and various programs scheduled in the second part.

Initially, Big Hit limited event entry to ARMY membership holders who purchased BTS’s Proof album and solo albums released by BTS members on Weverse Shop from June 2nd to June 6th. This sparked a significant backlash from fans, many of whom already owned these albums, criticizing the requirement as a forced duplicate purchase.

Fans were quick to criticize the entry criteria, arguing that it contradicted the stated intention of Jin wanting to spend meaningful time with ARMY up close. The automatic entry system based on the number of albums ordered meant that the more albums fans purchased, the higher their chances of winning, leading to further complaints. Critics likened this to the common “pushout” practice in the music industry, where distributors and sellers buy large quantities of new albums to inflate initial sales figures, and in return, agencies reward them with fan sign event entries. This practice pressures fans to purchase dozens or even hundreds of albums to increase their chances of winning.

bts jin military discharge
Credit: Big Hit Music

In response to the growing criticism, Big Hit stated, “We apologize for the unclear previous announcement and for not thoroughly setting the criteria in advance,” adding, “We will revise the entry requirements to consider both those who purchase albums for the event and those who have previous purchases recorded on Weverse Shop. Details will be announced soon after careful consideration.” The statement concluded, “We will do our best to ensure that Jin’s feelings are conveyed well to the fans.”

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