A few weeks ago, it was announced by Pony Canyon, Lotte Hotel, and a travel agency in Japan that a special Fan Meet was scheduled in Busan from 4/22-4/24. This was in conjunction with Lotte Hotel and Japanese distributor Pony Canyon and, likely, to support the comeback in Japan for the album ‘3’. However, the dates chosen for the fan meet have angered some Korean BANA.
Many have stated this is a JBANA only event, but that’s not quite true. There are several KBANA and IntlBANA, like myself, that will be attending. It did require attendance with a JBANA, but anyone could attend with them. While some saw this as a slap in the face to schedule this on the Korean B1A4 anniversary date, and an important anniversary, I saw it differently. B1A4 have become increasingly popular internationally. This was a chance for all BANA to get to know each other, to work together for B1A4 by promoting communcation. BIU has been doing this for a year (our official anniversary will be March 15th) and we have enjoyed meeting and working with BANA from all over the world. Many of us have flown to several different countries to see our boys in concert and fanmeets, some seeing them for the very first time! We saw this fanmeet as a chance to spend time with our JBANA friends and meet up in South Korea again.
However, some BANA did not see it this way. They then began to add to this by stating WM wasn’t apologizing, then any other news was veiwed negatively as well. It was not a large following, but very vocal and began posting in the fan cafe and even went to WM to put posters on the building calling for a boycott of WM and B1A4. While I can understand their frustration and even, to a degree, their anger… this isn’t how our fandom works. This isn’t how any fandom should work, though I know others have done this. What does it do other than hurt the boys we love? And does it hurt them? It does, very much so.
Contacts have told us that the boys found out about this during their South America tour and had such a reaction that one of the concerts was delayed as some wept, some worried, and they had to get themselves together for the concert. Was this their intended result? I wouldn’t think so, they are supposed to be BANA. We exist for one reason, to love and support B1A4. We do more than just purchase their goods and enjoy their music, we love who they are, what they do, and how they love their fans.
I’ve met so many BANA from Korea, and all are as upset by this episode as I am. Even as I heard the mentionings that some fandoms believe if their group is popular internationally and begin to promote internationally it means they have ‘failed’ in Korea, I couldn’t believe the friends I’d met would believe that. And they don’t. They believe, as I do, that B1A4 gaining international love is an amazing miracle.
We have many artists in the US that are loved all over the world. The do tours in so many countries, you can’t even count, including South Korea. I can honestly say, I’ve never even considered being upset that a US artist was popular in another country, only felt pride… just like I feel with B1A4. Every time they visit a new country, every time a new fan club joins BIU, I feel proud. As a mother, as a fan, as someone who loves them dearly, I thank the heavens that they are receiving love and support from so many directions. That’s what a BANA heart is.
So, in the future, to those that were upset by the poorly timed schedule of the Japan comeback and fanmeet, let’s see it as an opportunity and not a bad thing. Let’s get to know one another, become friends, share our love of B1A4 and leave no room for hateful words or pain. I have yet to meet a BANA I didn’t love, and I never want that to change.
– Heidi, BANA Eomma