What do Sasaeng fans do with BTS

These fans know no boundaries

Sasaeng - a trend from Korea / When musicians are followed every step of the way / In Germany, the “crazy” are a bit more discreet

What do the world's most extreme fans do to get their pop star noticed? To scratch? Or cut off a classmate's braid because she thinks Justin Bieber is gay? All of this is nothing against the actions of the so-called Sasaeng fans. Originally from Korea, this term is now used to refer to any excessive follower of the K-pop scene.

The word Sasaeng comes from Korean and means something like "private life". Because these fans invade the privacy of the stars. Her world revolves around her star for 24 hours. Raving, fan meetings, CD and photo collecting - that is enough for most fans. It becomes dangerous when you want more. It starts with following your idol at every turn and possibly spending the night in front of his house or hotel. The appearance of these excessive fans is correspondingly: unkempt skin, oily hair, dirty laundry.

The band with what was probably the first Sasaengs was TVXQ, a K-pop boy group that made it into the Guinness Book of Records with their world's largest fan club. The five boys magnetically attracted hundreds of thousands of girls, but also women, with their dreamy looks. When the band TVXQ wanted to drive home from a concert in their black van, ten taxis followed. The taxi drivers specialize in Sasaeng assignments; they know their job and always know immediately what to do in such a situation. The price for such car chases is excessive; the Sasaeng business is booming. The clients are either born rich or get their money through several jobs - including prostitution.

The horror series peaked when a fan posted a photo showing a member of TVXQ taking an afternoon nap in the sauna. At a press conference, the band member later announced that he had often been attacked by girls in his bedroom. They would have tried to kiss him in his sleep. On his Twitter account he wrote: "I would give anything for a normal life". The police were often called in to help, but prosecution is difficult because the majority of the Sasaengs are minors.

What previously happened to TVXQ is now happening with their label partner EXO, a twelve-piece boy band. The stories with the obsessive fans even make it onto the reputable Korean news channels. So also the most recent event: the brother of a band member got married. The celebration was stormed by wild, intrusive girls. The wedding ended like a nightmare for the newlyweds. With EXO, the Sasaengs have ushered in a new era.

This trend is also spreading in Germany. EXO was recently in Berlin for a photoshoot, where numerous fans were expected - but also brought some of their own. Chinese women flew with the group on the same plane from Seoul to Germany. A female fan from Osterrönfeld, who went to Berlin especially and wants to remain anonymous, reports: “The Chinese women were the most extreme fans that I have 'got to know' so far. As soon as everyone got on the tour bus, they were already in the taxi. ”During the security check at the airport, it beeped even though everything had been handed over to metal. The officers searched and found a hidden camera in the eye of a teddy bear that had previously been presented by a fan.

"For me, Sasaengs are the crazy people who check into the same hotel, break into hotel rooms and steal underwear," the 22-year-old defines the extreme fans. “I only go to the airport or in front of the hotel.” For her, there is an essential difference between the Sasaengs in Germany and those in Korea: “In Korea, the extreme fans want the bands to know about their existence. We find it rather embarrassing when we meet them several times ”.