The Hanteo Music Awards debacle

How K-pop’s largest award ceremony got messy
Courtney Richard – Argosy Illustrator

If there is one thing that never sleeps (besides New York City), it is the vast world of K-pop, and though the year has only just begun, a lot has happened so far. K-pop fans have had a lot to keep them busy, from trending albums, TikTok viral sensations, crazy award shows, and much more. The year has only just begun, and we have already seen crazy success for Jungkook’s solo album
Golden, DPR Ian’s hit song Don’t Go Insane, and TWICE comeback song With YOU-th. To say nothing of Jimin’s record-breaking presence on Billboard World Artist, and Stray Kids’ song LALALALA officially breaking 100 million streams on Spotify.


The year has so far been met with enormous successes, and though BTS fans have gone crazy without the Bangtan Boys, having nearly changed the fanbase name, the year is set to see some incredible comebacks. Not least of which is TWICE, J-Hope, Wendy of TWICE and Jihyo of TWICE, iKon’s main vocalist and choreographer DK, MAMAMOO+’s first mini-album, EVERGLOW’s comeback album, and H1-KEY’s post-disbandment mini album.


Despite great success, however, the year has likewise been met with insurmountable drama, not least of which entered reality through one of K-pop’s most prestigious award shows: the Hanteo Music Awards. This ceremony compiled all of 2023–2024’s most successful nominees in one room for its 31st year in show business. A lot of excited fans bought tickets, and the lineup for the night was the talk of the internet, ranging from ATEEZ to Zerobaseone. Unfortunately, the event kicked off with an incident that can never be lived down. The standing room area, which was directly in front of the waiting area for performing artists and nominees, was home to a number of mishaps, including two bathroom-related incidents. A fan pooped their pants, removed their trousers, and left them on the floor near the edge of the standing room location, directly in front of the musicians. The stench quickly filled the room, the crowd was put on edge, and the idols had to cover their mouths and noses for the entire event to avoid gagging.


Security was called, but they only confirmed that it was feces, and did nothing more. When prompted to clean it or to retrieve someone who could clean it, the officers claimed this was impossible and that the show must go on regardless. The show did go on, and the band Zerobaseone was eventually called on stage to perform a song. Once their brilliantly choreographed and catchy song was brought to a close, a voice rang up from the cheering crowd that was far louder than the rest. An angry fan was calling for band member Kim Jiwoong to quit, and they were shouting their demand repeatedly in the form of a chant. This one-person protest prompted fans to begin in-fighting, and soon, an altercation broke out, and multitudes of fans were hitting one another in the standing room. A child peed on the floor in the commotion, which caused even more unrest, given the sizable puddle and the significant lack of room between bodies. ATEEZ members called upon Security, and had to physically instruct them on how to do their job to end the altercation. Once the fight was over, and security had once again been called to deal with the bodily waste and had denied their ability to do so, the show moved on.

As the event continued, awards were handed out, performances were performed, noses were clogged, and mouths were gagged. During another performance, Sung Hanbin’s sitemaster was allegedly struck by a flying lighting rod and fainted, although not much has been reported on this. In the far corner of the event, a couple was seen to be having sex, which, due to the security team’s significant lack of dedication, was allowed to continue. By the end, when the event was being wrapped up and people were beginning to leave, they found used condoms in the trash. All in all, what was at first a bright start turned into a traumatic event for all involved. 


While there were a few other music awards held so far this year, not least of which were the Seoul Music Awards, the Hanteo Music Awards certainly stole the show. So far, despite it only being February, a significant amount of things have occurred thus far in the world of K-Pop, and many things are slated to come in the future, from debuts, tours, and comebacks, to the safe return of various idols who have started their mandatory duty in the military.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles