Peruvian Fandom, Subculture, Kpop and SMTown Peru

I remember back when I was in high school, I had a group of friends who were (and still are) Jpop fans. I know that some of them have “converted” to Kpop, but as a general rule, they still are fans of J-music. The thing is, back then, they had to (and still) do the impossible to get albums and attend concerts — though concerts have improved thanks to Jrockers like X Japan, Dir en Grey and Miyavi [1]. Fans of Jmusic would generally be fans of anime, though I don’t really consider my friends otakus because I’ve never seen them do cosplay… but they may be doing that on the side for all I know.

Japanese culture has always been floating around here in Peru, but it was never a mainstream thing even if we had a president named Fujimori. You would always need to go to a specific place like C.C. Arenales or those iffy stands on the Cinephile’s Paradise to get the latest videos/music — you had to have a subscription to Revista Sugoi. That was a given.

However, in all those years that I had seen Japanese music floating around here and there, I had never seen such media attention like Kpop is receiving. I guess we have the interweb to thank. After all, accessibility means everything nowadays.

It is because it’s so easy to send an email, get people together, set up flashmobs, put together fanvids, get interviews, live performances, music videos, and even get MP3s (legal or not). It’s good to be a Kpop fan in the digital age. It’s easy to call the attention of the press when fans are organized, this is why they’ve had their fair share of local entertainment news like RPP Noticias [1], Parada Norte [1] and Panamericana Television, which is practically the inception point that spread Korean dramas in Peru [1], covering Kpop activities and helping spread the Korean Wave [1] — to be honest, Arashi had its own coverage not long ago from Veronica Ayllon’s De Pelicula.


YAM Magazine editor, photographer, blogger, translator and part-time web designer. Film junkie, music junkie… and lately series (a.k.a. TV) junkie.

12 Responses

  1. Rodrigo says:

    I think that if SM Town analyzes South America and really wants to put a show there, their safest bet should be Brazil (either Rio or SP), despite Peru having the most amount of votes and begging around the Internet.

    • amy says:

      @Rodrigo, Brazil is a good pick in terms of country availability. I don’t think many (if any) neighboring countries need visas to get it, and they’ve got the venues.

      But in terms of Kpop, despite the amount of votes for Big Bang, it seems their events and activities are relatively smaller. Sure, Peru may be louder and it’s still at odds on whether or not it can deliver…

      I wonder how many Peruvian Kpop fans would fly to Brazil for the concert, and how that compares to the Brazilian Kpop fans that would fly to Peru for the same event.

      Have you been to any concerts outside the country? xD Or you know… chase after someone?

      • Mirella says:

        @amy, I rather doubt many Peruvian Kpop fans will go to Brazil for the concert. Why? As far as I have seen, many (not all, but maaaaaaaaaaaany) Kpop fans here are teenage girls and hardly any of them have a job (or a rich permissive dad) that makes a ticket to Brazil and a show a reality they can afford :P

  2. Julili says:

    I didn’t know that other Latin countries needed visas to get in to Peru. That puts a damper on it all.

    Are all other Latin countries the same? I feel like Brazil would be a bit far fetched. I doubt that it’s like here in EU, were you can travel cheap between the Eu countries if you need to.

    • amy says:

      @Julili, they don’t. But many Latin countries need visas to get into Mexico. ;)

      I think most South American countries don’t need visas to get into each other, it’s different with Central American, and def. Mexico.

  3. ghost says:

    The most noticeable Latin American countries into Kpop are Mexico, Brazil and Peru, right? You can’t really make the concert outside those three because you can’t just rely on people traveling into another country to fill up a venue.

    Mexico used to require visas from a lot of Latin American countries, but apparently since last year, if you have a US visa, you can enter Mexico regardless of where you’re from. But that’s counting people have a US visa… if you don’t have one, Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Colombia are out.

    I don’t know about Peru or Brazil. But Mexico doesn’t look good.

    • amy says:

      @ghost, true. You can’t make the concert in a country that’s not already into Kpop. Though, I think Colombia has a few fans, I have no idea if they are as many as the others though. Definitely easier to see the fans in Mexico, Brazil and Peru.

      For Peru, the ones that need visas are Costa Rica, Cuba (well, this one is a given), El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Panama… apparently, also Mexico – due to bilateral treatment (we need a visa, so they need a visa). However, I remember that there was a whole issue on that, and the government supposedly back down on that.

      But the rest can get in due to the Comunida Andina passport or something like that. You know, like the European Union but less cool… and less complicated money problems. LOL

      If anyone wants to share their Brazil visa knowledge, be my guest. xD

    • amy says:

      @ghost, oh look!

      According to this list of the Brazilian Consulate in San Francisco, countries like Argentina, Peru, Colombia, Chile, Mexico and some other countries are exempted from a visa…

      but! it does seem to be more countries require it to enter than Peru.

  4. monchamonroy says:

    Yo soy de México y para mi es mas viable viajar a Peru por ver un Concierto de Kpop que a Brasil, creo que logisticamente es mejor opcion Peru :)

  1. January 26, 2014

    […] have been closely looking into the spread of Kpop in Peru [1]. From fandom events covered by some local media outlets to segments in some television shows and […]

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