Credit: 2024 Weverse Con Festival, X

The negative sentiment towards HYBE’s chairman Bang Si Hyuk is intensifying following his surprise appearance at the 2024 Weverse Con Festival on June 16th, held at Inspire Arena in Incheon, Yeongjongdo.

Bang Si Hyuk unexpectedly joined JYP on stage during his “Tribute Stage” performance, which was designed to celebrate past achievements and create memorable collaborations with other artists. Previous performances featured acts like BOYNEXTDOOR and ILLIT, showcasing a variety of collaborative stages.

This time, the “Tribute Stage” included support from artists such as Ji Won from fromis_9 and Baekho. However, when Bang Si Hyuk appeared with a guitar to perform nostalgic songs created with JYP, the reaction was mixed. While JYP expressed his joy, saying, “We are performing together for the first time in 22 years,” many global music fans found the performance less appealing.

The backlash was exacerbated by the ongoing conflict between Bang Si Hyuk and Min Hee Jin, the CEO of HYBE’s subsidiary ADOR, as well as legal disputes between ADOR and other labels. Fans were shocked to see Bang Si Hyuk performing cheerfully on stage amidst ongoing issues severely affecting artists and fans. The sight of him smiling and playing the guitar was jarring for many, considering the perceived lack of support and protection he’s shown during turbulent times.

The dissatisfaction led to boos from the audience, and on social media platforms like X, there were numerous calls for refunds. Fans expressed their discontent, saying, “I didn’t attend the concert to see Bang Si Hyuk’s guitar solo,” “It’s baffling to see him smiling and playing guitar after all that’s happening,” and “He’s absent when artists need protection, but shows up as a special guest at ‘Weverse Con.’”

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