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What Is A “Cupsleeve Event” And Why Is This K-Pop Phenomenon Taking Off In Malaysia?

What Is A “Cupsleeve Event” And Why Is This K-Pop Phenomenon Taking Off In Malaysia?

These cupsleeve events are a great way to celebrate an idol’s achievements with fellow fans.

Melissa Suraya Ismail

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Ever heard of a Cupsleeve event? First of all, you need to be well versed with K-Pop before you can understand what a cupsleeve event is. K-Pop is a global music phenomenon that came from South Korea and nowadays, a lot of their songs are even on the billboard charts.

Nobody takes their idol’s lives more seriously than K-Pop fans. K-Pop fandom has taken the world by storm and devoted K-Pop fans will do whatever it takes when it comes to their idol. Including hosting an event to celebrate the birthday of their idol, minus the physical presence of the idol, of course.

The decorations in a cupsleeve event often include a photobooth (left) with the idol’s name or picture and stacks of the so-called ‘cupsleeves’ (right) on tables.
(Credit: @maeumi05, @bbloomingsoo / Twitter)

This “celebrate your idol in a cafe” phenomenon undoubtedly came from South Korea where some of the very big cupsleeves events are held. A concert may be too expensive and original albums and merch do cost a fortune too. So why not support them in a cheaper and fun way by joining an exciting cupsleeve event?

READ MORE: Kpop Fans Spend Up To RM5,700 On Their Idols

Following South Korea, this sparked a trend across the globe for true blue fans to organize their own event to celebrate a loved artist in their own country.

How Does It Work And Who Do They Benefit

A cupsleeve event is basically any event to celebrate their K-Pop idols, like birthdays, debut anniversaries, album releases, achievements and more. Celebrating their artists’ army enlistments can also be a viable reason. The events are done by the fans, for the fans in cafes. The highlight of these events is, of course, the cupsleeves.

The organizer basically prepares unofficial merchandise to give away or sell during the event and usually, everyone will get a cupsleeve with the picture of their celebrated idols whenever they buy a beverage there. This indirectly benefits the owner of the cafes as well, as they can boost sales with these types of events.

The cupsleeves on beverages (left) and photocards or ‘pc’ that fans can get as freebies.
(Credit: @skzchxnnie, @daisyhoonie / Twitter)

In a cupsleeve event, fans get together to enjoy their idol’s music, play games like trivia, take pictures with the decors, eat, socialize and share their love for their favourite idols. You can also get freebies like photo cards, small banners and hand fans.

To put it in simple words, a cupsleeve event is basically fangirling, in a group, at a cafe.

From Fans To Friends

Another key takeaway from this event is making new connections along the way. Fans that are usually communicating with each other via the internet can finally meet in real life and bond more.

The K-Pop community is extremely strong as a cultural force, and they often channel that energy into charity work and volunteerism, such as the RM25k flood relief aid for affected Malaysians that K-Pop fans successfully collected.

Examples of poster invitations describing the details of the event and what freebies the fans can get.
(Credit: @marchwithdream, @leejuyeonns / Twitter)

Apart from that, this also trains a very devoted fan to be a top-notch event organiser. They’ll have to figure out venues, merchandise, decorations, publicity, registration and even profit that they can get from this. It’s more than just fangirling you know.

Where Can I Join

If you are a true blue K-Popper and would love to join these events here in Malaysia, you can check out when, where and who are people celebrating at @cupsleeveMY. Although the events are scattered around the country, most cupsleeve events are done in the Klang Valley, specifically at NU Sentral. So go and celebrate your favourite oppa’s birthday together with your online friends!

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