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Fans camp out for live Korean Pop’s rare appearance in Lawrence

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Dozens of Oneus fans wound down the sidewalks of Massachusetts and Seventh streets Thursday morning awaiting a rare occurrence in the Sunflower State – live K-Pop.

Mostly young women, they arrived outside Liberty Hall on Wednesday — from Wichita, the KC metro and Topeka, hoping to snag a good floor seat when the doors open for the sold-out show scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday.

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Sleeping bags, coolers, Starbucks cups, glitter and makeup surrounded fans waiting outside. An opportunity to see a major K-Pop live show in Kansas is rare, they said, and it’s worth the wait as well as the cold temperatures they endured camping overnight.

Grateful for the opportunity to see a K-Pop boy band near home, Jenna Osborn, of Topeka, said she had flown as far as Los Angeles to see BTS. On Thursday, she wore mostly black from head to toe, an homage to Michael Jackson and the Oneus song “Black Mirror.” Sparkles at the bottom of her bolero jacket spelled out the names of all six members of the band.

Waiting for the Oneus show at Liberty Hall are, from left, Bre Gouge, Shiann Runnels and Jenna Osborn, of Topeka; and Michaela Bickhard, Natashia Petersen and Michela Gray, of Wichita. Oneus will perform March 3 at Liberty Hall.
Tricia Masenthin / The Lawrence Times

Some fans said they loved the South Korean culture shared by Oneus; others marveled at the band’s sophisticated choreography and musical talents.

“They’re professional dancers as well, rappers and singers, so unlike a lot of American artists – you know we get a lot of walking back and forth on stage and one singer with backup dancers – this is more like power dancing by the whole group,” said Natashia Peterson, of Wichita.

And as fans spied Oneus’ Ravn and Leedo walking down Mass Street, childhood friends and University of Kansas juniors Courtney King and Renuka Dabli, of Overland Park, sat in the sun watching, holding the spot in line they claimed at 3 p.m. Wednesday. They belong to KU’s K-Pop Dance Club.

“I got her into K-Pop and now she’s more obsessed than I am,” King laughed.

Tricia Masenthin / The Lawrence Times Fans camped overnight to snag the best seats for the K-Pop band Oneus show scheduled for March 3, 2022, at Liberty Hall.

Fans said they were excited to experience a live show after two years of the COVID-19 pandemic. The venue’s protocol includes proof of vaccination against COVID-19.

Remaining stops on the Oneus tour include Houston, Texas; Beverly Hills, Calif; and Germany. Vanner, another K-Pop band, is scheduled to perform April 1 at the Granada Theater.

Tricia Masenthin / The Lawrence Times Fans line up on Seventh Street in Lawrence awaiting the K-Pop band Oneus show on March 3, 2022.
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Tricia Masenthin (she/her), equity reporter, can be reached at tmasenthin (at) lawrencekstimes (dot) com. Read more of her work for the Times here. Check out her staff bio here.

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