Smiti Iyer, New Delhi
You’ll love this, as much as Stray Kids #LOVESTAY
The Indian Fanbase of the K-Pop group Stray Kids, Stray Kids India (@straykidsindiaa) in collaboration with various regional fanbases (@hwanghyunjindaily, @straykids_mumbai_official, @staybengaluru, @StrayKids_TamilNadu and @straykids_Bengal) of the group had organised an offline event – ‘Hyunjin Day’; birthday of the member of the group and Stray Kids Anniversary was celebrated in the month of March and April, with the theme named ‘LoveStay Café.’ The event has been organised in Delhi (Greensky Café), Mumbai (Café White Lama), Bengaluru (MiG Café), Chennai (Kiteblu Café) and Kolkata (25 Main Street Café), where exciting games along with prizes, food, freebies and much more was awaited for the fans of the group. Hallyuism was invited as the media partner to cover this event and here is the excerpt from the organisers’ and attendees’ experience for organising the event. Take a look:
Mudi (Stray Kids India)
We wrapped up five out of six cities event in a span of 2 days across the weekend of Hyunjin’s birthday but the preparation has been going on for much longer. Before the pandemic, we were all set to hold an event in Delhi & Mumbai for Stray Kids’ 2nd Anniversary however things didn’t go as planned. Back then we had no idea how long the lockdown would go on for or How Stray Kids would blow up attracting so many new Stays specially in India.
When things started looking better, we came up with the idea to hold a cup sleeve event all over India, I personally wanted to include as many cities as possible but we had to shortlist down to 6 considering the availability of volunteers and Covid-19 restrictions as per every city. The preparation for all cities went by really smoothly since everyone cooperated well. All admins of Regional Fanbases and the organisers took their responsibilities very sincerely. We gathered over 500+ people across 5 cities to celebrate Hyunjin’s 22nd Birthday & Stray Kids’ 4th Anniversary. Despite of the Covid-19 Restrictions, this is an incredible achievements as fandom!
We actually started planning the Delhi event much before we came up with the ‘LoveStay’ theme! We started looking for suitable venues back in September 2021 for our very first Stray Kids Cup sleeve Event in India! After shortlisting and confirming with all regional fanbases we finalized 5 cities by the end of 2021, our plan came into action in January when we finalised and booked cafes in different cities.
Seeing over hundred Stays in Delhi , all coming in one by one wearing their Stray Kids merch, carrying SKZOO plushies, holding Lighsticks & everyone knowing the lyrics to all Stray Kids songs… It felt like a dream come true, something I’ve longed for ever since I became a STAY. I personally had a lot of fun designing posters and event merch for STAYs. Preparing for the event was hectic but it was an unforgettable experience. (Mudi) I would love to organise another event in Delhi soon (or maybe something is already in action :P) But as the admin of Stray Kids India, my priority is to bring these events to those cities first who weren’t a part of the LoveStay Cafe.
In past 2 years we’ve seen Stray Kids’ remarkable growth in India but to finally witness it with the actual presence of STAYs, to be able to be a part of it from the beginning until this very moment has been a very memorable experience for me.
Shubhangi (HWANG HYUNJIN DAILY)
The Lovestay Café was just a mere, ambitious idea a few months ago, owing to the fact that hardly any cupsleeve events happened on the regular in India, and also that there had never been an event dedicated solely to Stray Kids. After months of planning, organising, and coordinating, the Sunday of Hyunjin’s birthday was finally here. It was an absolute surprise seeing the crowd, and the number of stays that came in. To see all of our ideas manifested in the space was like a dream, and the essence, presence and personality of Hwang Hyunjin could be felt in every bit of the cafe. The wall of his artwork, pictures from his solo photoshoots, and the idea of “lovestay” was imprinted everywhere. The day was beyond anything we expected. To see so many stays meet each other for the first time, singing along to the videos, or crying over how beautiful the music was, and bonding over something we all loved was the quintessential idea of what we wanted the event to be like, making it an absolutely perfect experience.
Stuti & Dimple (STRAY KIDS MUMBAI OFFICIAL)
“Lovestay Cafe Event” was an extremely heartwarming and extraordinary experience for both of us as we both were always excited for organising an event. When Mudi (Stray Kids India Admin) told us that let’s plan something for Hyunjin’s Birthday and SKZ Anniversary, we were so excited and were planning out to add Mumbai to the list too for making Mumbai Stays as well as K-Pop bond together!
Us as well all other fanbases have been planning about this since last 6 months, however we started executing our plans 3 months prior. It was an amazing experience of finding a perfect cafe for the event (Café White Lama), also selecting the freebies, drinks, decorations that stays will admire. Yes, it was a bit tiring but overall we enjoyed a lot and we hope that each and everyone who attended our event loved the experience at their best!
We also planned out few games for all the stays to interact better, including: Guess the SKZ song in 1/ 5 seconds intro, Mafia Game where we selected 4 mafias randomly and gave certain tasks to them and if they are caught they lose all their freebies and Random Play Dance (SKZ and K-Pop both).All the winners and top dancers received freebies as their gifts. We also had two cakes for Hyunjin (with Jiniret) and a SKZ themed! The Stays enjoyed them a lot! Thank you so much to everyone who attended and we hope we will be able to organise more such events with working a little more better on more aspects in future!
Maanya & Nikita (STAY BENGALURU)
One evening in October over a glass of soju, was when I and Stray Kids India admin, discussed about having a India wide event for the boys. The planning, beginning from searching of venue to cut a deal and finalise a café, then the merch and freebies etc. too the maximum amount of time, to be precise it would be about 3 months. Then 1 month before the event was the toughest time as we opened the registrations and people from every nook and corner bombarded us with queries. Especially in Bengaluru, we have a free walk-in event with special merch set kits. The pre-orders for the same, then printing, keeping records and packing all of it by hand, stretched us thin. Yet, we pulled it off. Finally, it was the event day, we expected about a 100 people however, we had more than 150 people who walked in. The positive feedback from everyone made it more special. They loved the merch kits, freebies such as bookmarks and photocards, the ambience and the company of fellow stays. All in all the day was a very memorable and special one for us as Stay Bengaluru base admins as well as our audience.
Swetha, Shakhti & Jefrina (STRAY KIDS TAMIL NADU)
Hello! We are Swetha, Shakthi and Jefrina the admins of Stray Kids Tamil Nadu!! I, Swetha, was present at the spot & conducted the event that day and the 2 other admins stood as pillars supporting me. “Lovestay Cafe Event” was an amazing experience to both us and the stays, who came from nooks and corners of the city just to meet the fam.
At first when we were told about the event, we were honestly worried about the head counts which we calculated would be something near 20. But, the numbers exceeded our wildest expectations. 100 Stays showed up that day all equally excited by just knowing, they are able to be a part of the very first Stray Kids event in the city. So on the behind the stage scenes, I started scripting the events and we started to execute our plans from 2 months prior. The location find was an interesting experience for us. since I got to visit some good old quaint cafés in the city and the LoveStay café (KiteBlu Café) met all our expectations on the space, ambience, food quality, staff and decors. We worked as one team in naming the drinks, selecting freebies, decorating the café. It was a bit exhausting for me that day but I never felt any exhaustion after seeing the happy faces of the fellow stays who were cheering up there. Overall, we had so much fun and also believe each and everyone who attended our event had the same heart-warming experience!
Some of the games we planned for the stays to interact are:
• Lovestay Choice an interactive situation game.
• SKZTIONARY a Pictionary quiz game with little gifts for the winning team.
• Chansmash a balloon smashing game.
We also had a raffle giveaway where we used random generators to select winners who received few official photocards. Also, all the Stays who came to the event received freebies kit as their parting gifts! We also had a cute self-designed cake for Hyunjin+ SKZ ODDINARY CB! Also a SKZOO photo booth was kept there.
Thank you all for making this event a success even though we had some hiccups here and there! We believe that we will be able to organise more events like this in a even bigger set up with more events planned out! Thank you once again and Seeyou soon guys!!
Kritika (STRAY KIDS BENGAL)
LoveStay Cafe (Kolkata)! The event we all have been looking forward to for such a long time, thanks to @straykidsindiaa we’re being able to host such an event in Kolkata, for the first time! 3rd of April, 2022, we’ll finally be able to bring STAYS all over from Kolkata together! meet them and spend a quality time together. We have prepared quite a few activities for our fellow STAYS, who’ll be present in the event! to make the event more of an interactive and enjoyable one, we’ll have quiz sessions, random dance play, shuffle games and much more!
Our @straykids_bengal team is really excited for the event, now that we have barely seven days in hand, we have a picture plotted in our minds about the whole event, about how it may turn out, it sends a mixture of emotions down our spine. getting the opportunity to work together with the other fanbases, Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai & Bangalore this time is really we’re proud of, seeing the work process of their events have inspired us a lot!
We’ll try our best and give our all to make sure the LoveStay Cafe Event in Kolkata turns out as amazing and memorable as the others!
Many fans after attending the event, have shared their experience at the end of the event.
Have a look at those experience as well:
My experience at the LoveStay Cafe was awesome. Everything about it was on point. The decoration was so beautiful, you could feel the essence of Hyunjin with every step you took there. Stays present there were really amazing which made the event even better. Would love to attend events like these again in future.
It was well organised – had such fantastic props and decor to take any stay by surprise by the extent of thought put into everything – like the wall with Hyunjin’s artwork displayed, the fun game, the freebies and the sweet gesture of giving away the printed photos at the end of the event – idk it was just so amazing. Without getting too emotional, I wanted to add that attending something like this, when we went through two years of a deadly pandemic was something all our spirits needed to be revived and reminded that we can still laugh, have a community, find a common ground to laugh and be merry TOGETHER!
The LoveStay cafe was an absolute dream of an event to experience, definitely one of the most memorable and fun events I’ve attended. As someone who’s been into K-Pop for a little less than a decade I’ve had the chance to witness the growth of the subculture, namely- movie screenings, random play dance events, concerts and so much more but what made this event exceptionally memorable was the added realisation of the surge of Stray Kid’s popularity in India and just how much the STAY fandom had grown over these past two years nationwide. Walking into the event- the energy was eclectic, everything from the beautiful decor to the kindest of organisers and most importantly- STAYs, who were some of the most loveliest and enthusiastic bunch to be with. Being able to be a part of a celebration with avid fans especially after the dreadful lockdown period felt incredibly refreshing and is something I definitely look forward to sometime again in the future!
LoveStay Cafe Bengaluru was one of the most memorable experiences of my life. It was the first ever K-Pop event I went to and I enjoyed myself so so much! I screamed, sang, laughed, cried and celebrated my idols with so many people! It was an exhilarating experience! Standing there and shouting “Stray Kids Everywhere All Around the World, You Make Stray Kids Stay” with so many others Will be a highlight of my life. It has made me more confident and got me out of my comfort zone with respect to socialising in real life! I cannot thank the team enough for letting me be a part of the process behind the scenes and in the developmental stages!
The event was really fun. I was surprised that so many turned up for the event. I remember talking to someone about how there may be 30-40 people coming. Was pleasantly surprised with the number of people attending. The event as a whole for my first ever K-Pop event, was really nice and I’m glad this was my first event. It was organised really well, the people were really nice. Loved the merch that we got. I’m glad I got to be a part of the event. Hoping there would be more future events like these. Thank you!!
This event was basically my first ever social event to attend and I’m glad I could attend and even volunteer, this event not only helped me learn how to socialise but help me find so many lovely people and also a little bit of courage to sing a song without being scared in front of almost more than 200 people. And I’m also glad I could be a a little helpful to the people who held this event. Genuinely looking forward to more events like this for many more bands too and hopefully I’ll be able to volunteer too.
Oh, and a very special mention to the merch, I absolutely loved it, and I got to say the effort they put into this was great and I can assure about the fact that this event was in fact a really successful one. Like I said, looking forward to more events like this. Finally, I’d genuinely like to thank the admins for arranging such an event for the stays of Bengaluru.
I was pretty much surprised that there was a STAY event in Bangalore, I’ve only known of a few that stan SKZ. The event was really cool i got to meet a bunch of talented people, a lot of fun and games during the event I got to play music for everyone which I’m happy about 😊loved pre order merch design, I’m glad to have attended and volunteered for this event and looking forward to a lot more 🙂
The #LoveStay cafe organized by the Stray Kids India fanbase was the first fan meet I have attended, despite having been a K-Pop fan of multiple groups for a while. The energy was unmatched and has set my expectations higher for any future fan-meets to come (no pressure!). The room was packed with passionate fans who shared their love for the boys and the excitement was contagious. The organisers did a great job at keeping the spirits high on a balmy Saturday noon, with games, food, and performances. Getting to meet others who share a common love for Stray Kids and their music was exhilarating. The goodies at the event were the cherry on top.
It. Was. Everything. A. Stay. Wanted!! The energy, the music, the craziness and loud chaos of joy is what the perfect summary for Chennai Lovestay event was. All that months of hype was satisfied. Loved the cafe ambience. Loved the admins efforts and very much loved all the 100 stays that showed up to the event. My personal favourite was when at one point all the STAYs started to sync their phones with rave app and started to play Stray Kids song and singed their hearts out!! And there were amazing stay-boys who were epic vibe of their own! The ending with raffle event was awesome! We all returned home with lots of gifts. Special thanks to Swetha, Shakthi and Jefrina for making this event unforgettable!! And can’t wait for more Stray Kids events to happen in future!!
Rubén (Tamil Nadu)
I wanted to tell you this on the event day itself! Lemme tell you now! Thank you guys for making this event happen! This is my first event in my lifetime which I will never forget! I was feeling empty after the leaving the event venue! I’m very very happy to be there!! And sorry for not being able to be at the event till the end! We got to check out the room so that we went faster! We’ll try to attend another event if our time matched with the event! The first impression the best impression thast what I felt! Even though there’s some time lapse and think it’s very very pro type for a very first event!! As I’ve been introvert and haven’t socialised with lot of people, I’ll try to socialize a lot in the future thing! Thank you so much for making this event and helped me to made a memorable day in my life!!
Sayantani Hazra (Kolkata)
The event itself was arranged really well and all the events planned by the admins were really enjoyable too. I especially liked the Random dance play event and the one in which you had to recognise which member was singing. Overall it was an experience that I would want to experience again.
Arya Jaiswal (Kolkata)
I thoroughly enjoyed the program and all the activities organized by the admins. The best part was that they played SKZ along with some other K-Pop songs on that day and everyone was so happy and dancing and recording something. All the admins and STAYs were friendly and I liked the atmosphere.
A well organised event and the admins were really friendly. The decorations were great too and I thoroughly enjoyed, especially the random dance play round which wasn’t bounded to just Stray Kids songs. Hopefully we’ll have more such events, thank you for having us!
This was my first time attending an event like this. But, thanks to the admins, they made it memorable for me. First of all, I need to say that the Event was so well organised and it clearly shows how much hardwork the admins must have done. Loads of love to them. The random dance event was sooo good!! I enjoyed each and every single thing that day and I want to experience all of these things again.
Piasa Dey (Kolkata)
I really don’t have any words. It was more than beautiful, wonderful, sweet, pretty and lovely. Like really speaking from my heart, the first SKZ Bengal stays meet up will be the best memory I will cherish forever. A very big thank you for all of your hard work and for this lovely event.
Want such events to be conducted in your city too? Let us know in the comments below.