Popular idol groups command appearance fees as high as 45 million won (41,000 USD) at college festivals, local media CBS reported Tuesday citing an audit report filed by the National Tax Service. According to the report, all idol groups asked for at least 10 million won (9,200 USD) per stage performance, with Big Bang leading the group at 45 million won (41,000 USD) on average. 2NE1 and SNSD came in at second as each got paid over 25 million won (23,000 USD) per performance. The rest of the group included 2PM with a base fee of 25 million won (23,000 USD), BEAST at 17 million won (16,000 USD), KARA and T-ara each at 16 million won (15,000 USD), while Secret was 14 million won (13,000 USD).
This is a huge increase from just a few years ago when celebrities would get paid only a few million won at local college festivals. Critics are concerned that too much of the schools’ annual budget is being used in paying for these celebrity appearances, when it could be better spent on student welfare and school facility improvements. With spring just around the corner, most Korean colleges will have a celebrity guest one way or another at their spring festival, but students are now concerned that this might diminish their chances of landing a top idol group to perform at their schools.