What Actually Happened With G-FRIEND’s Disbandment?
G-FRIEND debuted in 2015 and grew to become one of Korea’s top girl groups due to their myriad of concept styles and skills. They also gained a lot of fans all over the world because of their strong and super synchronized choreography. G-FRIEND made their latest comeback in November 2020 and released “Mago.”
However, fans were saddened by the sudden disbandment which was very unexpected and far from predictable because G-FRIEND is one of the most successful girl groups and has never been involved in any problems during their career journey. Let’s find out more about G-FRIEND’s disbandment in this article below so you can get detailed information about it.
Source Music’s Official Statement About G-FRIEND’s Disbandment
The girl group under Source Music, G-FRIEND, reportedly disbanded for failing to agree on a contract extension with the agency. According to an exclusive report from Tenasia, the members of G-FRIEND will be separating and not renewing their contract with Source Music.
Regarding the shocking report, Source Music finally opened its voice to give its official statement. Source Music announced that G-FRIEND will indeed be leaving the company after they were unable to agree on a contract extension. Source Music made the announcement via a statement through media outlets, sharing that they agreed to go their separate ways and support the members as they continue their future endeavors.
The following is a statement from the agency:
“Hello. This is Source Music. The exclusive artist contracts with G-FRIEND and Source Music will conclude on May 22. After careful consideration and extensive discussions, G-FRIEND and Source Music have reached an agreement to follow separate paths towards sustainable growth.
Over the past six years, G-FRIEND has won the boundless love of K-pop fans through various concepts, performances, and songs that mark a new generation of girl groups and music. We would like to express our sincere and heartfelt gratitude to G-FRIEND for allowing Source Music to accompany them on their journey.
We would like to say a big thank you to all BUDDY (G-FRIEND’s fan group) and fans who have shown your love for G-FRIEND. We ask that you provide unchanging love and support to the members as they embark on their adventures in new and diverse areas.
Source Music will always continue to support the members as they take the first steps towards new beginnings. Thank you.”
G-FRIEND’s Interview in the Past Suggested Source Music’s Bad Treatment
Following the disbandment news, the members’ old interviews about their agency returned to the spotlight. With the expiration of their contract, G-FRIEND decided not to renew their contract with Source Music as a group. The sudden news shocked fans around the world.
A Korean fan was reminded of an interview segment the members had on MMTG with MC JaeJae. The clip was reposted along with the caption, “What makes me really feel is when you watch their interview on MMTG and you’ll know (why).”
This is a response to another fan stating that it was not disbandment but simply them choosing not to renew as a group. Fans are sure that G-FRIEND has the desire for it, and they can always choose to sign as a group with a different agency or set up their own agency similar to Highlight.
In the interview, Yuju shared that there was a time when Source Music made them work so hard during their rookie days that she had to pull out her wisdom teeth to rest.
Yuju’s wisdom teeth weren’t even there then. She thought that if she did, the company would at least let her rest for a bit. Yuju revealed that her mother was very sad that her daughter had to go through such pain just to rest.
The other members also shared that the group had to train so hard when they were rookies that they hated getting up in the morning. Sowon revealed that she had to go on stage despite having an extreme insect phobia.
“Everyone is a little afraid of insects, but there are some people who are really phobic of them, and I am one of them. I practically went on stage with my mind completely out. I didn’t even know how I finished the performance. Down, the members have done really well, I was so sorry about it afterward that I couldn’t lift my head,” Yuju said.
Many Korean fans became heartbroken when they realized the treatment that G-FRIEND received from their agency. Fans hope their future will be better after leaving the agency.
Buddy’s Reaction About G-FRIEND’s Sudden Disbandment and Fan Signing Refund
G-FRIEND fans were shocked when Source Music suddenly announced on May 18, 2021, that the six members would not be renewing their contracts with the agency. This sparked the anger of the fans.
Once the news was out, all schedules and notifications were deleted. G-FRIEND’s fandom, BUDDY, banded together to ask the agency for an explanation and expressed their anger about announcing the end of the contract just four days before it ended.
Fans gathered and wrote a statement of their dissatisfaction. The following contains the points of their complaint against Source Music.
First, the company notified fans about the termination of the contract only four days before the expiration date. G-FRIEND debuted on January 16, but their debut was delayed so fans don’t know the exact date of the expiration of the contract.
Second, the G-FRIEND members were still in constant communication with their fans on Weverse 8 hours before the contract termination announcement. They even continued to upload the “G-ING” vlog the day before, and Umji even did a V-Live. Source Music uploaded the new schedule on the day the announcement was made but deleted it, which meant they cut all schedules after the contract ended.
Third, there is still an unfinished schedule. There are only two rounds of “Halli Queen Yuju,” and at the end of the 2nd round, it says “to be continued.” That means there’s another episode. Yerin has a third season of “Beauty Time” scheduled for May 30.
Fourth, there is still time left for membership. Each membership costs ₩25,000 for one year. However, if the contract expires on May 22 and the membership becomes unusable, then the person who purchased the membership will lose several months afterward.
Fifth, there is an article that was uploaded five minutes earlier than the company’s official statement. The first article was posted at 11:46 a.m., but the official statement from Source Music was posted at 11:51 a.m. There was a fan sign event that was postponed because it wasn’t mentioned. The fans waited patiently because it wasn’t stated, but the reply we got was a contract termination.
Because of these questions, G-FRIEND’s fans asked Source Music to release a statement answering all the questions they have asked the agency. Regarding the refund of BUDDY’s official fan club membership, Source Music stated, “All refund amounts will be refunded through Weverse cash, which can be used at the Weverse Shop.”
This angered many G-FRIEND fans. Many questioned whether other companies would have such a ridiculous refund policy as Source Music.
Fans are even more furious at the fact that even with their Weverse money back, they no longer have much choice when it comes to spending it on G-FRIEND goods. The only merchandise, apart from albums and DVDs, currently listed on G-FRIEND’s Weverse Shop are light stick holders.
“Really, they must be crazy. Are they kidding? What’s left for us to buy at the Weverse Shop that they refund us with Weverse money? If they weren’t kidding, they really played dirty to the end. If you’re going to act like this, why don’t you get your reward through Weverse cash too?” netizen comments.
“In the Weverse Shop, apart from a few albums and DVDs, the only merchandise left is this light stick holder. What exactly did they tell us to buy with Weverse cash? I can’t say anything else,” added another netizen. “What the hell? They’re crazy!” concluded another.
G-FRIEND’s Members Wrote Farewell Letters After the Group Officially Disbanded
On May 19, 2021, the six members uploaded individual handwritten letters via Weverse discussing their disbandment and their careers so far. The letters express the members’ feelings after the disbandment and expressed gratitude for Buddy’s support all this time.
Here are G-FRIEND’s handwritten letters alongside the translation in English: