Going to a KPOP concert is one thing. Going to a KPOP concert in Korea is another.
Here in Koreanophiles, we try to give you readers a good taste of KPOP, and ofcourse that includes concerts both in an out of Korea. For today’s post, we’re going to help you out through the process of getting into a concert in Korea itself. Whether you’re about to go, planning to go, or dreaming to go, we hope this post helps you in living the ultimate KPOP Dream.
STEP 1: Ticketing
The agency has announced ticketing and concert dates, now what?
Korean ticketing usually comes through 3 sites: Interpark, G-Market, and Yes24.
Though you may think Korean ticketing would be easy due to their advanced technology and wifi, it actually isn’t. Korean fan or not, ticketing is one heck of a ride.
While the Philippine concerts have #iponing, Korean concerts have #ticketing.
Korean ticketing sites may seem hopeless, but we’ll give you a gist of the ticketing sites anyway.
Interpark may have an English site, but their English site is very limited. For registration, there is no need for a Korean number, and they do offer overseas shipping as well. As for payment options, you can choose between a Korean card or a foreigner card.
G-Market is a bit more tricky as site registration is pretty limited to foreigners residing in Korea. You will need a Korean bank account and an Alien Registration Number. There are times they accept foreign cards or “해외 카드” for payments, so you can choose that instead of using your Korean one.
Yes24, or as Koreans would call, “No24” because this site is just.. no. Yes24 accepts foreign registrations on their Korean site despite already having an English site, but the English site is also very limited. Also, based on experience, this site is slow and it crashes a lot even with Korean internet connection when it comes to ticketing. By the time you’re in, you’d be lucky if you see the words “예매하기” or open for reservation. For payments, you can do it through credit card or bank transfer. If you do happen to succeed in reserving a ticket, do not refresh the page! Just keep waiting until you get to the payment window, and from experience, they actually do accept foreign cards. Another thing is, it is advisable to use Internet Explorer for Yes24. As slow as it may seem, Yes24 is really just made for Internet Explorer.
Now that you have an idea on the ticketing sites, we’ve come up with a list of words that you will encounter as you book a ticket. The translations are provided as well!
- 구매하기 – Buy
- 예매 – Reserve
- 매진 – Sold out
- 장 – Tickets (if there is a number before it, that means you got that certain number/amount of tickets)
- 석 – Seat
- 첫콘 – First Day of the Concert
- 중콘 – Middle Leg of the Concert
- 막콘 – Final Day of the Concert
In terms of pricing, I only go to one group’s solo concerts so I only know theirs, but all tickets, no matter what section and row it is in, are priced at about PHP4,700.
STEP 2: Failed ticketing? Use Twitter religiously!
Rather than going for black market sites who usually sell tickets for 4 to 10 times the actual price, search in Twitter instead!
You can search up “(group name) 양도 직거래”, which means direct/meet-up ticket selling. Do keep in mind that scalpers will still show up though. They will sell for a higher price, but usually a lot lower than the black market ticket sites. If you have no spare cash to put out for your desperate need of a ticket, search “(group) 원가 양도 직거래” which means Original price ticket transaction.
Be sure to also ask for a photo of the “예매 좌석 위치 사진” aka purchased seat plan, or the actual ticket if it’s already available. Once settled, plan where to meet and do your transaction there 🙂
STEP 3: Getting your ticket.
Tickets are delivered out to their buyers around 1-2 weeks from ticketing day. If you’re buying from a third-party (eg: Twitter users), then you’ll have to set up a meeting date and place. You might want to apply for a Korean sim card for this as you’ll have to text your seller during the meet up!
Once you have your ticket, check your seating plan!
On your ticket, you’ll see numbers along side the words 층, 구역, 열 and 번. 층 means floor, 구역 means area, 열 means row, 번 means seat number. So for example you get a 2층 9구역 1열 2 번, that means you’re at 2nd Floor, Area 9, Row 1, 2nd seat. That’s a really good seat if you ask me!
STEP 4: D-DAY! Merch time!
Official merchandise is the second most stressful thing after ticketing. If you want to snag some of the official merch, you have to wake up early and get to the venue. Usually, solo concerts are held at Olympic Park. To get there, get off at Olympic Park Station, and leave at Exit 3. Once you’re out, immediately turn right and walk straight ahead. You’ll be greeted by the goods and the arena by then. While you walk to the arena, ahjusshis will be everywhere saying “Ticket, ticket” really lowly, but those tickets that they have are being sold for a much higher price. If you went to the venue with no ticket in hand, line up in the Happy Box ticket booth instead rather than buying from scalpers. It will be a long line and waiting time, but you’ll be assured with a base price ticket.
For the official goods, there will be tents where you can look at the displayed goods, where you pay, and where you claim your purchased good. Basing from experience, lining by 6:30am is already quite risky since there will be about 200-300 people ahead of you already. I got there by 6:30, goods started selling at 10, and despite lining up early, some goods were already sold out once I was at the counter. If you’re driven enough, you can go to other concert days earlier or just as early in attempt of snagging more goods.
STEP 5: Hours before the concert
There are a lot of food places around the concert venue. You have food stalls, restaurants, cafes and even convenience stores to choose from. Stack up on energy before you party! Also, fansites will be giving away free goods, like fans, slogans, stickers, and photocards. Just look for their announcements on Twitter for time and location, and be at the meet up place for about 30 minutes earlier because people flock to these goods just as much as they flock to official ones.
STEP 6: HERE WE GO!
Once you get inside the venue, a lot of staff will be roaming around with “No photos and videos” signs. The same warning is flashed on the screens. Before the concert and after the concert, you can take photos but take extra caution when doing it during the concert itself. Personally, I only took sneak photos when security isn’t around for Instagram purposes (lol), but I had to do a lot just to be able to sneak. Should you be caught by security, be ready for some scolding, pulling out of the venue, and some gallery invasion. It hasn’t happened to me personally, but a friend did get dragged out and got asked to delete every single concert photo in her phone right infront of security’s eyes. So yep, be careful or might as well just watch and enjoy with your eyes! Your camera might not be able to catch your interactions with your idols, but your eyes and mind will keep it for much longer.
Another thing is, when you get to your seat, fan event items are usually placed on your chair. There will be a slogan and a couple of other items. Behind the slogan are the instructions on when to put it up, and some lyrics in case there is a fan event where the fans sing along. Fan staff usually put English translations, so no worries if you can’t read Korean.
STEP 7: Getting home after a late night concert
KPOP concerts usually end by 11PM or so. Last train is around 11.30 to 12.01, so you have to be quick if you’re taking the subway. Taxis are everywhere after the concert, but they will charge you for more than twice the standard price. If you know how to speak Korean and have a Korean phone number with you, might as well just take KakaoTaxi, it tends to be a bit cheaper.
STEP 8: Just breathe and take things in
It was a long process for a 1~3 day event, wasn’t it? Just breathe, remember the moments, and congratulate yourself for surviving the concert, whether or not you were personally or through stream (Streamers deserve a round of applause too!) As advised, you can just eat the post-concert depression away! Stay tuned as we here in Koreanophiles bring you more of K-goodies, in terms of food, music, and travel!