No matter where you are in the world, seeing your favorite K-Pop group live in concert will feel like the best day ever. However, the experience of a K-Pop concert does differ between borders. Let’s take a look at the benefits of attending a K-Pop concert in Korea based on major tours and concert series in recent years.
When attending your favorite K-Pop artist’s concert, it only makes sense to learn fanchants to show your support. But at international tour stops, oftentimes it’s apparent only a small percentage of the audience knows all of them, and it’s a bit of a disappointing realization. In Korea, however, it’s practically second nature for fans to perfectly know the fanchants for every song. This is mainly because of Korean fans’ dedication to one idol or idol group only, meaning they pick up on fanchants from the very beginning of promotions and prepare them every time they see the artist.
#2 Fan Projects
Online, we occasionally come across fans’ absolutely stunning displays of affection for their idols through fan projects. Sadly, these projects are rarely present at K-Pop concerts outside of Asia, especially at festival-style concerts such as KCON.
In Korea and other Asian countries, such as Japan, large-scale fan projects are an integral part of every tour and concert series. Often during the last show of a large tour, a fan project will take place or, in the case of a two to three-day concert series, there will be a different fan project each day.
Usually, projects involve banners that fans receive as they enter the venue with directions in several languages (typically Korean, Japanese, Chinese, and English) for when to hold it up during the show. It’s very important attendees raise their banners at the correct time so the idols see the project when they’re supposed to. The event is commonly accompanied by a certain song for the audience to sing to their idols, usually a ballad with touching lyrics that are printed in Korean on the back of the banner so fans can easily follow along. As a bonus, the banner makes a great wall decoration to always remind you of the experience!
Although fan projects are most frequently banners, occasionally they will be carried out through other methods, such as EXO-L’s changing their lightstick colors to spell “WE ARE ONE” across the mezzanine during EXO’s Exo’luxion concert at the Tokyo Dome in 2015; and more recently, at SHINee Taemin’s T1001101 concert in Seoul, where fans held up red roses accompanying their banners while singing his song “Snow Flower.”
#3 Longer Setlist
Concerts in Korea are notorious for being anywhere from two and a half to four hours long, while concerts outside of Asia typically have a run time of under two hours. NCT 127’s most recent concert in Seoul, NEO CITY - The Origin: Seoul, had a run time of three hours!
Because of the longer run time, there is more room in the setlist for B-Side tracks that the artist is unlikely to perform anywhere else!
When planning a trip to Korea or even applying for a study abroad program, keep concerts and festivals in mind so you're sure to see your favorite artist on their home turf.
We understand it’s not very feasible for international fans to travel across continents for every tour, but having a K-Pop concert experience in Korea should definitely be on every fan’s bucket list!
Written by Justine Shaffer