Your favorite idol group just dropped new tour dates and you see South Korea listed on the very top of the list... but how do you get tickets and what do you bring?
As many may know, K-pop fan culture is quite different from any other - with fanchants, lightsticks, and long merch lists. As a foreign fan hoping to attend a concert in Korea with little to no Korean-speaking ability, this may all be a little overwhelming. There is no doubt that K-pop concerts in your home country and K-pop concerts in Korea are vastly different.
So with that being said, here are a few tips for when attending your first K-pop concert in Korea.
Buying tickets is arguably the most stressful part of attending any concert, let alone a K-pop concert in Korea. If you can’t read Korean or if you have slow Wi-Fi, this may be a bit of an issue. If you happen to have friends or family in Korea, try asking them to buy tickets for you as not only will they be able to read Korean, but their Wi-Fi will also be fast enough to compete with other buyers.
If you can’t read Korean, have slow Wi-Fi and don’t know anyone in Korea who can buy tickets for you, don’t worry, you still have a shot! You can opt to use KoreanBuddy, which is a shopping tool that will basically do all the buying for you. All you need to do is place a request for tickets, and if they are able to purchase your tickets, you will need to pay an additional service fee. KoreanBuddy can also be used any for online shopping.
- What To Bring
This won’t differ too much from what you would typically bring to any other concert. Some things on this list aren’t completely essential but we highly suggest that you at least consider them. The bare essentials for your typical concert are:
- A portable charger to prevent your phone from running out of battery, while most concerts in Korea prohibit filming, you’ll likely still need your phone on your way home after the concert.
- A disposable bottle of water to make sure you stay hydrated. Some venues won’t allow bottles in, so this will prevent you from turning up to your concert with your favorite water bottle and having to throw it away.
- Lightstick - Again, this isn’t essential so if you’ve spent all your money on the ticket and don’t have any left for additional merch, it’s all good. However, if you do have the funds, this will really complete your K-pop concert experience. Since lightsticks aren’t always readily available at K-pop concerts in foreign countries, this is your chance to be a part of the lightstick ocean.
- Bag - Just to keep all your belongings in one place, but be sure to check venue restrictions before you lug a massive backpack in.
The way merchandise stands operate in Korea may be a bit different from your typical concerts. Usually, there is only one main merchandise stand where they stock and sell everything on the merchandise list, with some smaller stalls scattered around the venue selling lightsticks and batteries only. So if you’re hoping to cop some merchandise, you may have to set some time aside to line up and purchase the exclusive items. If you miss out on the day, there is always the option to look around online afterward, so don’t beat yourself up too much if you don't get a chance to buy!
If you ever have the chance to attend a K-pop concert in Korea, we cannot recommend it more! The artists are typically comfortable and energetic, allowing you to really experience their stage presence and personalities.
If you could attend any K-pop concert in Korea, whose concert would you attend?
Let us know in the comments below!
Written by Stephanie Leung