Travelling to South Korea is the best way to get your fix of K-pop but scoring tickets might be a tad tricky. The best way is to get the help of your friendly fan networks. The good news is, if you dare to trawl through the sometimes confusing and stressful ticketing system in Korea, you’ll be set for the time of your life.
Get tickets online
The popular ticketing websites in Korea like Interpark, G Market and Yes24 have global ticketing sites in English and accept international credit cards. Different bands will usually use specific sites for their ticketing, so make sure you check the concert listing and announcement for the right site. Some concerts are only listed on the Korean version of the website, but sometimes foreign users are allowed to switch if they register. You can pick up your ticket(s) at the concert venue.
Note: You usually don’t need to “camp” outside the concert venue if you are going for the standing section or rock pit, your order of entry will be assigned when you buy your ticket.
K-Pop music shows
Attending the recording sessions or live shows of the weekly K-pop TV programmes in Korea is another good way of seeing your idols up close. These shows give you a chance to see a number of your favourite stars at one go and you are spoilt for choice, from KBS Music Bank and SBS Inkigayo to M.net M! Count Down. Best of all, tickets are free to those who apply online and the audience is picked in a lucky draw.
All you need to do is to check out the show’s member sign-up page and register.
One-day K-pop tours
Now that there is a growing interest in K-pop worldwide, more and more tour agencies are offering special one day tours where you can attend a K-pop concert as well as visit popular tourist attractions and Hallyu sites. These tour packages will save you the hassle of navigating Korea’s concert ticketing websites and making travel arrangements.
They also organise tours for live K-pop chart shows, where you are guaranteed a free ticket for entry without having to apply online; the KBS Music Bank in Gangneung + Coffee Festival/Romantic Tour was one such package. Check out HaB Korea and Travel Crazy Korea (Trazy), among others, for some of these custom tours.
Dancing and singing in the streets The street performance and busking scene in Seoul is alive and kicking, especially in Hongdae, Sinchon and Daehakro. They might not be stars (yet) but in a country with a highly competitive entertainment industry, you can bet that most of these street performers have the talent to show. Some K-pop talent agencies are even purportedly using the streets as the test stage for their trainees.
Different areas feature different kinds of performances – head to Hongdae for more Indie music and hip hop, and go to Daehakro for jazz and ballads. Best thing is, if you don’t like them, you can always walk away.