There are some things that you have to do before planning to go to a music show:
- Join the fancafe and level up enough so you can see the different event information. Joining and leveling can be more or less difficult depending on groups. For some groups, fancafe is not the main way to get info, they sometimes got their own website to give information (like Red Velvet or KARD).
- Follow the fan manager on Twitter, as well as the official twitter of the group. Usually, the official twitter is easily findable, and will follow the manager as well, so search for it. For instance, in Dreamcatcher case, the twitter of the fan manager is @DC_fanstaff. This account will post everything relatable to events.
- Have the albums with you, physically. If you are planning to go to a music show through the fanbase, there will be a hierarchy. The one having the album will be ranked higher, and if you have album and song download, it’s even better, but since Melon and those sites are difficult to get for a foreigner, get at least the album in hand. Ask the manager if iTunes is ok, as it’s more convenient. Depending on groups, there might have some additional stuff to rank the fans (like fancafe membership, or official lightstick).
Here is the schedule of the music shows.
|Tuesday||SBS MTV||The Show|
|Wednesday||MBC Music||Show Champion|
Let’s start by talking about Simply K-Pop as it is a different case from the others. There is no live show for this one, as what you see online and on TV is a recording, and there is no reward or ceremony. Usually, there are recording sessions every two weeks, and it’s not rare for a group to appear one day and record for two weeks, it means that they will do one performance, and another one later on that day, the aim is to broadcast those at different weeks (so usually, set up or outfits will be different). There are more smaller groups going in this program, you won’t often see Twice on it for instance. Beside, Simply K-Pop happens every other week, all the other shows are happening every week, so you can plan your schedule quite ahead, for the live shows at least.
One recording session last for around an hour, and you see different groups go on stage, you can’t leave during a session. As I said, you might see your group perform twice, like one at the beginning, and one at the end of a session. It’s not really difficult to get in, so I would suggest you to go if you can. There is also a proximity between the groups/idols and the public since the room it’s smaller.
To get into Simply K-Pop, you have two solutions:
- Get in it with your fanbase: in this case, you have to go through the fancafe of the group and apply for the recording session (process described below since it’s the same way).
- Get in through the studio: on the website of the studio, there is a way for you to get into the show, you have to contact them directly (Arirang website). It’s quite simple as everything is in english. There are usually a couple of foreigners going this route. When you arrive at the studio, check in with the security directly and they will help you navigate. Everyone goes in during a session so you won’t be left out.
Let’s talk about all the other shows as they have more or less the same methods.
For a music show, you can get into the pre-recording or the live show. The live show is aired at the exact time of it broadcast so there is no surprise and you can plan ahead, however, for the pre-recording, the schedule can change from a week to another, from a group to another, so you’re gonna have to refer yourself to the announcement.
The methods to apply are gonna be the same for most of music shows:
Through the fanbase:
The fancafe and the twitter account will provide you information on where to apply and when. This is an example of Oh My Girl fancafe workshop notice page:
Usually, you are gonna have to comment on a specific post, or submit a form, and the timestamp will be your number on the way in, the faster you apply, the earlier your seat will be. You sometimes have the form on the sidebar on the left, there will be something with the date, and some kind of pencil (= you can comment).
I suggest you to use this way first, as it’s the only one for pre-recording, and you can apply for the live show as well using the same method. (and it’s free). They will give you a date when you can start apply, and a deadline, it’s usually one or two days before the recording. (apply too soon or too late and you will end up at the end of line). This is an example of announcement, for Twice, on their fancafe:
There are more infos below this on how to apply but you get the idea.
Usually, you will know if you have made it by checking the fancafe or the twitter account of the manager, the winner will be announced with something like this. The last column is for phone number if you are wondering. With the same example, here is Twice results:
When you click on the results post, they will give you a summary of the timetable, the rules and such.
APPLY AS SOON AS YOU CAN, USE THE INTERNET TIME (not your watch), PRESHOT YOUR FORM, AND CLICK SEND AS SOON AS THE TIME IS UP. THIS SHOULD BE STRESS MOMENT, BECAUSE IF YOU’RE LATE BY EVEN 1 SECOND, YOU ARE GONNA REGRET IT.
For some studios, you can apply on the Korean website, it’s difficult because of the language so this isn’t the method I would recommend. You basically apply with some kind of lucky draw, there will be a form on their website. I tried for months for MBC, and it failed everytime, or maybe I made a mistake on the way … everything is in korean so this doesn’t help.
Studio website, foreigner edition:
Pull out some money, buy your seat. The website to do so is different depending on studios, but the easiest one I found is to get into Mnet (M!Countdown), with the SM Travel website. It’s expensive but you will get first, so you will have a good place (and this impact the enjoyment a lot). I know to get into SBS MTV, there is a process as well, since they have a banner outside the studio, so there is probably a form on their website. This is a tutorial from the Korean tourism website, I don’t know how up to date it is tho as I prefer going through fanbase in general.
In general, the first week of promotion, there will be a fanmeeting. Sometimes, you have to be among the people who applied to the music shows (pre-recording as fanmeeting doesn’t happen after live show since it’s too late). Example, this was after inkigayo pre-recording, rendez vous was at around 4AM and fanmeeting at around 6 or 7AM.
Also on the first week, the music shows performance are more elaborate, so the pre-recording will take more time, the consequence is that it’s gonna be at more odd hours, it’s not rare to have pre-recording at 3AM for instance.
When going to music shows, you are gonna wait a lot, A LOT. So prepare things to do, an external battery, chat with other fans, learn koreans, and what not. Also, be there on time.
On the day of the recording or live show, arrive at the designated hour (10/15 minutes earlier, just in case. The fan manager will beging to form the queue, he/she can scream, either the number, or your name, so bring the list of the winners with you and be wary of your own position. It’s possible that there are ranks as well, the queue is done progressively. You will be given a number on the line to remember your position.
With this in mind, it will be useful to learn korean numbers, but it’s up to you I guess, ultimately, everything is simplier if you talk korean.