Wally In K-Life

Korea. K-pop. Hello Kitty. Big Bang. Teaching English. Learning Korean. Being a foreigner. Vlogging, Blogging, Translating. Oh, and lots and lots of kimchi.
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Going to a Korean Concert can be extremely different from concerts in America, largely due to language barriers. Luckily, I have a Korean boyfriend to assist with those difficulties, plus my Korean is definitely good enough to get by alone with the basics.

Now, keep in mind that every concert is a little different, and I can only tell you about my experiences, but I have been to concerts that vary from huge huge (Dream Concert) to small club scenes (500-750 people) and everywhere in between (kpop, hip hop, r&b, American artists, Korean artists, Korean-American Artists). I will limit myself here to a small/medium stadium-sized concert (similar to what most artists perform their solo concerts at)


  1. Arrive EARLY. The earlier the better. I mostly say this because at all kpop concerts their tons of people and you will have to wade your way through them. Especially if you only have e-tickets which must be exchanged for real tickets, you need to arrive EARLY! At the YG Family Concert, I arrived an hour and a half early and didn’t have time to eat any dinner, and didn’t look at any merch and almost missed getting in with the rest of my section (which would put me at great disadvantage position wise). If the show starts at 7, for example, gates usually open at 6 and queueing starts at 5. That means you need to be in line around 5:45 AT THE LATEST to ensure you get the best spot you can standing. So if you want to look at the merch or grab something to eat, you need to be there by 4:30 or so, I’d say.
  2. Dress in light, compact layers, especially if you are in standing. This is most applicable, of course to winter or cold weather concerts that are indoors. It’ll suck to be cold while you wait, but trust me, it sucks a lot more to feel like you’re about to pass out 30 minutes into a concert because you wore tights and pants and seven thousand layers that can’t fit in your bag. You will sweat in standing, even if you stripped to a bikini. It’s hot and fangirls get rowdy. Plus, seeing TOP or Nickhun or Kikwang that close up will certainly get your blood a-boiling.
  3. Wear comfortable shoes. You will walk around a lot, and stand a lot (even if you have a real seat) and you have to wait a long time.
  4. If the concert is outside, bring a poncho, not an umbrella. You don’t want to hold that umbrella the whole time, and during the concert, you’ll have to put it down anyways so others can see.

Now, as for the specifics.


Cameras are almost never allowed, but enforcement of this rule is spotty. When I attended the Taeyang Concert they searched everyone’s bag, and I had to conceal my camera stealthily just to get in. They were also super strict in monitoring. But at YG Family Concert I recorded full songs in plain view of security and they did absolutely nothing to stop me. My advice, use your camera sparingly, especially towards the end of the show. If a security person does catch you using that camera, he/she will come over and personally delete every single picture and video you took right before you’re eyes. I saw it happen to the lady in front of me at the Taeyang Concert and she looked pretty devastated. That being said, if you see they aren’t monitoring too much, film away! Just be prepared to be stealth about. Also: filming from seats is significantly easier than standing because it is easier to conceal, but enforcement in a standing section is certainly more difficult than seating. So it’s a toss-up.

Being Late

Don’t be late. EVER. Under any circumstances. Actually, that only applies to standing. If you will be seated or if you don’t care too much about how well you can see it’s not as important, except that you will miss some of the action. Korean concerts generally start pretty much on time. Certainly there are exceptions (JYJ’s showcase comes to mind) but in my experience they start less than 30 minutes after they say they will start. So do everything in your power not to be late.

Opening Acts

Korean kpop concerts general begin with an intro video, but not always. But the intro video means that there is never (and I mean never) an opening act. The main group launches right into song as soon as the last song is over, and then they introduce themselves after the first or second song. American artist who come to Korea always have opening acts. Often the acts are Korean artists, but not always (when I saw Brian McKnight in Seoul, Taeyang opened and I managed to sit in the front row and make some serious eye contact.

Lining Up

Lining up only matters if you are standing. You will have to line up for seated tickets, but it’s not nearly as important because if someone does end up sitting in your spot you can just kick them out by showing them the ticket. Now, for standing, I recommend this: know what section you are standing in (usually it’s numbered 001, 002, etc) In a larger stadium (3-4000 or more) there will be different sections outside the stadium which corresponds to each section inside. Search for you section (there are usually maps and lots of people who can’t speak English but if you show them your ticket they can take you to your spot). Then you will line up according to your number. Usually the lines are separated into groups of about 150-200 (so 1-200 line up in one line, then next to that 201-400… etc). To find your place you have to just ask everyone in the line what their number is. You can say number?? in English or you can try to use the Korea: 몇번 이예요? Which is pronounced Myeot bon Ee-Ae-yo? but then they will probably tell you their number in Korean. Just ask them in English, I guess.

Hope that helps, and if anyone has any other questions about concert going in Korea, feel free to use the Ask Anything box on the right side!!

  1. fayemonreal reblogged this from reallywally and added:
    Lost Planet \m/
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  3. pastel-principessa reblogged this from reallywally and added:
    yeyyy~ I need this haha
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