So you successfully scored a ticket to see your favorite group live in Seoul. *Cue happy dance*
You’re thrilled, elated even. But after the initial excitement, it dawns on you that this concert means so much to you that one little mishap could send everything spiraling down. So what do you do? Plan in advance, of course! Here are some tips on how to survive your first K-Pop concert in South Korea:
Visit the Venue Before Concert Day
Your itinerary is probably packed with places and activities you’ve been wishing to see and try—you’re in SoKor after all! But if you’re not familiar with the venue of the concert you’re attending, it’s highly recommended that you check it out before D-Day. Think of it as a practice prior to the actual event. Doing so will give you an idea of how far the venue is from your accommodation and help you figure out your way to the exact site from the subway station or bus stop. You can also take a walk around the surrounding areas, and look for places where you can eat or pass time before the concert.
Make sure to download a metro app like Subway Korea, Seoul Subway, or Kakao Metro, and keep your T-Money card loaded.
Don’t Pack Your Stuff at the Last Minute
At least a day before the concert, prepare all the things you need to bring with you.
While what you should stash in your bag is entirely up to you, there are two things you should never ever lose or forget: a print-out of your ticket reservation (assuming you acquired your ticket through the official ticketing website of your chosen group) and, of course, your passport. You will have to present these at the designated counter for you to be able to claim your actual ticket to the show.
Get Loads of Rest the Night Before
Concert day will be exhausting. Expect lots of walking, queueing, screaming, and singing—all of which will wear you down. You’re probably super excited about seeing your faves perform live in their home country, but still, do try to sleep early and get loads of rest, so you can power up for a packed day ahead.
Check the Weather Forecast
The weather in Korea is ever-changing, especially during the turn of the seasons. So check the local weather forecast regularly and base your #OOTD on it. Don’t forget to bring an umbrella, too. It will keep you cool or dry—come rain or come shine.
Go to the Venue Early
Although some fans prefer camping out at the venue overnight to get first dibs on concert merchandise, the safest time to go is early in the morning if you are keen on buying some goods as souvenirs. In Seoul, the subway starts operating at around 5 AM.
Take Note of the Schedule on D-Day
Some of the most important schedules you have to take note of are for: ticket exchange, admission, and the start of the show. Most entertainment agencies also organize side events on concert day. If you want to take part in these, find out their respective schedules by checking the official social media pages of your the group staging the concert or their official fancafe.
Eat and Hydrate
Keep your body fueled for a crazy day with your fellow fans at the concert by having a full meal before the event and hydrating often. There might be food stalls at the venue, but you may also look for other places to eat nearby if the lines get too long. Do pack some snacks to munch on while waiting in line or passing time, too.
Make New Friends
Going alone? Make new friends! Strike a conversation with the person next to you while falling in line for tickets or merch. Who knows? This could be the start of a lifelong friendship!
Don’t Lose Your Ticket
Needless to say, no ticket, no concert for you. Once you have claimed your ticket, keep it in a safe place until it’s time to enter the concert venue. K-Pop fans would often fashion a ticket holder from a soft plastic card case and a lanyard to secure their ticket. Some idol groups would also include ticket holders in their lineup of concert merchandise.
Don’t Take Photos or Videos During the Concert
The concert staff keep a watchful eye on the audience during the entire show. And if they spot someone taking photos or videos, they’ll be given a warning or ushered out of the venue. Sure, there are some fans who successfully snap a few pictures sneakily to share on social media, but would you really want to risk your chance of watching your faves live over a few sub-par or blurry shots? Just keep your phone, wave your lightstick, and live in the moment!
One last thing:
Have a Plan B for Commuting to Your Accommodation After the Concert
In case the concert ends late or if you miss the last trip of your train, at least, you have a Plan B for reaching your hotel or hostel past midnight. Check alternative routes or consider taking a taxi ride to your accommodation.
For a nifty guide to Seoul taxis, read this.