Your Ultimate Guide To Year-End K-Pop Music Shows And How To Plan The Best Viewing Party At Home

South Korea’s passion for music can’t be eroded by any adversity, even in the face of a pandemic. And while social distancing measures have driven many people apart physically—K-dramas, K-pop, and entertainment shows keep artists and passionate fans’ bonds stronger than ever. 

This year, much-awaited year-end K-pop music shows will proceed in keeping with tradition. The only difference is—to keep people safe—there will be no live audiences. What’s great is that all of the top music festivals will be streaming live, which extends happiness to K-pop fans around the world. 

Here are the most highly anticipated music shows you shouldn’t miss in the final days of 2020, plus tips to prepare for the best viewing experience at home.



KBS Gayo Daechukje


Completing the big three annual song festivals is KBS Gayo Daechukje, which promises an exciting showcase of top talents to end every year with a bang. With this year’s theme “Connect,” the song festival will unite K-pop lovers around the world despite being held without a live audience. Confirmed artists in the lineup are BTS, TWICE, SEVENTEEN, NCT, Paul Kim, Tae-min of SHINee, Park Jin-young x Sunmi, Jessi x GOT7’s Jackson, and Kim Yeon-ja x Seol Un-do.

Meanwhile, two K-pop stars TVXQ’s Yunho and ASTRO’s Cha Eun-woo, and budding actress Shin Ye-eun will comprise the trio of hosts this year.

Schedule: December 18, 2020, 8:30 p.m. (KST)
Venue: KBS Hall, Seoul
Where you can watch: Livestream on KBS / Near real-time uploads on KBS World YouTube 



SBS Gayo Daejeon

via SBS

SBS Gayo Daejeon is one of the biggest music festivals in South Korea, graced by some of the biggest names in the music industry every year. This year, the theme is “The Wonder Year,” which aims to spark hope and recognize the miracles that have happened. SBS is yet to reveal the full lineup of artists, but ARMYs can already rejoice—BTS is already confirmed to perform.

The music festival will air live on SBS TV, but viewers around the world can also catch it in real-time on the SBS website. If you ever miss the live airing, you can also catch up on the performances on SBS Entertainment’s YouTube channel as it uploads videos near real-time. 

Schedule: December 25, 2020, 7:30 p.m. (KST)
Venue: Daegu City
Where you can watch: Livestream on SBS / Near real-time uploads on SBS Entertainment YouTube



MBC Gayo Daejejeon

via MBC

MBC has a long history when it comes to the annual tradition of music shows, although the grand music festival as we know it today only really began in 2005. This year, BTS, GFriend, SEVENTEEN, ITZY, MAMAMOO, MONSTA X, Super Five, Im Young-woong, and Song Ga-in are among the confirmed performers in the lineup.

Apart from top artists, the hosts are also something that fans look forward to each year. This 2020, Start-Up fans can take refreshing delight in seeing a different side of Kim Seon-ho as the host of MBC Gayo Daejejeon. He will be co-hosting with Yoon-ah of Girls’ Generation and announcer-turned-entertainer Jang Sung-kyu, who are both already familiar faces in the music show.

Schedule: December 31, 2020
Where you can watch: Livestream on MBC / Near real-time performances on MBCkpop YouTube 



2021 New Year’s Eve Live by Weverse


Big Hit is the entertainment agency behind BTS, and in case you didn’t know, their family is growing. This year, the agency is holding a live online concert that can vie with the big three above. If it’s going to be an annual event, we’re yet to find out. In any case, it’s the perfect time to get to know the budding artists of Big Hit Labels as they hold a live online concert featuring artists of Big Hit and its subsidiaries—Pledis Entertainment, Source Music, and KOZ Entertainment. 

The lineup includes BTS, TXT, NU’EST, BUMZU, Lee Hyun, GFriend, and ENHYPEN. As if that’s not enough, there will also be special connect stages for Halsey, Steve Aoki, and Lauv, whom BTS has previously collaborated with, as well as late rock singer Shin Hae-chul. The latter will be represented by a hologram as a special tribute.

Schedule: December 31, 2020, 9:30 p.m. (KST)
Where you can watch: Livestream on Weverse 



How to Plan the Best Viewing Party at Home

Now that you know when and where you can watch these year-end K-pop music shows, mark your calendars and set alarms for each show. Do take note that the time schedules are in KST, so viewers in the Philippines have to adjust one hour in advance (e.g., 9:30 p.m. in South Korea is 8:30 p.m. in the Philippines).

Have your snacks and drinks ready nearby, so you can easily fill up without losing sight of the happenings. Order K-BBQ in advance to complement the K-pop party!

If you have lightsticks, be sure they’re fully charged. And lastly, clean up a bit! Remove clutters and other obstacles in your room so you can go full-on party mode safely. 



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Words by Rei Leano