Since one can basically find the downloads and the schedule of this show at just about anywhere by typing it in Google and finding it in less than .098723 seconds, I’m going to skip the schedule and head right to the main dish and let you taste the sexy sauce.
Part I – What do I need to know if I want to be a studio audience? (only applies to Music Core)
This is perhaps the best question one can ask when it comes to queuing in line for M.C.
1) Pre-prep: A) Make your Saturday free because it’s gonna be a busy day! You probably want to wake up around 6 am on Saturday to prepare for the day if you’re queuing for the current popular group. So no partying for you on Friday! For 10/9, SHINee and Beast had the most fans so they were waiting there to get a number since 6-7 am! B) Make sure to get the latest CD album/single of the artist you want to line up for! C) Would not hurt to memorize some facts for your artist to prove that you’re a fan. Go wiki it if you don’t know it well. As a matter of fact, print it out and study it in line. You have seven hours. I’m sure you’ll get to know your favorite artist real well during that time period.
2) How to get there: A) The MBC studio is located on the outskirts on Seoul, basically borderline Gyeonggi province, so expect your subway trip to take 1½ to 2 hrs. if you’re traveling within Seoul. The Jeongbalsan Station is on Line 3, and that’s where you want to go. Take Exit 2 when you get there. B) Walk out and turn left. Go into the park — you will pass the Lotte Department store. C) Now look far. Do you see a white triangular-shaped radio tower atop a building? That’s basically the MBC studio. You walk towards that. D) By this point you should be walking pass the park and into this area with all the shops and foods are. You’re going the right way! Keep going! E) Honestly, if you’re really lost, just follow the horde of middle school and high school fans ^_~
3) Get In line: If all goes well, you should be at an area where a gazillion fans are gathering in very neat lines. Good job! Now find the sign of the artist you’re queuing for! A) Go to the front of the line and look for the person in charge of the fan groups. Usually you can ask anyone in line at the front, they should be able to help you. Don’t know Korean? No worries! Use easy English and mime what you want! Luckily for you, the Korean school system requires students to take English as a foreign language! Ask for the sign-up sheet and/or number. That should be the first thing you should do when you get there. Then you basically do what everyone else is doing. It might sound hard and confusing if you don’t know Korean, but it’s actually not as hard as you think! They are extremely helpful and kind because they know that you’re a fan and you don’t even speak the language! They will try their best to help you see your artist. B) You need to find out when the re-gathering time is (re-gathering is called “jae so jib”). Ask the person in front when you should come back (if you’re going out of the line). It’s normal to go out of the line to walk around and get a bite to eat — Korean fans don’t really cut in line. Actually, they won’t even take your purse if your purse is there holding your spot (don’t quote me on this if your things gets stolen! :P)! Don’t be late for the re-gathering, actually, be at least 30 minutes early just in case!
4) Just in Case! If you need an album ASAP for whatever reason that you don’t have it, FEAR NOT! There is a Home Plus next to the park. You should go to level 3 to get the CD! Ask and you shall find! Also, if you’re really hardcore and have an hour to kill. Go to the mall “La Festa” right behind the Home Plus. There should be a Synnara Records store where you can basically find all the CDs you ever wanted there— ALSO, if it’s a new album, it comes with a FREE POSTER! Woohoo!
5) Don’t worry about: A) food! There’s plenty everywhere surrounding you, including inside the studio! B) Bathroom! There are like at least 2 inside the studio as well! Very nice one too!
6) Show time! A) Make sure you have your number and album out! Fan club will get priority, but not really a problem, because most likely you will get in! B) Don’t forget! No pictures in the studio! They will kick your ass! C) They might or might not give you something to wave around during the show, but if they do, wave it! 😀
Part 2 – The Cool things about Music Core on 10/9
Before the show… and I mean like HOURS before the show, you might want to look around the shops and secluded area for YOUR FAVE CELEBRITY WALKING AROUND. We had to learn it the hard and FAIL way.
Coming out of the convenience store, we saw a girl who looks like a 2NE1 fan. She is about that age, wearing a plain black t-shirt and shorts and walking towards the same direction as us. She also has the exact same hair as Bom! We figured, being fifteen feet away, “Ahh, that must be a 2NE1 fan!” Speaking English a little too loudly and perhaps a little too excited for the show, “I know where SHE’s going!”. Walking right pass her, I happened to looked right at her face and made eye contact with her — walking a few more steps turning the corner — we realized that it was — none other than Bom herself!! We quickly ran back, but she went back to the giant black vans with tinted windows already. How embarrassing! Missing the artist you were queuing in line for walking in plain daylight! You expect them to be in sunglasses and hardcore hiding, but no! Don’t expect that! Just expect them to be walking around as bored and hungry as you are! If it’s not a sunny day, why wear sunglasses?! Right?!
oh yeah, baby!
If you queue for a certain artist, you will most definitely see them! We saw 2NE1 sing “Can’t Nobody” twice in different outfits. One time for practice and the second time for the recording. You also get to see other artists performing — because honestly, some of them just don’t have fans lining up for them! Like FT Island! And you’re asking yourself, “What?!” It happens! For 2NE1, we were ninth in line and in total there were only about 40 people at most lining up! It’s shocking, I know! But the cool part is that since other artists don’t have enough fans, they will want you to stay for the entire show cheering for them! Sadly, for that day, the SHINee fans took up most of the studio space so there aren’t enough spaces for us! We had to go in during the second phase. Beast fans are the second most out of all that day so we didn’t get to see Beast live either. 2NE1 fans saw basically everybody BUT SHINee and Beast. If you queue for a major artist that day, expect to see only them! (edit: you can ACTUALLY line up to see the pre-recorded and the live…. 😀 Just make sure to have 2 CDs… Be prepare to be very ninja since the fanclub leaders want you to be “loyal” to their group only— which I think is really dumb. I’m a fan of ALL of k-pop :P)
They had to give us Se7en banners because there are only about 10 Se7en fans there. So we pretended to be Se7en fans. It was kinda fun (and w00t! I got a free Se7en banner!)!
The SHINee fans finished about noon that day and they told us they only got to see SHINee. Also in the end SHINee said hi to them and it was really cute! Sad that I missed that 🙁 Very jealous that SHINee fans got blue balloons with SHINee printed on them.
By 1 pm, the Sistar fans started a line. A line with three people. And that line was as long as it got, but that ONE fan was probably the loudest and the most PASSIONATE fan in the history of ALL fans combined. During the taping, he was singing along and yelling and screaming so loud that it was louder than the music! He wasn’t disturbing at all! I love watching him… perhaps more than Sistar themselves! It’s times like these that you can really feel what experiencing fandom is all about.
The studio was not as huge as you think! So even though we got the mid-section, we’re actually still really close to them and can see everything!
Your favorite idol is perfect? PROBABLY NOT! Which makes them more the better! They make a lot of mistakes during the performances! Maybe that’s why they have to film it more than once? The Co-Ed School performance “Too Late” that I saw had kinda a funny mistake. One of the girls messed up her placement in the dance so one of the guys had to physically move her to the right spot while they were dancing! That part was of course NOT captured on video, because I honestly think that they know the camera is NOT on them! Ha!
Ga-in from the Brown Eyed Girls was amazing as always! She is so small and cute and you actually don’t realize how small and cute she is unless you see her live! She is extremely small! During her dance duet with her dancers, the guy was supposed to spin her around and do something crazy. They messed up! *gasp* It looked really awkward. I’m not sure if that was captured on TV.
Minzy and Sandara were the MC for Music Core that day. For ALL the MC announcements, they film it live! For some of the performance, they film it earlier in the day during the SHINee or Beast blocks. You might not know this, but if you watch Music Core on TV and you probably think that there is a long pause in between for the artists to sound check and get the equipment on stage… YOU ARE COMPLETELY WRONG! The actual pause that you see live on TV is the REAL TIME that the artists have to get ready! So in between that five second interval you see Se7en and then 2NE1 — is the time that all the props, the lighting, the sound, Se7en himself, get off the stage, and Minzy and Sandara have to change out of their MC clothes and into the “Can’t Nobody” clothes to be on stage with all the lighting and sound checks… YES. ALL WITHIN FIVE SECONDS. I was blown away… so incredibly blown away!
And remember! No photography whatsoever in the studio! Don’t learn it the hard way! D: Yours truly got a lot of stares and an unhappy fanclub leader breathing down her back. Luckily, I’m a foreigner so they know that I didn’t know the rules. Another fan only just TRY to take out her camera and got a SCHOOLING by the fanclub leader. It was SCARY!
After the breathtaking show that you just experienced, it’s time for some official Coffee Prince coffee within the studio! Just downstairs next to the gift shop, you will find one of the many official MBC Coffee Prince Coffee Shops within Korea! The waiters have the same uniform as in the drama, and they are of course handsome! 🙂
A great ending to an awesome day! Everything was perfect, the only thing that was missing was SHINee themselves making you a cup of coffee and calling you noona while feeding you a low-fat non-dairy soy-based powdered-sugar scone with a side of strawberry jam.
Perhaps someday…. 🙂