How To Get Into K-Pop Music Shows: A Beginner’s Guide

Every time your favorite idol makes a comeback, you most likely tune in to watch their performances on music shows every week. What if you could attend music shows and watch those performances live though?

If you ever get the chance to visit Korea, you can make that a reality!

Here is a basic guide for international fans who are interested:

General Background

With the exception of “Simply K-pop,” all the music shows have pre-recordings and live shows.
• In order to have smooth transitions during the live shows with artists going on and off stage and set changes, about half of the performances for each music show are pre-recorded.

Artists are more likely to have pre-recordings if:
• They are having their comeback stage
• They have large fandoms
• They are more senior artists compared to other performers

There are two main routes to attend music shows: through the broadcasting station or through the fan club.

Through the broadcasting station

Each music show gives out tickets for the main show, but some programs are easier for international fans than others.

• The live show tickets for “M Countdown” are first-come first-served. Fans line up since extremely early in the morning on the day of the show.
• “Music Bank” gives out tickets through an online lottery. You can create a KBS account here and sign-up for the lottery here every at Thursday 9 a.m. KST through Saturday 12 a.m. KST for the following week’s show.
• You can apply for “Inkigayo” and “The Show” through the SBS app, available on the Apple App Store here and on the Google Play Store here.
• Information for “Simply K-pop” tickets is announced every week here in English.

Through the fan club

Fan clubs are allotted tickets for pre-recordings and/or live shows, but each fan club has a completely different process and criteria for being able to receive a ticket. You must check with the fan club’s official announcements for specific details.

Fan clubs that use official Daum fan cafes

• Most artists will post sign-up details a day or two before the show on the official fan cafe.
• The notice will tell you how to sign-up (on a specific page on the fan cafe, a Google or Naver form, email, etc.) and when sign-ups begin.
• You will also be told what you need to bring for the different priority levels. The higher your priority level, the more likely you are to get in and to get a good spot.

JYP Entertainment

• Rather than fan cafes on Daum, JYP Entertainment artists all have sites on JYP Fan’s.
• If you don’t have an account, create one here.
• Join the site of the artist you would like to attend a music show for.
• Sign-up details will be posted a day or two before the show on the artist’s site.
• Figure out your priority level, and a different sign-up page will be posted for each different priority level.
• At the announced sign-up time, click on “신청” (which means “register”).
• You will be told your exact sign-up time.

• Based on the sign-up times and priority levels, staff will post an ordered list of the people who are able to attend.

YG Entertainment

• YG Entertainment will post sign-up information through official fan sites for the artists with official fan clubs.
• If the artist does not have an official fan club or if there are enough spots available for non-fan club members to also participate, information will be posted on the “Notice” tab of each artist’s page on the YG Family website.
• Sign-ups are done through email.
• Each artist has a different email address for signing up (blackpink@ygmail.net, winner@ygmail.net, ikon@ygmail.net, etc.)
Send an email to the email address in the correct format at the sign-up time.
• Based on the sign-up times, staff will post an ordered list of the people who are able to attend.

SM Entertainment

• SM Entertainment does not do online sign-ups.
• Find each artist’s official homepage here and go to the “News & Notice” section for line-up times and required materials.
• Participation in music shows for SM Entertainment is first-come first-served.
• Each fan club has a different method of determining the first-come first-served list.

For example, NCT’s process is as follows:

• Once SM Entertainment posts the notice, one fan takes charge and creates a notice on a piece of paper with a Twitter account, cell phone number, and the required text format. The paper is posted somewhere by the broadcasting station.
• Anyone who wants to participate takes a selfie (eyes must be visible) with the piece of paper and sends it to the cellphone number in the required text format.
• The person in charge creates a first-come first-served list and sends everyone their numbers.
• A meet-up time will be posted on the Twitter account, and everyone on the list must line-up at that time.

As each artist’s fan club has a very specific process that is subject to change, it is important to check every notice thoroughly!

Where to go for music shows

Mnet “M Countdown”

CJ E&M Center: 66, Sangamsan-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul

KBS2 “Music Bank”

KBS: 13, Yeouigongwon-ro, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul

• Tip: You can watch artists arrive for rehearsals if you go before 7 a.m. KST, and you can also see them go in and out of the building throughout the day.

MBC “Music Core

MBC: 267, Seongam-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul

SBS “Inkigayo”

SBS Hall: 442, Yangcheon-ro, Gangseo-gu, Seoul

SBS MTV “The Show”

SBS Prism Tower: 82, Sangamsan-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul

MBC Music “Show Champion”

MBC Dream Center: 596, Hosu-ro, Ilsandong-gu, Goyang-si, Gyeonggi-do

Arirang “Simply K-pop”

Arirang: 2351, Nambusunhwan-ro, Seocho-gu, Seoul

Hey Soompiers, have you been to a music show before? Tell us about your experience in the comments below! 

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