K-Pop 101: How to Buy Tickets to a K-Pop Concert or Musical
K-Pop 101 is an occasional series from Soompi filled with tips and tricks on K-popping in Korea.
So we’ve illustrated the emotional stages of ticketing before, but how does ticketing actually work? In this edition of K-Pop 101 we’ll be covering how to score tickets to your favorite’s concerts in Seoul (or Busan… or Daegu… or…. they don’t have concerts anywhere else). Ticketing in Korea can be confusing and definitely stressful, but we’ll try to break it down to make it as easy as possible.
Prior to the beginning of ticketing, make sure you go to the website and register an account to book your ticket with. There are many ticketing sites in Korea, some of the more popular ones being Interpark, G Market, Auction, and Yes24. Groups will usually only run ticketing for their concerts through one specific site, so make sure you check the announcement to see what site it’s on.
Interpark and Auction ticket will not let you use the Korean version of their websites without a registration number given to foreign residents in Korea. For Interpark you should use their global ticketing website. To my knowledge, Auction hasn’t yet created an English version for global visitors of their ticketing site, so if your group is doing ticketing through Auction you might have to resort to other means.
For G Market, you can register your account through the global version of their website, and then switch over to the Korean version of the site. The login is the same for the global version and the domestic version.
For Yes24 you will have to create an account on the Korean version of the site. Although there is an English version of the site, registering there creates a separate login from the Korean version of the site and not all tickets are available there. There are guides detailing the registration process online for each site, so please search for the specific site you’re looking for.
After registering your account, make sure you have all your information entered (name, shipping address, etc.) to make the checkout process as smooth as possible on checkout day. If you do not have a Korean address and are planning on flying into Korea for the concert, I recommend putting down the company’s address as your official address; if you do that you should be able to pick up your ticket on site on the day of the concert.
For now, I’ll be using Yes24 as an example. The interface of many ticketing websites is extremely similar, so even if you are not ticketing on Yes24, the process will be almost exactly the same. The process is also the same for concerts and musicals.
Find the concert or musical you wish to attend, and select the date and time. A popup will show up listing how many seats are available in standing and in sitting (or in each price range if you’re ticketing for a musical). If you see the word 매진 (mae-jin), it means the seats are sold out.
After selecting your date, hit the big button that says 예매하기 (ye-mae-ha-gi), which means “to book.” This will bring up a popup, so many sure your popup blocker is disabled.
The next screen is just a confirmation of the date and the time, in this window you must hit “좌석선택” (jwa-seok-seon-taek) or “seat selection.”
You will be brought to another screen to select your seat, you will have to click into your section and then you will see the screen below to select your seat. If you are going standing, the spot you select will determine your order of entry into the venue. Select your seat and click “좌석선택완료” (jwa-seok-seon-taek-wall-yo) “Seat Selection Finished.”
IMPORTANT: If you get a pop-up like the one below after hitting the button or selecting a seat, it means that the seat you have chosen has already been selected and you must select another one!
The next screen is for discounts. There are none applicable in this case, so just hit the blue button that says “다음단계” (da-eum-dan-gye), or “next step.”
The next screen is for shipping purposes. If possible, always select “현장수령” (hyeon-jang-su-ryeong). This is “Will Call” and means you can just pick up the ticket at the venue. Unfortunately, this option is usually only available if it’s very close to the concert date. If that option isn’t available, the site will automatically select “일관배송” (il-gwan-bae-song), or “Regular Shipping,” for you. If you pre-filled out your address and your user information, it will already be filled out in the bottom and all you need to do is click the blue button “다음단계” (da-eum-dan-gye) or “Next Step” again.
For Those Ticketing On G Market
After selecting your seat, entering discount information, and selecting your shipping information on G Market, the popup window will close. YOU ARE NOT DONE TICKETING YET. On the beginning ticketing page, you must scroll down and click “예매하기” (ye-mae-ha-gi) in order to check out. A popup will show up with terms and conditions, check the box and click continue and you will be brought to the payment page, the selections will be similar to the ones below and you can choose between paying using a credit card or using direct deposit. Sometimes G Market will let you pay via PayPal.
Continuing on Yes24, after the steps above you’ll come to the last window. This is payment information. There are two options for checking out: “신용카드” (sin-yong-ka-deu) “Credit Card” and “무통장 입금” (mu-tong-jang-ip-geum) “Direct Deposit.”
If You Do Not Have a Korean Bank Account
Select “Credit Card” and check the two boxes at the bottom of the window to agree to the terms and conditions. Then click “결제하기” (gyeol-je-ha-gi), or “Check Out.” This will bring up another pop-up window where you choose your credit card. There is a drop down list where you can select other cards. From here choose either “해외비자” (hae-oe-bi-ja) for Visa or “해외마스터” (hae-oe-ma-seu-teo) for Mastercard. Enter your card information and you’ll be taken to the confirmation page. You should also be able to see the ticket information under your account info.
If You Do Have a Korean Bank Account
By far the easiest and safest option is to selected “Direct Deposit.” Once you do that you will be able to select a bank. Click the boxes at the bottom to agree to the terms and conditions and then click “결제하기” (gyeol-je-ha-gi), or “Check Out.” Following this, the website will provide you with a deposit number and amount, you must deposit the money within 24 hours to the account number given or your ticket will be cancelled. Make your way over to bank within the next day and pay for your ticket!
Yay! You’re going to a concert!
Before ticketing begins think about the section in which you’d like to sit and have it picked in advance so you can click it immediately. It’s always best to practice before actual ticketing time, as it can be very competitive and tickets can be sold out very quickly. You can do this by simply booking a ticket for something else beforehand and selecting “Direct Deposit” when checking out; the ticket will be automatically cancelled when you do not pay after 24 hours.
It is very very hard to get tickets for male idol groups if you do not book with the first wave of ticketing. Please keep this in mind and try to keep on top of your ticketing dates and times! If you don’t manage to get a ticket during the first wave of ticketing, there is always what the fans call “취켓팅” (chwi-ket-ting) which means ticketing for cancelled tickets. Most websites will re-release cancelled tickets anywhere from 12-4 a.m. the day after ticketing. So if ticketing was January 21 at 8 p.m. KST, cancelled tickets will begin going back up on the site on January 23 12 a.m.-4 a.m. KST.
For some bigger groups, instead of re-releasing cancelled tickets online the next day at midnight, they will schedule a specific time to do “2nd Round Ticketing” for cancelled tickets. Pay attention to the notices and see what the company decides. If there’s no notice about 2nd Round Ticketing, it means that the tickets will be re-released at midnight. For groups like BIGBANG, they may have ticketing dates spread out across three days, with specific days of ticketing for specific concert dates.
Most importantly, be fast and try to recruit as many friends as possible! You can also usually book up to four tickets. If you are using the direct deposit method this is in your advantage because you can keep going back and booking different tickets, and just cancel the worst seats when you’re done without paying.
IF YOU ARE TICKETING FOR A MUSICAL: Make sure you check the schedule of actors before you ticket. In Korea the same cast does not play every night during musicals. If you are going to see a specific idol or actor make sure you check what days they are playing before you ticket.
Don’t be nervous and go for it!
Do you have any ticketing stories to share with us or any additional questions about ticketing? Let us know in the comments below!
harmonicar is located in the Seoul office and is a former teacher who once taught at Jung Yonghwa’s high school in Busan. She is an avid INFINITE fan, and was once served beer by Sungyeol in Seoul.