Inkigayo [인기가요]: literally meaning popular song, but also stands for trending music.

Being a K-pop fan, attending Korean music shows has got to come up somewhere on your bucket list, since it allows you to be a step closer from your favorite idols.

Basically, there are seven Korean music shows:

  1. Inkigayo (SBS)
  2. The Show (SBS MTV)
  3. Show Champion (MBC Music)
  4. M Countdown (Mnet)
  5. Music Bank (KBS)
  6. Show! Music Core (MBC)
  7. Simply K-pop (Arirang TV)

It’s a bit tricky to be part of either the live broadcast or the pre-recording of each show, and the application process largely depends on the program you choose.

Today, I’m going to share with you my first Korean music show experience.

Korea Tourism Organization

Like I mentioned previously, KTO is one of the platforms you should constantly check before and during your stay in Korea. One of their generous offers is a free ticket to attend music shows.

Make sure to follow their Facebook page and prioritize their posts on your newsfeed, this way you won’t miss any of their occasional but very promising deals. Thanks to their services, I got the chance to attend two music shows within a week.

Music Bank Experience

Although totally unexpected, I was so happy to have been picked amongst the winners. I was told to be at KBS Hall before 17h, and since I was aware of the crazy K-pop related queues, I knew I had to be there at least three hours early.

The waiting was tiring as you just stand there in the hall. Since this opportunity is for foreigners only, the selected winners started a line of their own at some point, while waiting for KTO representatives to come. Once their booth was set, they started handing tickets on a first come first served basis.

Next, we were ushered inside the recording studio about 15~30 minutes before the live broadcast started. The lineup was rich as I was able to see Samuel, Shannon, GFRIEND, and JJ Project among others; but my most memorable performances had to be ONF, N.Flying, DreamCatcher, Turbo, and KARD.

The Show Experience

While my first experience was perfect, I felt bad for leaving my sister behind. Luckily, we both got chosen upon applying for the second time.

The instructions given by KTO were similar to the previous program; the only difference was that we didn’t have appointed seats, but the outcome was eventually in our favor.

Together, we got to see most of the artists I saw before, except for the ones who sadly ended their promotions.

General Tips

If you want to take part in a specific idol group’s pre-recording or live broadcast, here are some pointers that you should acquire to facilitate your access:

  1. Waiting in line: make sure to be as early as possible.
  2. Membership card: signing up to your favorite idols’ fanclub is surely beneficial.
  3. Physical album: as if the photobook and photocard weren’t enough reasons to purchase it.
  4. Fandom lightstick: what’s a music show without a flashy lightstick, am I right?
  5. Digital proof of single purchase: you need a Korean phone number to purchase the digital single, so you can either ask an acquaintance to buy it for you or get your own number (which also serves as a perfect memento!)

Fore more details, check out this article.

That’s all for today! Feel free to contact me if you have any questions, and stay tuned for more Hallyu gems. Until I see you next time, thank you for reading me.