Surviving a Concert in Korea
When attending a concert, the experience can depend on a variety of factors. The venue, the staff, where you are seated, if you are seated at all, the waiting before the concert, the setlist, and even the other fans play a huge role in determining if you walk away loving or hating the whole experience.
On January 26, I had the opportunity to attend NEO CITY: Seoul-The Origin, the very first NCT 127 solo concert. As a foreign fan, the scale of the event was mind-blowing. Overall the experience was great. However, there were a few things I wish I had known before going that would have made my experience a lot better. Here are a few things that will take your first Korea concert experience from good to amazing.
The temperature in and around the concert venue can vary from location to location. For NCT 127, outside was super cold, but once I was in the venue, the temperature was too warm for a coat and gloves. The best way to combat the drastic changes in temperature is to wear layers. My recommendation is to wear a t-shirt beneath a warm hoodie, and if the weather permits, wear an additional layer of a warm coat.
Comfortable Shoes, Comfortable Shoes, Comfortable Shoes
This is so important. Concert festivities begin up to six hours before the actual start time in Korea. Fansites will have events on and around the concert venue and it involves a lot of standing in line and walking around. Most importantly, if you are standing for the concert, you will be lining up in ticket number order around an hour before the start of the concert. A lot of the activities take place on concrete that can wreak havoc on your body, leaving you sore the next day. Choose shoes that are the most comfortable for long days. Try to avoid high heels or shoes with no support for the best experience.
What to Bring
A Tote Bag, String Bag, or Small Backpack
A bag will make it easier to carry around all the freebies that the fansites give away on site. For NCT 127, there were over 20 fansites who gave away everything from banners to candy. Having a place to store everything will make life a little easier. Don’t worry about carrying the bag around in the concert; there are places to store the bag outside the venue for easy pick up after the show. If you choose to hang onto your bag, make sure to check the venue's rules on bag sizes. When in doubt, use the bag check.
Portable Charger and Light Stick Batteries
Throughout the day, there will be so many opportunities to take pictures, post to social media, and check posts from your favorite idol. In the case of NCT 127, the members had been air dropping selfies to random phones throughout the day. Before you know it, your battery will be at 5% and there is not an outlet in sight. Bring a portable charger that will allow you to stay connected to everyone throughout the day. While keeping your phone powered up is important, making sure your light stick is ready to go is just as important. Having a spare set of batteries can come in handy in case you (or someone around you) has the misfortune of their light stick dying.
There are countless things I could mention, however, everyone needs different things to keep them comfortable for a crazy, yet unforgettable, experience. Attending my first concert in Korea was an experience I honestly will never forget. Hopefully these few pointers help make your first concert experience easy and unforgettable.
If you are interested in coming to Korea to see a concert, check out SM Entertainment’s global package program. They help bring foreign fans all over the world to see their favorite SM artists. You can check out their program here. The packages change regularly, so check back to see when you can see your favorite in South Korea.