At the beginning of my university years, my high school friends really got into DBSK. They were talking about them for hours on skype, and I couldn’t understand their obsession.
But later, when the group started becoming popular in Japan, I started listening to their Japanese songs, and eventually their Korean songs. My friends and I always sang their songs at karaoke, but when the group split, our dedication died down. 😦
A few weeks ago, my friend invited me to see JYJ in Gangnam for FREE! Since it’s a rare experience to be able to see them live, I was very excited, even though I didn’t know what to expect from the extreme fans.
I would like to share the exhausting yet exciting seven hours in Gangnam, so people who are going to the Gangnam K-pop Festival in 2015 can get an idea of how much time they would need to dedicate in order to see the performers well.
2:27 I arrive in Samseong Station. Walk out of exit 7. I see a ticket booth. Then I see some girls sitting on the side of the street with picnic mats and blankets…. Rows of them… I continue walking… When does this line end?!
2:28 The stage blasts some music for their rehearsal and the girls shriek hoping that they would see JYJ. I finally find the line bending into a parking lot.
2:32 I find out that the lines are divided into “Membership” and “General.” I get in the back of the line for general.
2:44 The person in front of me offers a piece of cardboard, so I could sit down and wait. The sun hits my eyes… I’m probably going to get sunburnt. I hear Korean, Japanese, Chinese, and English around me.
2:53 My wonderful, beautiful, amazing friend arrives. She came to join me even though I contacted her 2 hours ago. The friend that I was supposed to go with got sick.
3:00 I thought they would start distributing tickets… We just sit in the sun and talk while enjoying some cold shikhye.
4:00 Girls start running and we don’t know what’s going on. We don’t want to lose our spot, so we wait in line.
4:15 The security people end up guiding people who came after us first. Assertive people quickly catch that and complain to the security people. They don’t know how to guide us, so we move around too much, and it feels like our last two hours of waiting went to waste.
4:30 After a lot of pushing and jumbled up lines, we finally stand in order and receive tickets to enter the concert. They tell us that we will lose our spot if we don’t stay in line.
5:20 The line finally moves forward and stops for a few minutes. I make a run to the bathroom.
5:30 The line moved when I was in the bathroom, but I find my friend easily. We snack on some gummies and granola bars.
5:49 We receive a permanent marker being passed down. We write our numbers 1763 and 1764 on our wristbands. Envious of whoever wrote number 1 on their wristband.
6:07 We are told to stand in a line instead of four people per row and finally exit the parking lot. We see some fans that get lined up right next to the stage. Jealous!
6:20 We wait in the middle of the road (Yeongdong-daero).
6:45 We finally arrive at the area where we can stand to see the show. Can’t even see the stage…. There are too many tall people in the middle so we move to the side. Because of the camera guy, the most we see is like 1/4 of the TV screen on the stage. 2/3 if we lift our phones and take a picture of the stage.
7:15 The fans around us get crazy excited and push when JYJ walks closer on the stage. Fans take pictures, videos, and record music. I follow their example.
7:52 I attempt to take pictures when they get closer but JYJ is too holy and bright and my camera can’t capture them.
7:55 I think “I got a decent picture!” But when I look at it later it’s all blurry.
8:12 I remember how much I love their ballads and harmony.
8:30 My back hurts. I feel like I’m alive only because of adrenaline.
8:45 We exit the area after the last song, so we can avoid the crowd and listen to the encore while walking. JYJ sings “Empty.” We find that if we were in the areas farther from the stage, we could have enjoyed their beautiful faces on a big TV.
8:50 We enter Coex mall and go to the bathroom.
8:53 We go into the first restaurant we find and immediately order food. I drink a lot of water because I was dehydrated for the past 5 hours.
9:05 We focus on eating and feel human again.
9:40 We get on the subway to go home.
9:00 am the next day…. I find out that my friend got Advance Tickets and she got to see them without waiting for a few hours before the performance… Where were those Advance Tickets?! She needs to know how lucky she is by telling her how much I went through to get to the show with this blog post! haha
So if you are thinking about going to the next Gangnam K-pop Concert, or any free k-pop concert… Be ready. Remember that if you want really good views you’ll have to be one of those people who camp out in line. Or try to find a friend with some Advance Tickets. 😉
If it’s for your favorite K-pop artist, then it is definitely worth the time and effort. I have no regrets