OG K-Pop fans (people who became fans between 2008-2012), had it rough.
K-Pop groups were JUST starting to upload their music videos to YouTube. Tours were far and few in-between-–if at all existent.
I commend those that had to live through those dark times.
Personally, I became a K-Pop fan in 2016. The years 2015 – 2016 were a weird time in K-Pop [in the U.S.] because this is before the ‘genre’ visibily ascended into the Western mainstream.
About three years ago, there were less tours and the stops were limited to a select number of major cities.
Today, there is a plenthora of opportunites to see Korean artists perform in the U.S.
There are so many tours going on its getting hard to afford them all. The concert-going experience can be different even though its all K-Pop; variables like price point, venue, capacity, location, etc. can make all the difference.
This year alone, I’ve had the chance to see K-Pop groups at a small venue, big venue, and a festival.
I have some thoughts on each experience.
The Rose – Small Venue
Depending on where your seat is, you won’t need to look at a screen to properly see the performance.
At The Rose concert, I was right in the front row. I was so close to the stage, I made awkward eye contact with Jeff on multiple occasions and high-fived Woosung.
With that being said, if you are further back or have poor eyesight you’re out of luck. It’s unlikely the concert hall will have video screens similar to the ones at arenas. Hope you brought binoculars.
BTS – Big Huge Venue
The energy at a concert venue with thousands of fans is unmatched. It’s hard to describe, but the vibe in the air is just different.
Is this what it feels like to attend a megachurch?
The line to get in is LONG if you show up early or on time, especially for a group like BTS. Fans camp out for days just to make sure they have a good spot (usually for the barricade).
iKON – Festival
Similar to KCON, a weekend-long Korean culture festival, music festivals in general can be a great chance to see your favorite group.
For various reasons, not every group has the opportunity to hold a solo concert. Festivals get rid of any barriers that might prevent a group from holding their own stand-alone concert.
I have no idea how 88rising got iKON to leave the YG Entertainment dungeon and perform in Los Angeles, but I am here for it.
Speaking of 88rising, read our recap of the Head In The Clouds festival.
Since it’s not the artist’s own concert, you have to sit through other musical arts. Depending on where your faves are on the set list, that could mean a lot of waiting around.
Which K-Pop concerts have you been to this year? Discuss it on the Quirktastic friendship app! The year’s not over yet. Hope your wallets are ready!
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Self-proclaimed polymath. Debbie is a writer, podcast host, style blogger, graphic designer, stylist, aspiring polyglot and then some. You can find her working on her blog, sipping on some green tea, self-studying Japanese and Korean or spending way too much time on the internet. 🌸 For more K-pop thoughts and other things, check out my Medium blog: https://medium.com/@debutante