Buying K-pop concert tickets can be mind-numbing, especially if you are living overseas. Luckily for you, there are ways to get your hands on concert tickets, even without a Korean credit card or alien registration number.
[This post was updated in August 2018.]
Here are the three major concert retailers:
The only catch is that not all the concerts that are available on the Korean site will also be available on the global website. So, what should you do if none of these websites sell the concert tickets you’re trying to purchase? Don’t worry, there’s still a solution: you can ask so-called “virtual concierge services” based in Korea to buy your ticket for you. Be aware though that the tickets will cost more than the original price, as service fees will be charged. Here are some well-known Korean concierge services:
If you’re an SM Town fan, there’s even another way to get your concert tickets: SM Town Global Travel. They sell tickets to pretty much every SM Entertainment artist’s concert BUT usually you can only get them in a hotel + concert ticket bundle which also means that it’s very expensive (it includes a night in a hotel, though, so if you haven’t booked an accommodation yet you might as well go for it). And the tickets they sell on there are generally pretty close to the stage (at least from what I’ve heard from people who have used their services before).
SM Town Travel also sells tickets to M Countdown to foreigners (for a pretty steep price, though). I have bought tickets there before and they even gave us some SM Town goodies, which is definitely a plus. Other websites specifically targeted towards foreigners are One More Trip and Trazy. One More Trip used to have tickets for The Show and MCountdown (which maybe will be put back on again later), but also offers various tour packages. Trazy often sells tickets for specific concerts or even award shows and they also have The Show tickets.
I am not going into detail about how to get into music shows for free because this is an article about concerts and I personally don’t have that much experience with that, but I still wanted to mention Simply K-pop. I wrote an article on how to get tickets for Simply K-pop two years ago but by now they have changed the admission process so I’ll briefly explain how to apply. Click on this link, check if there are any upcoming shows and write an e-mail for every part of the show you want to attend. If you get in, you should normally receive an e-mail the night before the show.
While we’re at the topic of free shows, the Korean Tourism Organization, as well as the Seoul Metropolitan Government often organize free concerts for foreigners. In addition, KTO sometimes gives out The Show or Music Bank tickets on their Facebook page, so definitely keep an eye on that!
Upcoming K-Pop Festivals
If you’re planning on visiting Korea anytime between September and November, you are very lucky as that time of the year basically is K-pop festival time! Here are some festivals that have already been announced (and I am sure there are a lot more that have yet to be made public). Almost all festivals have free entry!
September 1st and 2nd at Incheon International Airport Culture Park
More information here (in Korean): http://2018skyfestival.com/
Incheon K-pop Concert
September 1st from 7-10pm at Incheon Munhak Stadium
Get your tickets here: http://inkconcert.com/eng/
Lots of different concerts from September 5th to September 9th in Sangam-dong
You can enter the ticket lottery (until August 23rd) here (in Korean): http://dmcfestival.com
From September 10th to September 12th in Sangam-dong
More information and ticket application here: http://mucon.kr
Main concert: October 5th to October 7th at Anyangcheon
Information will soon be available here (in Korean): http://acfg.kr
As far as I know you don’t need to apply for tickets in advance but seats are first come, first serve.
CHANG FE (former Kpop World Festival)
October 5th at 6pm in Changwon
More information here: http://kbsworld.kbs.co.kr/kpopfestival/#none
Main Concert: October 6th at Coex
More information will be available here (in Korean): http://blog.naver.com/gangnamgu1
From October 20th to October 28th in Busan
More information here: http://bof.or.kr
More festivals and concerts will very likely be announced soon. If there’s a certain artist you would like to see, simply keep an eye on their schedule which you can usually find on their official Daum café or website. In addition, VisitSeoul has a (somewhat) updated schedule of all the concerts, musicals and festivals happening in Korea.
I hope this article was helpful 🙂
Till next time,