Finally! After a series of canceled world tours throughout the pandemic, many of our favorite K-Pop groups such as ATEEZ, NCT 127 and TWICE have announced new world tour dates. I could not imagine anyone being more thrilled and excited about this than yours truly, but I was wrong. It seemed everyone (and their mother) was waiting like a crouching tiger to pounce on these tickets the minute they went live!
The competition was formidable, and even with focused determination, I ran into roadblocks and went on an emotional rollercoaster ride. I know there are much more important things in life, but seeing my favorite idols live was something I wanted badly and that desire might have bordered on the irrational.
It may not be breaking news that I, and all true K-Pop fans, fight an uphill battle against brokers and scalpers using AI bots that clean up before a single human fan can type a letter on a keyboard! (A single bot can scoop up over 1,000 tickets in a minute.) But it’s one thing to know about bots, it’s another to feel like you’re at a starting line in a tricycle while the bots are in Ferraris. Hot concerts selling out in hours now seem quaint when shows can sell out in seconds. And the scalpers’ secondary ticket (resale) market is becoming the primary way to obtain a hot ticket, at prices that K-Pop groups did not intend for their devoted fans to have to pay. So please allow me to share some hard learned lessons.
Looking back now on my first K-Pop concert, which was AMAZING, I can fully attest that the extra (at times painful) effort was absolutely worthwhile!
5 Tips for Scoring K-Pop Concert Tickets at Face Value
Before K-Pop concert tickets become available for purchase, performers will announce the date (and even the exact time) that tickets go on sale, usually on Ticketmaster.com. Here are five tips (mostly learned the hard way) that will help you beat the AI bots and score some seats without having to pay the ridiculous prices on the secondary ticket sites.
1. Create a Ticketmaster (or another ticket provider) account in advance. Don’t waste precious time creating an account and setting up your credit card information when you are trying to purchase a ticket.
2. Log on at least an hour early and wait. If the concert tickets are supposed to go on sale at 2:00 pm on a given day, log on at least an hour before. There is a queue that starts far before the tickets are actually available for sale. K-Pop stans (and all the evil AI bots) are already waiting in a virtual line until the program starts letting people in, smaller groups at a time, to select their tickets and make their purchases, until the face value tickets sell out. I waited for weeks for the Ateez tickets to go on sale, and learned the hard way that waiting to purchase tickets at 3:00 pm when they went on sale at 2:00 pm, was far too late. Yes, tickets were long gone by that time.
3. Don’t dilly-dally while making your selection. I learned that lesson when Twice tickets went on sale. I logged on early and waited patiently for my turn. When it finally came, I made the mistake of pondering too long whether a certain pair of tickets was worth the price for the location in the arena, and in mid-thought, *POOF* someone bought them right out from under me. Argh! Luckily, I did not have to go back to the end of the line (which is not always the case); the program allowed me to select another set of tickets after the two that I had chosen were snatched up by someone else.
4. Before the day of the sale, study the layout of the venue. Get a sense of the layout and the areas where you would be happy. That way, when it is your turn, you can just go in and pounce quickly.
5. Save and budget: Not exactly a tip to score tickets, but tickets are expensive and if you’re like me and have limited funds, save up. The only thing I asked for Christmas from my parents were—yes, concert tickets! Other ways to save money, include ordering essential merch, such as lightsticks, long before the concert. This way, you will pay somewhat reasonable prices and get the merch delivered to you before the concert, instead of paying far too much for them at the concert itself.
Upcoming Tours and Kpop Concerts 2022
As a proud member of the “ONCES” the name for Twice fans, I am so excited and looking forward to TWICE’s concert! The celebrated girl group will return to the U.S. for the first time in over two years. Twice kicked off its world tour in Seoul in December 2021 and has announced stops in Los Angeles, Oakland, Dallas, Atlanta and New York in February 2022.
Due to popular demand, the group added two additional concerts in Los Angeles and New York on February 15 and February 27. The tour began with a 3-day Seoul concert but Jeongyeon did not participate. However, she may be joining the rest of the group for the U.S. concerts. Face value tickets appear to be sold out, but resale tickets can be purchased at various secondary ticket market websites such as Vivid Seats, and SeatGeek.
ATEEZ is, in my opinion, one of the most talented boy groups. The group continues to gain global recognition for its exceptional performances in the K-Pop and wider global music scene. I am so happy to see ATEEZ getting the recognition it deserves. Although relative rookies in the industry, ATEEZ has navigated the competitive world of K-Pop like veterans.
Due to COVID-19, ATEEZ’s last world tour, “The Fellowship: Map the Treasure” was paused. But they’re back on the road with “The Fellowship: Beginning of the End” in the United States and Europe. ATEEZ is now well into its tour of five cities in the U.S: Chicago (January 18), Atlanta (January 20), Newark (January 24), Dallas (January 27), and Los Angeles (January 30). The group will then tour in Europe in Amsterdam (February 13), London (February 15), Paris (February 20), Berlin (February 22), Warsaw (February 24), and Madrid (March 1). Face value tickets for the remaining U.S. shows are sold out, but resale tickets can be purchased at various secondary ticket market websites.
On January 20, Starship Entertainment announced that “MONSTA X NO LIMITS U.S. TOUR”, which had previously been scheduled to kick off at the end of January 2022, has been postponed to the summer. The tour will now begin in New York on May 21st, with 13 stops ending in Los Angeles on June 11th. Tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster.
Monsta X will be holding multiple concerts in areas such as New York City, Toronto, Chicago, Boston, Inglewood, Detroit, and many more. Face value tickets appear to be mostly sold out, but resale tickets can be purchased at various secondary ticket market websites.
Following NCT 127’s comeback with their smash hit “Sticker,” (one of the best-selling albums in America in 2021) the group has been extremely busy with its repackaged album, and full group comeback with the NCT 2021 Universe. NCT 127 had originally announced its NEO CITY tour in February 2020. Performances were scheduled across North America in June 2020, but because of the pandemic the tour dates were all canceled. SM Entertainment confirmed NCT 127 will be performing in various cities around the world. Rescheduled dates will be released at a later date. So stay tuned!
Epik High, the three-member hip-hop group, became the first Korean act to play at Coachella in 2016 and has now become the first Korean act to be reinvited to the festival. Epik High will be performing at Coachella again on April 15 and 22, 2022, making it the first Korean act to return to the festival! Epik High will also begin its North American Tour in Seattle on March 1, 2022. Then it’s on to other cities in California, Oregon, Illinois, and Utah, as well as in Canada. Tickets can be purchased at https://www.epikhigh.com/.
Eric Nam, the multifaceted and multi-talented Korean American singer, songwriter, entertainer, and TV personality, is finally going on a world tour around Europe and North America. Since his tour was canceled halfway in 2020, he has added a staggering 53 stops for the new “There And Back Again World Tour 2022,” named after his English album “There And Back Again,” The US leg of his relaunched tour began on January 24, 2022 in Arizona and ends in Austin, TX on March 12, 2022. He will then head to Sweden on March 22 for the European part of the tour and finally wrap up after shows in Australia and New Zealand. Tickets can be purchased at https://www.ericnam.com/ and https://www.ticketmaster.com/eric-nam-tickets/artist/2034062
Ella Shin is an intern at Best of Korea and a student in New York City, who loves composing music and everything Hallyu.