May 24, 2020

What it’s like attending a concert in South Korea

When I booked my tickets to see U2 in Seoul, I genuinely had no idea what attending a concert in South Korea would be like.

I tried looking it up online thinking there would be some info on what it is like but couldn’t seem to find anything. So I decided to write up my experience seeing U2 at the Skydome to help show people what it’s like.

And let me say first of all, out of all my concert experiences in Asia, the show I went to in Seoul was by far the best. The crowd were fun, polite and were super into the music.

Buying a ticket

First of all you have to navigate the ticket buying system. Luckily the U2 presale provided us with the English page where you had to register as a foreigner.

Usually presales are pretty plain sailing especially when it is a stadium show but this one was a bit more difficult. We were using an iPad to purchase the tickets (at 4am in the morning UK time by the way) but what we didn’t realise was that the booking system doesn’t like iPads!

So I then had to get onto my laptop and book it from there. It was a bit annoying because we had ticket numbers 11 & 12 in the queue originally but because we had to try again we got numbers 250 and 251 (more about this in a minute). Still pretty good going though.

You also have to use the exact name on your photographic ID as you have to pick up the tickets at the box office.

Getting into the venue and queuing

People don’t have to queue at shows in Korea. Why? Because you enter by your ticket number!

We were directed to an underground car park where organisers there had separated the area into rows. There were then signs directing you to your ticket number.

Queueing for a concert in Seoul

We had to go along the queue and ask people what number they were.

Then you are walked into the venue by staff according to your number. It worked fairly well – a couple of people did push in but to be honest – that happens in the UK anyway and also in the UK you would have to queue for hours to enter that early.

When you’re in, you pretty much have your spot. You don’t need to worry about people trying to get in front of you – well I didn’t anyway!

Merchandise and cloakrooms

Merchandise is BIG business at a concert in South Korea and you will have to queue. Some people turn up hours before to ensure they get the best merch. We queued for about 45 minutes – the queue snaked around the venue itself!

You have to put your order in and then queue to collect it – if the clothing is too big or too small then you have to change your order in back at the till – that was probably the only annoying thing about the experience.

There are cloakrooms – you’ll have to queue for them too but worth it if you don’t want to carry your stuff around with you.

The actual concert itself

Before the band came on in Seoul

I’ve been to concerts in Asia where people have been quiet, loud, or just didn’t move at all so I wasn’t sure what to expect. But it was U2’s first time in South Korea and people had definitely wanted this for a very long time.

It was quite funny because the concert was in winter and everyone was wearing their thick thermal coats when jumping around!

Read more: Things I really loved about Seoul

I remember during one song, a Korean man next to me started jumping up and down and giving me a thumbs up, because this was his favourite song. Another woman gasped when her favourite song came on. You could tell to the crowd, this meant a lot to them.

I had the best time – our number meant we were on the second row, close enough to see the band but feel like a part of the 40,000 crowd.

U2 concert in South Korea

Basically, I had the best time and didn’t want it to end. There’s something quite amazing hearing a crowd sing songs in another language from their own – hearing the crowd drowning out the band during the song One actually made me teary eyed.

Before long, the show was over and it was time to leave. The exit was very easy, all of the doors were opened and people queued to get to the metro. I thought it was going to be quite difficult with the crowd getting back but it wasn’t bad at all!

Would I recommend a concert in South Korea? 100 percent. Now just waiting for all my favourite bands to start announcing their Asian tour (*cough* I’m looking at you The Killers!).

If you’re looking for a good guide on Youtube about attending a concert then click here. 

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