Let’s start this "The Kiss Me Experience” session with the famous music shows. Here, I will tell you how I attended them, my personal experience, fan interaction, the other fandoms and the whole ambiance. I hope that you’ll be able to live it through my article and maybe that you will find answers to your question
But I need to know where and when to go! How to do?!
There are many music shows in Korea, so you have a choice on which one to go to. But you have to make some choices based on: accessibility(how can you attend according to your fandom, if you are a registered member, etc.), when (weekends or week days), where (Seoul or not), and if you’re willing to attend pre-recordings and/or full show.
Before all, you have to check which shows U-KISS will attend, and what will they record: pre-recording or full show. If you don’t get the proper information in first hand, it can become really messy (more than it actually is). The information is posted on the café at least a day before the recorded show.
It’s in Korean, but you can find the hour they’ll record a pre-record, when do you have to be here with other KISSme, if U-KISS will record the full show (which starts live). For example:
Everything is in Korean though, if you want to attend such shows while in Korea but can’t read it, I suggest you to find a person who could help you translate. They usually put the meeting hour before the general information (which is highlighted in blue in the example).
Once you know the details, you can meet up at the right hour and start enjoying it.
What is pre-recording?
A music show is divided between pre-recordings and live.
A pre-recording, as its name says, is a performance recorded before the live show. The full show that you usually watch is: pre-recorded performance, live performance, pre-recorded performance, etc.
Pre-recorded performances are recorded all day long until the live show. It starts really early; I went to Music Bank for 8AM, even though the meeting hour was 7.30, and people arrived around 5AM/6AM for some fandoms! Crazy!
Groups and artists who pre-record usually are on the popular side. Even though U-KISS is said to be unpopular, getting a pre-record is considered to be a good thing (or that you have two songs to record or no choice because of hectic schedule).
Each artist or group who pre-record do it 3 to 5 times (not always full performances, they may record a break dance or an ending pose) and follow each other. In my opinion, it’s better to attend the pre-recording. Firstly, it gives you the chance to see U-KISS from up close, to talk with them if they have time, to see more performances than the live, and if they pre-record everything, you’ll only see them at the winning stage…if you can attend it.
Music Bank? Inkigayo? Where should I go?
I attended only two shows for different reasons. Firstly, because when U-KISS came back, I was on departure. Secondly, I went there as a tourist and student first, not as a KISSme, I didn’t go to see them. And lastly, because some are quite hard to attend to. You’ll understand why.
Some are recorded during the week, such as Music Bank (Friday), M!Countdown (Wednesday) or Show Champion (Tuesday), so it’s really convenient to attend those on first hand, because many fans are still at school, the oldest are working or attending university. So when you are a foreigner on holidays, this is pretty easy. Less people can attend those shows, most of the ones who can are either people living or studying near the recording place, students who can skip classes (or dare to do so), adults and/or part time worker who manages to find a few hours to enjoy the show, and foreigners (mainly Japanese and Chinese). Also, those three are located in Seoul, not like Music Core. Music Core is located in Ilsan, Seoul suburb, and on Saturday. Hence it is very crowded.
Finally, Inkigayo is known for being the toughest to attend to because it’s on Sunday. So if you want to see U-KISS on Inkigayo, it's better to be a pre-recording. Then there’s MTV The Show but I don’t know anything about it.
Also you have to take in consideration the broadcasting station’s rules, which are basically the same everywhere. It’s a mix between “first come, first serve” and “official KISSme or not”.
- KISSme with CD & Official KISSme with card
- KISSme without CD & Official KISSme card
- KISSme with CD & Official KISSme without card
- No KISSme with CD
- Other people without CD or Official member
If you are an official KISSme, don’t worry! KISSmes attending shows aren't more than 50 people. It can become troublesome for MNET or Show Champion which have tiny recording places but since they are weekdays shows, it’s usually not the case. When you arrive, you have to remember the hour you arrived (don’t lie, some fans may have arrived way hours before and may have proof nobody was here before them!), so that when the KISSme staff arrive, they’ll list people according to their hour of arrival, if they are official, with a CD etc. But once again, there aren't many KISSme attending TV shows so you never have to worry.
If you are a No KISSme, don’t worry much either. Sadly, U-KISS’ waiting line is not even the half of most of other fan club lines.
I've finally arrived, what should I do?!
When you arrive there, remember to check the hour you've arrived. You’ll see line of people waiting, with or without a placard which will tell you which fandom it is and what’s their meeting hour. For example, when I arrived to Music Bank, I saw only one line of people with a “B.A.P” paper on a suitcase. But they were many although their pre-record was later than U-KISS’.
So if U-KISS had many fans coming (which may occur during summer, when there are more foreigner fans), arriving early is the best option! If you don’t see a paper for a KISSme meeting point, you only have to wait and ask people “U-KISS? KISSme?” (if you can’t speak Korean, Japanese, or even are too shy to). People will tell you if they’re here for them or not. If they are, they’ll tell you they are waiting for the staff.
Let’s be honest, U-KISS's fandom is a bit chaotic. Fans arrive, since they all know each other, they check who’s there and who isn’t and come back at the meeting hour in front of the entry for the staff check-in. The check-in basically is: asking for your KISSme card, your CD, and write a number on your wrist (K-01 is you’re the first official KISSme arrived, NK-23 if you’re a No KISSme).
When the check-in is done, fans leave and come until the pre-recording. But you don’t always know when it’s U-KISS’s turn so most of the fans wait there and the staff reminds you time to time not to go too far or to speed up if you go to the toilets. Sometimes, the staff brings food and beverages (at times, personalized with U-KISS pictures), and they’ll sell slogans. Sometimes they’ll come and talk to you, answer your questions, tell you to learn the fan chants and more.
Attending a music show is tiring for these reasons. You wait for hours. Then the staff will call and you’ll be able to attend the show and enter. Enjoy now!
How’s the pre-recording?!
Depending on which show you’ll attend, you’ll be standing up or sitting down. Music Bank, Inkigayo, Music Core have seats. M!Countdown and Show Champion are standing. You’ll be placed according to the number written on your wrist. The staff will ask you to be very polite to U-KISS, and that you can’t talk to them informally. They’ll also invite you to scream louder on some parts, to not forget the fan chants, etc. The performance has to be perfect; the fans, too, have an important role! You may be able to talk to U-KISS too! But when they prepare and the station staff says “stand by” you better not say anything and wait for the first notes to start screaming. You’ll have to do this up to five times and then leave.
The pre-recording is finished. What can I do?
When you leave the pre-recording, you may stay if you want to attend the full show. But this is a big deal.
For the full show, the rules aren’t the same. The first people who can enter are the people who succeed to win tickets from the channel website. Let’s say you’re all foreigners and do not have an Korean Alien Card… forget about it.
Maybe if you have a friend who has this card and is willing to attend the show with you, then ask him/her about it. He/She will have to fill some sheet on the website and will receive a SMS informing her/him if she/he won or not. The important thing to note is that the person who won the ticket can invite one person. But the one who registered HAS to come. You can exchange with somebody else. I tried and this made me won 5 hours of waiting-for-nothing-in-the-cold. If you have this ticket, you have two lines at the entrance about 30min to 1h prior the show. Ask someone which line is for “ticket” which one isn’t. Show the SMS to be understood! If you don’t have this ticket, then I’d suggest you to go to the other line. This is for you to enter without a fandom.
Why do I suggest you not to attend with your fandom? Because your fandom will enter based on…the fandom staff who won a rock-paper-scissor game. I’m not kidding. When both lines have entered, the fan staff peoples play the game to know which fandom will enter first with a group of about 10 people. When I attended Music Bank, EXO’s staff won first and they were about 10 so they entered first. Then it was B.A.P, Shinhwa and etc. At some moment the place will be filled so some fans are left out. During my experience, two Shinhwa Changjos were left with half the KISSme.
The only thing you can do then is leave.
I have to admit, waiting hours in the cold wind without knowing if I could enter the full show or not is really a pain in the ass. It really ruined my mood at that time. But recalling U-KISS’s faces on their first comeback stage (in Korea) really warms me. They were really stressed and tired, but really happy to meet everybody. There weren't many of us at the shows I had attended, but they still were happy. Plus, I really enjoyed pre-recordings. One performance is too short, so being able to see one, then waiting for them to monitor and perform again up to five times really is a blast!
Also, it gave me the chance to chat with Kiss Mes, and meet the domestic fans personally. But that is another story, for another 'Kiss Me Experience'.
Tell me what you thought about 'The Kiss Me Experience'. Leave your questions, suggestions and comments below!