Tension and excitement are running high for the city’s K-pop fans, with the Mnet Asian Music Awards (Mama) coming up next month, and BlackPink’s and BTS’ concerts early next year. Cue a mass of fandom members with their fingertips at the ready to book their tickets to the hottest, most highly-anticipated upcoming K-pop gigs.
There will be a number of social media accounts and websites offering tickets to a sold-out show, or exclusive access to a pre-order sale, but they almost always turn out to be a scam. To help you avoid these, we’ve put together a guide to five of the safest ways to acquire tickets to your favourite K-pop idol’s concert.
Stick to official websites
A lot of people are afraid to buy their tickets from the official website of the band or artist’s tour because they worry tickets will instantly sell out, or that the site will crash due to the large number of people trying to access it. However these sites are the most reliable place to buy your tickets.
The best you can do it make sure you have a good Wi-fi connection, have all your (or your parents’) credit card information ready, and set your alarm for when ticketing opens. It might help to have a squad of friends to try to secure tickets at the same time in case the site crashes on you.
Check fancafes for early ticketing
Fancafes are sites organised by the entertainment company that manages the K-pop group. Membership will set you back around HK$250-HK$350, but will gain you access to the latest news on your idols, exclusive content, and, most importantly, early ticketing.
Unfortunately, this only applies to tickets for concerts in Korea, and some companies such as JYP Entertainment do not allow international users to join their fancafes. You may also need to know Korean to use some of them, but more are being translated for international fans.
Group order from fan sites
When a concert is announced, several fan accounts from the same region on Instagram collaborate in one joint account to host a group order, usually through Google forms. These fans are not officially collaborating with the ticket supplier, so it technically is a resell, but many people use this way to get tickets, and it can generally be trusted. Prices are not hiked up; it’s just experienced fans with connections wanting to help their fellow fans see their favourite groups or idols.
There is no official list of these accounts, but if you search the name of your group and the concert venue, the most popular fan accounts should come up, and you should be able to find announcements of a group order for upcoming concerts.
Other reliable ticketing sites
HK Ticketing is a reliable ticketing agency that sells tickets for Asia-World Expo and other venues. As a subsidiary of Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (Management) Ltd, tickets are sold at their original price – you just have to be fast!
Stubhub is a popular (but unofficial) ticketing site, and while you will definitely get your tickets if you buy them, they are often sold at a higher price, so only use this if you have no other choices. However, if Stubhub is a sponsor for the particular concert you want to go to, which it is sometimes is, then it is official, and you won’t have to worry about hiked-up prices or scams.
Many hard core K-pop fans avoid the stress of ticket-buying altogether by making friends with people who are affiliated with the event venue or organisation. This includes event managers, event suppliers, as well as those who work for sponsors of the concert. For example, if you know someone who works at Asia-World Expo, or a brand that is sponsoring the event, they may be able to give you tickets for free or at a cheaper price.
All in all, avoid ticket sources that other people haven’t used or can’t vouch for. Even if you don’t manage to get tickets for a particular show, don’t worry; many K-pop groups come to Hong Kong every year, so you can always try to catch them the next time they’re here.
(Don’t forget, YP junior reporters often get free tickets to cover and review events such as Mama and EXO’s last concert. Yet another reason to join the club!)