You did everything you were told to do by the K-pop concert gurus. You upgraded to the blazing fast WiFi package. You set up multiple devices with multiple tabs open on each, except for that one site that will kick you off if you have more than one tab open. You registered on the sites ahead of time. You even found a credit card with enough room on it for those coveted P1 tickets! Finally, you gathered all of your friends and logged into the ticket sites at least an hour in advance. As you jammed to the sweet sound of your Kpop bias, you imagined what it would be like to see that performance live. The anticipation made you want to laugh and cry all at once. Then…it was go time. You clicked and refreshed and…screamed in frustration. Over and over you clicked. Somewhere along the way you decided you would be happy with P5 or even P6, but even these tickets were beyond your reach. Maybe your site crashed. Maybe you had tickets in your cart and suddenly they disappeared. Maybe you just never even got that far. Regardless of your journey, you are now here, in Kpop Fan Purgatory. Let’s talk about what you can do.
Wait and See
As Kpop has become more popular, competition for tickets has become even more fierce. I think most fans could accept this if the competition was among themselves: people who are all excited to see this group of amazing performers. It would still be disappointing, but there would be this sense of, “Well, at least my favorite group is getting a lot of love.” Unfortunately, more and more frequently, tickets are snatched up by scalpers using bots. You were probably still hopefully clicking and refreshing when hundreds of tickets started flooding the resale sites. Some of the prices on these sites are almost laughable. Well, it would be laughable if it didn’t hurt so much. Seriously? For $9,000 I can fly to Seoul, rent an apartment across from their practice studio, and probably bribe a security guard to let me in to watch. Just for the record, anyone buying tickets and then turning around within seconds to sell them at many times the face value is not a fan. That is a scalper. And do you know why they exist? They exist because of the law of supply and demand. If fans are willing to pay those prices, then those tickets have that value. In other words, if you want to make a difference, then refuse to buy tickets with inflated prices.
So, here is the wait and see part… The time period between the day tickets go on sale and the actual concert is often many months. So many things can happen in that time. If you are patient, there will very likely be someone that cannot attend or bought a ticket for a friend who has to take a test or go to work or any combination of reasons, and they will be looking for someone to buy their ticket. I was at a concert a year ago that was “sold out,” but P1 tickets were somehow available in the weeks and days leading up to the concert. If you really want to go, I would advise you to wait and see.
Get Angry and Take Action
So, anger is not always something that should be embraced, but there are ways to channel your disappointment and anger at “the bots” and scalpers. Stronger vetting on ticket-selling websites (such as requiring purchasers to register and then input codes into the sites) can help combat some of the computer programs written to take advantage of flaws in the online ticketing systems. There is certainly technology available to combat this; it is up to ticket sites to take responsibility for ensuring a fair and equitable purchasing and distribution process. Does it make sense that the same sites selling the tickets can offer “platinum” tickets at the same time? It certainly FEELS like a conflict of interest. So, if you are feeling angry, then write, call, and take to social media to demand a stronger vetting process and more fan-focused service. Ticket sales are a business. The only way to change these practices is to harness the power of the consumer and demand change. Be polite, but make your voice heard!
Consider Other Groups
Yeah. It is disappointing when the group you love the most is now so popular that getting tickets feels like winning the lottery. I am personally experiencing that feeling; however, I have recently been branching out a bit more—listening to some of the newer groups. There are a lot of talented Kpop groups, and with Vlive and social media, it is possible to really get to know some of these emerging groups. So, it may seem like cold comfort, but when you are an early fan of a lesser known group, you can take advantage of fanservice like in-person meet and greets, photo-ops, high touch, and really great seats in smaller venues. I have been chatting with some Kpop group members through Vlive and it has been a very fun experience. When they only have a few hundred people tuning in compared to millions (like some of the more famous Kpop groups), then you have a chance to ask your questions and really interact.
Missing out on tickets to your favorite Kpop group’s concert is really frustrating but there are some things you can do instead of sitting in your closet eating Nutella from the jar with a spoon and wailing hopelessly. (Just because I wrote that does not mean I was caught doing that—nothing to see here, folks.) What can you do? Wait and see, channel your frustration in positive directions, and spread the love to other groups. If that doesn’t help, then chocolate and rocking back and forth can’t hurt.
What are your best coping methods when the tickets you wanted are just out of your grasp? Please comment below!