K-pop fans go the extra mile, from queuing overnight to spending thousands, to catch their idols perform live

Dayna Yam

| April 16, 2023

You find out that your favourite K-pop idols are finally holding a concert in Singapore. You wait patiently for the tickets to drop, armed with several mobile devices, from smartphones to laptops.

Ultimately, you find yourself disappointed after a tireless wait.

Some fans have, as a result, gone the extra mile to attend such shows. HallyuSG takes a closer look at the lengths fans might go to, just to get themselves tickets to concerts by their idols.

A photo of a live concert crowd. Photo: Muneeb Syed/Unsplash

How the local ticketing system works

To unpack the entire issue, we need to understand how the local ticketing system works.

There are a three methods to purchase these tickets – the most common being either buying online, straight from any mobile device or queuing physically at SingPost centres. The last method involves dialling in to a hotline.

Like for any new iPhone drop or mega discounts, queuing overnight is a common sight.

HallyuSG - Fans
Fans queuing at Kallang Wave Mall to get tickets to BTS’ concert. Photo: Teng Yong Ping/Yahoo Lifestyle Singapore

Tertiary student Belinda Low (not her real name), 18, told HallyuSG: “My go-to would still be physical queuing, especially for the more popular bands. This would allow me to get better seats at the venue”.

Some fans opt to queue virtually in the comfort of their own homes instead.

HallyuSG - Fans
Photo: John Schnobrich/Unsplash

University student Diana Tan, 19, shared that: “I always have at least three devices with me to enter the waiting area for online ticketing”. She explained that using more devices would get her more spots into the queue, hence a higher chance of obtaining a good queue number.

“I occasionally borrow my family’s tablet and mobile devices as well,” she added.

Unlike physical queues, entering the virtual waiting area early does not guarantee you a smaller queue number. Instead, you would be assigned a random number in the queue – and it’s purely based on luck.

This is so that “there is no advantage for anyone, who can utilise speedy automatic scripts, bots, or scalping software, said Ticketmaster on a FAQ page.

Fans go all in to catch a glimpse of their idols

For some, purchasing tickets is a tedious task. So they begin to explore other methods. 

Veronica Chew (not her real name), 22, said: “I’ve tried physical queuing at SingPost outlets, buying tickets from Chinese proxies, gathering almost 30 friends to help me and I’ve even paid for bypass links”.

She spent six months in Busan, South Korea for an university exchange programme. “When I was there, I went to other parts of South Korea like Incheon and Suwon to see NCT Dream. I’ve spent an estimated total of S$9000, including air tickets and accommodation,” the NCT Dream fan revealed.

NCT Dream. Photo: SM Entertainment

Purchasing from third party sources

HallyuSG conducted a quick search on homegrown digital marketplace Carousell. It shows countless listings of people selling Suga’s concert tickets at prices higher than what it was originally sold for.

Local concert promoters like Live Nation Singapore and CK Star Entertainment have dished out warnings. They urged the public not to purchase tickets from any unauthorised point of sales.


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A post shared by Live Nation SG (@livenationsg)

Yet, fans are willing to fork out large sums of money to purchase a ticket. They are not daunted by the exorbitant prices, and are more than willing to pay.

The question is: where do we draw to line to say that this is too much just to catch an idol perform live? Or does too much really exist?

Disclaimer: HallyuSG cautions our readers not to purchase from unauthorised sellers or third party websites. By purchasing tickets through these non-authorized points of sale, buyers take on the risk that the validity of the tickets cannot be guaranteed, with no refunds possible.⁠


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