There’s a lot of information out there about how to attend live broadcasts of music shows like MBC and Inkigayo, but I couldn’t find any on how to get into a pre-recording. Maybe it’s because the process is so complicated. I asked around on Twitter and Tumblr and only one person replied with information on what to do. I didn’t know it was such a complex process, and as a result didn’t plan ahead and stayed awake for almost 36 hours. I’m writing this in hopes that other people can be informed and know what’s in store when they try to get into a recording, specifically Inkigayo at SBS Open Hall.
I think this part of the process is only for bigger groups. In my case, I went for a recording of SHINee’s Taemin. As soon as the notice goes up on the artist’s website, you must go to the recording location and follow the instructions left by the fan staff in charge of the event. Information about the location of the sign and when it’s being put up is NOT advertised on the website; you just have to go ASAP. It’s usually a piece of paper directing you to take a picture of the sheet with one of your body parts included– a hand, foot, finger, etc. You should also send your name and last four digits of your phone number. After you send it to the number on the sheet, they’ll reply to you with your number in line. The sheet also tells what time to come back to do roll call. If they call your name and your number at roll call and you aren’t present, you’re off the list and you have to sign up again at the time of the recording. Because I signed up so last-minute, I was number 461! The notice said only 300 people were allowed in the recording, but the fan club staff said that the number changes on the spot. So, after checking in at roll call, I went back home to get my albums and mp3 confirmation.
Upon coming back at the required time (3 AM for this recording), they did another roll call. A lot of people didn’t show up during this and the previous roll call, so my number went from 461 to 362! This number was written on my left wrist. Then we moved on to confirming levels, or where you stand in line to get into the recording. Each fan club is different, so I can’t go into details about this, but different things are required to determine it. I only qualified for level 9 (out of 10) with two albums and a confirmation that I bought the mp3 of Taemin’s title song. This confirmation includes the page that shows your purchase AND the page displaying your account information. They’ll compare the details on this page with your passport/ARC/any form of ID. After they confirm your level, they’ll write it on your right wrist. After that, they go back through and write what number you are in your section. This is also written on your right wrist. I got number 43.
After these processes, it was around 6 AM. They installed heaters while this was going on so we wouldn’t freeze to death. We did the final line-up and finally entered the Inkigayo set around 6:30. I think over 400 fans were there and we all got in! But this is not always the case. Sometimes the last few levels don’t get in, but they don’t find out until they line up and try to enter the theater. This means you can wait for up to 8 hours and never get in. It’s really a gamble, but it could be worth it if you really want to see that particular artist.
Goods are also provided for those who get into pre-recordings. For this one, we were given balloons to wave during his performance. I was also able to get a fan card for attending and it boosted me to level 5. If I choose to participate in another recording, I’ll be able to enter earlier than I did this time. I also tried to get into his second recording, but there wasn’t enough room for level 9s. I think the fan staff felt bad for us and gave us the chance to see the live broadcast of Inkigayo later in the afternoon. I heard that usually only level 1s get in, so it was a rare chance. Although it was cold and I hadn’t slept in over 24 hours, I decided to stay. We had to line up at 2 PM but didn’t get to enter until 3:15 PM. It was snowing really hard and everyone was shivering, but I think waiting to see the show once was worth it.
Although the process took longer than I expected, it was definitely worth it to experience once. I don’t know if I would do it again at such an early time, though, haha. Nevertheless, I hope this post helps others wondering about the process!