Published on February 3rd, 2013 | by ponyforprez4
Fan-account: Attending Arirang’s Simply K-pop
I recently attended the December 9 recording of Arirang’s Simply K-Pop in Seoul last month, and will be sharing my experience here!
A few things to note before I begin: In Justine’s (porninja) ‘How-To‘, she mentioned that there are sometimes more than one taping sessions for Simply K-Pop on the same day because they usually film enough material to last them a good two weeks. Keeping that in mind, I constantly checked the website to make sure I wouldn’t miss the notice of a new recording so that I could post a notice that I was interested in attending. Initially, I was sure that there would be a January 3 recording but instead, it was the week after on January 9.
Also, it’s likely common that certain scheduled recording weeks are skipped if the producers have enough material, so just keep checking.
The website states that those who have successfully applied for tickets will be notified on the Monday of the week of recording (on a Wednesday). However, don’t be alarmed if you don’t get an email by the end of Monday – because I received mine on Tuesday afternoon. As mentioned in our How-To post, once you leave a post on the Arirang site, you’ll probably get the tickets!
Confirmation emails will look like this:
Also, although artistes like C-Clown, Roh Ji Hoon, 100%, Fiestar and JUNIEL were on the home page of the main site (usually listing the artistes that will be appearing for that week), they weren’t in the final line-up for the recording that I attended. Therefore, keep your fingers crossed if your favourites are on the page, because if they’re not in a recording you’re attending it means they’re probably attending another week’s.
On the day of recording, simply show up around 6pm or so (for evening recordings). The email will ask for you to be there around 5.40pm, but usually no one gets in till about 7pm. There will be two queues – one for international fans and one for the locals, so just join the international fans’ queue. Be sure you’re in the right queue, because someone will go down the line with a list to check if you applied/how many tickets you applied for. I applied for three tickets and got all of them. I don’t think there’s a maximum amount of tickets you can apply for, but I’m guessing the lesser the easier to get!
Participating in the show
Now here’s the fun part! Every week, the Simply K-Pop staff will go around outside the building where the fans are queuing to ‘scout’ people to participate in the show by introducing an artiste/being planted to ask questions during the show. While ‘planters’ (people usually tasked beforehand to ask an artiste a certain question/be asked a question) can be either an international/Korean fan, other international fans are asked to do artiste introductions. This is likely in a bid to push the global and diverse factors of the show as most of the viewers are English-speakers.
Due to the fact that many of the international fans present had already been on the show before, fellow Dinoseoul writer Stefanie (myownmonsters) and I… miraculously got offered the opportunity to introduce EXCITE on the show! This was all pretty much very exciting (no pun intended) even though we weren’t fans of the group. You get to go on a television show in Korea – that’s really quite fun!
So here’s the lowdown if you’re picked: You’ll receive a card-script with about two to five lines on it and you and your companion/you will have to memorise them before the show starts. If you’re asking a question/being asked a question, you just need to remember what you’re supposed to ask/answer. The great thing about accepting the staff’s request to go on the show is that you’ll get to enter the studio first and get a prime spot. This is essential if you’re queuing when the weather’s cold because waiting outside is a pain. I went for the recording in the middle of winter and it was freezing. Another perk? If you’re being asked a question, which will be by host LEDApple‘s Hanbyul, you’ll get to sit right beside him. I wasn’t a fan, but trust me when I say he’s very, very cute and charismatic!
The recording itself
Once you’re in the studio, you’ll notice that it’s actually very small. There are two sides on either side of the stage, one for the international fans and one for the Korean fans and fan-clubs, and both are incredibly close to the stage! We sat on the international side along with some Hello Venus fanboys and didn’t wait very long for the recording to start – it begun shortly after 7pm with Brown Eyed Girls‘ JEA recording ‘While You’re Sleeping’.
I won’t go into details of every performance that day, but typically, every artiste gets to record at least twice. They wear different outfits in each recording so that footage can be used on two episodes – as though they appear twice! Not everyone that day got to record twice though. Groups like BIGSTAR and EXCITE only appeared on stage once. Hello Venus also received a ton of fan-chants that night – it looks like they are set be one of the next biggest things in K-Pop!
It’s also really interesting to note how different idols look in reality. Yes, they generally do look the same as they do onscreen, but I never knew that BIGSTAR was such a petite group until I saw them perform. The group’s height is an average of 170cm, but they do seem a lot taller on screen! Still, petite or not, they were definitely one of the best performers of the night with their energy and good vocals! LEDApple were also excellent performers and made the effort to banter with the fans when the cameras were off. Bassist Kang Yeon was especially adorable when trying to dish out as many English phrases as he could!
Also interesting is watching the idols record their individual segments where they get interviewed or are asked to introduce a group as well. And despite them always being seemingly flawless in their delivery when the show is aired, they’re human and sometimes stumble too – especially when it’s in English! J.Min of Tiny-G had a couple of NG (No Good) takes while recording and member Mint eventually took over. We didn’t mind though – it certainly makes our stars look more human!
Other things to take note of:
1. Recording hours are usually very long (mine was from 7pm – 11pm) and if you aren’t there to see a particular group, you might feel restless after awhile. Also, be prepared to take a cab back to your accommodation if the evening recording runs later than usual!
2. Interacting with the idols is definitely one of the best parts of any live recording, and luckily for Simply K-Pop, artistes usually do squeeze in quick hellos to their fans when they’re off the stage, so feel free to wave or cheer them on as they pass by you!
3. It’s virtually impossible to take a toilet break whenever you want while you’re inside the studio because artistes get on/off the stage very quickly and this means the cameras are almost always rolling, so try not to drink too much and head to the restroom before going into the studio.
I’d say that the recording was a really good experience for my trip to Seoul. If you’re a K-Pop fan, I recommend that you attend even if you aren’t a fan of the week’s line-up while you’re there! It’s a great opportunity to not only enjoy a live recording for free but to also see what goes on behind-the-scenes and to interact with fans of different nationalities. If you’re keen on participating in the show just like we did, check out our short introduction segment below:
Good luck! Feel free to post any questions you might have in the comments below!