K-pop: My M! Countdown Experience


One item from my fangirl bucketlist is to watch a live music show in Korea.

When my friend and I were planning our trip to Korea, I did some research and found out that M! Countdown is the easiest (especially for a foreigner) to get in out of all the music shows. With a lot of patience and luck, we were able to attend one last October 18, 2012.

The artists performing on that day were:
BTOB, Stephanie, Wonderboyz, AOA, Jewelry, Gavy NJ, Block B, Ailee, TimeZ, FT Island, Seo In Young, 15&, K.Will, Miss A, Orange Caramel and Ga In.

My bias 누구 groups (Block B and BtoB) were part of the line-up ahhhh ♥


Going to the M! Countdown venue was easy. I consulted these sites for directions and to me, these already serve as the best guide out there.
I remember that we were already moving as early as 4:30 in the morning because we wanted sure seats to the show. From Shin Chon Hostel, it didn't take us an hour to get to the venue. 

We arrived at the CJ E&M Center at around 5:30am and we were running because we thought the line would be long already. 

We were wrong.
There was a line but it wasn't as long as we expected it to be.  It was a good thing because that means we're early and we had a greater chance of getting in the show. Most of the people who were already there were foreigners and BBCs/ Block B's fans.

The long wait started and it was a very difficult time for us because it was 6 degrees outside and the sun hasn't even risen yet. For a girl who lived in a tropical country all her life, this was one heck of a challenge.

That's me trying to do the Doo-pose without the hands and my friend right beside me.
As time went by, the line grew longer and there were even Koreans lining up. One Korean girl took the initiative to list everyone's names on her phone. I don't exactly know why she did this but it's somehow reassuring that we were getting in the show.

Problems start arising when it was already around 8am (that's 3 hours of waiting in the freezing cold) and no one from the building came out to assist us. According to the fans who have already gone to MCD, it hasn't happened to them before. Supposedly a staff would have come out by that time and give out numbers but it seems that they were late.

Everyone's growing impatient and we're starting to doubt if we're going to push through with this. We had limited time in Seoul and we didn't want any of our time be wasted. My mom went in the building and asked the people inside about getting in MCD but they didn't seem to know the answer either. 

I did manage to wander around inside the building just so I could escape the cold for a while and I didn't know that this was already outside of the studio.

You can see the entrance to the studio at the far left of this picture.
Although I went around, do take note that I had someone save my position in the line. There were other people lining up so it's important to secure your position. Do not be rude and jump lines. Remember that these people have also waited for a long time and you don't want to be the one ruining the image of foreign fans. 

During the wait, we spotted these banners nearby. 

This didn't help us much because we were not associated with these fanclubs or any fanclubs. We're not even sure what these are for.

Based on the artist lineup on that day, you can line up for the live recording regardless of what fandom you are in,. I was fortunate that BtoB and Block B did not pre-record so I was doing the right thing.

Maybe for more popular groups like from SME, the fanclub rule would apply wherein you have to bring a CD and all that stuff. Oh and TVXQ was supposed to be part of the lineup but for some reason, they weren't (and I'm a hardcore Cassiopeia ㅠㅠ).


Things started to be clear at around 9-9:30am when one of the Koreans said that the staff did not see any line (and they didn't even bother looking for it) that's why no staff went out.

They wanted to see was a LINE OF PEOPLE and by that time, people were scattered all over the place because they have been waiting for a long time already. There's also significantly fewer people on that day (maybe because of the lineup?) that's why they didn't "see" us.

So we went to the other side of the entrance and formed two lines, as the staff had instructed. This time was serious and the Korean who previously listed our names was now in charge of keeping everyone in place. 

Korean hero of the day (far left)
Finally, a staff came out to write the numbers on our wrists. She's like a lady guard in a suit and she was intimidating. After almost 5 hours of waiting, we were finally sure to watch M! Countdown later that afternoon.
The staff in the suit writing the number on the wrist.
This was taken after the show so it's already faded but we were 16th and 17th in line!
We made friends while waiting!
We could have finished much earlier if there were no problems but we were done by 10am. We had to come back at 5pm for the live show so we went back to our hostel to recharge.

Time flew by pretty fast and as a bad Filipino habit, we were late by a few minutes and we saw a loooong line outside the building. We were unable to recognize anyone in the line so we assumed that it was a new line for something.

We approached a staff and showed the number on our wrists and thank God, she pointed towards the door and that means we didn't have to line up all over again. As we entered, we flashed the number on our wrists to more staffs as we made our way up the studio.

There were groups of people lining up upstairs and one of them was the group of people who lined up early/ that we were with and because there were numbers assigned to us, we didn't have to go to the back of the line even though we were late ㅋ Getting there early in the morning really paid off ㅋㅋ

Each of us was given a white and red M! Countdown flags as props, and I guess, as a souvenir! We were able to take them home even after the show. (I was too scared to take out my camera when we were lining up since cameras were not allowed inside the studio and the lady guards look pretty mean.)

The only proof that I was able to watch M! Countdown.
Inside the studio, the audience area was divided into two. We were assigned to the left side and we were really lucky because we were at the center of the 2nd row so our view was perfect!

The stage was surprisingly small. The stage design plus camera angle made it look massive on TV. It was just unbelievable to be standing so near the stage where several artists would appear later on. It was a surreal moment!

Right before the show started, they instructed us about waving our flags. I honestly did not understand a thing but I just went with the flow. I think the flags were for the poll for who we think would win during that episode. I don't even know which artist is designed for the color red and white /fail.

Finally, the show started! Hongki was the MC and his station was located way behind the audience area so lucky for those who were at the back.

Everything was fast paced. It was kind of hard to follow. BtoB opened the show and my God, I did not expect it. They were really good looking in real life. They're the most handsome boy group I've seen in my life. I'm pretty sure Minhyuk  and Eunkwang waved at me. I tried to get Ilhoon's attention but he wasn't biting. I was just happy at that moment to have seen his perfection in the flesh. /fangirl speak

Another highlight was to see Block B... for the second time! Zico looked like a giant, as usual, and everyone else was so into character. I tried getting Zico's attention by raising my Block B banner which I used when they came to the Philippines but the lady guard forcefully put it down. I guess it would look bad on the camera/ TV. Lesson learned.

When the idols were not there to perform live, a video of the pre-recorded perf would be shown. The audience's job then is to cheer as if the artists were performing live on stage. It was a funny job. The PD-nim would instruct everyone to cheer then the audience would follow, making it look as if we genuinely cheered for artists.

When an artist or group I'm not really a fan of was performing, I still tried cheering for them. It's simply respect for the artist who's on stage I was totally caught by surprise when TimeZ performed in Chinese but their song Hurray For Idols was so catchy and now I love it~ ㅋ

The ending was such eye candy. Everyone was on stage and you don't know who to look at. I kept calling my biases out loud but none of them would respond. BtoB were the last ones to get off the stage and I remember Changseob being very friendly to the fans.

Because Ga-In won, we get to see more of her gorgeousness in her encore perf and my friend couldn't be happier. All I have to say is that she's really pretty. I kept staring at her eye makeup and how perfect it looks on her. Oh and her legs are 대박!

For some reason, AoA had to perform again even though the encore stage was over so we stayed and watched them perform Get Out for the second time (I love that song btw).

By the time everyone had to go out, we heard fangirl screaming everywhere. We assumed that the artists may still be inside the building or they are on their way out and their fans may have seen them.

On the way out. Sorry for the blurry pic!
I don't know if it's luck but we did manage to pass by TimeZ on our way out. They were really friendly to the fans and they even used the elevator. I was hoping to see more artists but most of them may have left already. The guards were also asking us to leave the building immediately.

Sorry for another blurry shot but that's TimeZ.
Here's a tip for those who may want to see the artists after the show. There is a cafe nearby and sometimes, idols would pass by the cafe to go out of the building (there is a door inside the cafe that connects to the building). My mom and brother were staying in the cafe and they told me that several idols passed by. I managed to see the members of Jewelry while I was in the cafe.

When we were already outside of the building, we saw a line of fangirls waiting near the exit of the parking lot. I assumed that they were waiting for their idols' vans to pass by. I did ride along and wait for about 15 minutes hoping that I would see someone but none. I guess I ran out of luck.

And that's my whole M! Countdown experience! I hope this would help anyone planning to go there. Hopefully, you wouldn't have to deal with the problems that we had. Dedicate a whole day for this if you have to. Come early and don't be afraid to ask around and make friends!

Just one last advice. Don't lose hope no matter how many obstacles may come and I swear, it will all be worth it in the end.


2 comments:

  1. Hi dear!

    Can I clarify some things? :)

    I've been reading some blogs about other music shows (Inki, etc) but they require you to have a Korean phone number or alien registration card or queue up with the fanclub (be a member of it) to get into the priority line. But I came across your blog and it seems like it isn't that hard to get into Mcountdown? Seems like Mcountdown really adhere to the "first come first serve basis"?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi just wanna know if you really have to have a CD for you to get on the show? And is it true that you can get your number as early as a day before the show (Wednesday) by going there in the afternoon? Thanks!

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안녕! i'm danie but i call myself kimii online. i'm new in the blogsphere but i've been a long time follower of anything related to beauty, kpop and advertising~ ♡
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