About Inkigayo:

From extravagant sets to full-fledged concept performances and silly encore stages, Korea’s weekly live music chart broadcasts are an iconic staple in K-pop culture. None more so than the Sunday broadcast by SBS – Inkigayo which directly translates to ‘popular song’ in English. As the name suggests, these shows are an opportunity for K-artists to showcase their latest titles while competing for the top spot on the weekly popular music charts. (Think if Billboard decided to revive the 00s ‘Total Request Live’ and added K-pop’s exceptional eye for performance value.)

Kep1er performing live on SBS Inkigayo.

Not only is it great exposure and hype generation for the artist, but it’s also a unique opportunity for fans to connect with both their favorite idol and their respective fandom community. Fans learn song-specific cheers to support their faves as a unified force and often get off-screen interaction time with the artist during lulls in production. As with most TV production, there’s A LOT of standby time. Waiting around to be ready for the set, fans often use this time to make new friends or meet up with fandom regulars to practice the fanchant & gush over the latest release. It’s even become popular for groups to provide limited-edition benefits to fans for participating in these recordings, ranging from free coffee trucks & exclusive photocards to Dior lipstick.


Coffee truck provided for fans waiting for Stray Kids’ prerecording.

Sounds like a K-pop stans dream come true right? I won’t lie to you – there is a catch.

Inkigayo Live Broadcast Tickets:

Although the live audience is fairly varied, space is LIMITED. Especially for the 생방 or live broadcast, that airs around 3pm. More popular groups and groups in the chart top 3, typically have more audience tickets to distribute to fans. However, this number is usually limited to 15-30 maximum per fandom. Naturally, the competition for Inkigayo live tickets is fierce – with strict criteria for fandom attendees including official fanclub membership, owning the most recent lightstick, proof of purchase of the latest album (both physically & digitally), & more.

For international fans, these criteria are often a deal breaker. Without a Korean residence card (ARC) it can be impossible to make the qualifying digital purchase or sometimes even join the fanclub officially. But this, my fellow fans – is where Trazy comes in.

Trazy has secured exclusive seats at almost every Inkigayo recording through the end of 2024, specifically for international fans as a part of their SBS Inkigayo & Seoul Tour PackageIt’s through this package I had my first opportunity to attend the live show this past Sunday 😀


SBS Inkigayo Live Show & Seoul Tour Package Review

Booking:

Like most Trazy ticketed events, your entrance number for Inkigayo is based on purchase order. With this in mind, I booked my ticket almost 2 months in advance. This meant at the time of booking, I wasn’t sure which artists I’d be seeing. But since it was my first time to Inkigayo, the overall experience was more important to me than seeing a specific group.

Trazy also offers an opt-in tour of Seoul with their Inkigayo package that rotates locations every month. Attending the tour won’t impact the ticket price since they’re sold as a bundle, so I opted in. In June, we were scheduled to visit Bukcheon Hanok Village! Unfortunately, the tour portion of my day was canceled as SBS moved up the recording time for the live broadcast. This did mean, however, that Inkigayo had invited a special MC for that week’s broadcast so – win some, lose some I guess. (& I will NEVER say no to an extra hour of sleep!)

Bukchon Hanok Village

Checking In & Collecting Tickets:

With no morning tour, I went directly to SBS Public Hall (Kakao Map) to check in. While the Inkigayo filming location is a bit on the outskirts of Seoul – it still felt more convenient to get to & from compared to other venues in Digital Media City or Ilsan. I took the subway to the nearby Gayang station, and after using exit 10 to get to the street level and going left, it was a straight shot to the SBS hall.

Our email instructions said to arrive by noon, so I got to the area around 11:45am. Although a bit unsure where to go at first, I quickly found a staff member holding a Trazy clipboard who told me to join the queue in front of this 7-Eleven. The line (on the right side below) was pretty easy to spot, and since tickets are assigned by purchase there was no need to be more than 5 – 10 minutes early.

Fanclubs (left) and Trazy tour participants (right) queue for Inkigayo tickets.

In line, the staff checked my ID and gave us our entrance order number and a badge. Turns out early booking really paid off – number 10!! Once everyone had been checked in, (around 12:10 or so) we separated into 2 lines in entrance order: 1-40 & numbers 40 and up.  Thankfully it was pretty easy and we got around 20 minutes for a bathroom break. Inkigayo staff then went down the lines again to confirm ID, before we joined the other fandoms waiting to enter.

Entrance number card and badge for SBS Inkigayo live broadcast audience with Trazy.

Inkigayo Live Broadcast:

It took about another 45 minutes of waiting before it was our turn to enter. Trazy’s section at Inkigayo is seated on the far right side facing the main stage, directly (and I mean directly) in front of the MC area. The rows are 10 across, meaning I snagged the last seat in the FIRST row! At my broadcast, Chaewon from Le Sserafim was a special MC and we had lots of time to interact and even briefly talked to her about her day before the live show began.

Screenshot of the MC & Interview stage area at Inkigayo.

I highly recommend these seats if you’re a fan of the MCs or groups with recent comebacks, since they’ll be doing interview segments and spending lots of time directly in front of your seat. Many fans even brought A3 notebooks and markers to write questions or cheer for their favorite idol. Photography and video recording are strictly prohibited inside the SBS Hall, so going analog also helps avoid any issues with on-site staff. From artists like NewJeans to WayV, Nayeon, Treasure & more, the lineup was incredible. And although I didn’t know all the songs, it was so fun to see live & up close.

 

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A post shared by NewJeans (@newjeans_official)

Final Thoughts:

While the wait times and early booking can be a bit annoying, the overall experience was well worth it. I think this package is a great way to see a wide variety of groups at once. It’s an especially good way to maximize your K-pop experience in Seoul if your trip dates don’t line up with any concerts or festivals. This would also be ideal for foreign fans looking to support their favorite group who are otherwise unable to join live broadcasts. Everyone I met on my tour was so friendly from fellow fans to staff to the idols – I can’t wait to be back for my ult’s next comeback!

Get Your Tickets to Trazy’s SBS Inkigayo & Seoul Tour Package Here!


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