There are multiple ways to get on one of the popular Music Shows in Seoul, there is a different one every day of the week. I went on The Show, Mnet Countdown and Simply Kpop.
- Sunday – Inkigayo
- Monday – Simply Kpop
- Tuesday – The Show
- Wednesday – Show Champion
- Thursday – Mnet Countdown
- Friday – Music Bank
- Saturday – Music Core
Most of these have pre-tapings that involve being in fan clubs and getting in by meeting ‘fan club’ criteria. This seems very time consuming, so we went with the ‘audience’ route where you can see all of the artists who are performing live. On to tickets. Mnet Countdown tickets are sold via SM’s travel website (https://global.smtowntravel.com/ ). They sell often sell out within a few hours, so you should sign up for email alerts a few months in advance and get an idea of when they normally release the ticket sells for the month.
MNET COUNTDOWN is at CJ E&M Center Studio, which is about a 10 min walk from the Subway at DMC (Digital Media City). Its very easy to find. (they are right next door to SBS PRISM Tower where the Show is filmed. Their directions to find the person in charge is pretty accurate. When you go in, you will walk past a lot of people hanging outside hoping to catch views of the performers, also there is a roped off area inside the lobby for photographers. Walk past them to a counter (back right area). When we went, there were 3 lines and you had to kinda ask around to know which one to get in. One was for Japanese, one for Chinese and one for English speakers. This way, you have a person accompanying you the entire night who speaks that language. Our group leader was really cool and we talked to him a lot. Make sure you have your email confirmation and your passport. They will then check you in and give you a numbered wrist band. The group leaders will do rock/paper/scissors to decide which group goes in first, this determines where you will stand. There is a lot of waiting around for this show so be warned. Once everyone is checked in, they will give you a mini-tour outside the building, and everyone will line up again in order of check-in. I think we all met up again around 5 pm and waited in line for a while. The artists use the public bathrooms right next to where we wait so you will likely see many of them walk by (I did).
Once it is time, the group leaders will walk everyone up several flights of stairs to the studio, they will remind you once again do not take out your phone. Even though they said this multiple time, people still had them out in the audience and had to be scolded. They will throw you out. There was a girl who was almost thrown out while we were waiting, they made her delete her video. Then during the show, a girl was escorted out after she was caught filming. We were all taken outside the studio and sat down on the floor in rows for a very long time. I think an hour. (so wear comfortable clothes you don’t mind sitting on the floor in)
The show starts at 6:30 and we were taken in right before. Maybe this is due to the fact we were the standing audience and they didn’t want to make us stand until right before the show started. Oh yeah, we got a gift bag with stickers and pens, I got a free EXO bag and they handed out some WannaOne (left overs I’m sure) electric fans that were needed as it was getting pretty warm. We also got to be pretty good friends with the ladies in line next to us, they were from Australia. We hugged at the end of the night!
The studio has the stage front and center, then the standing audience. We were the 2nd group so we were pretty much the 2nd line of the standing audience, and we were about 5’ from the stage, so we had a fantastic view of each group. Once people lined up, of course there were ones in the back trying to push their way forward, so some people had to be put in their place. Since I was in the front this time, I did not see how the entire thing worked, it looks like they had the MC’s In in the back like at the Show, but I didn’t see any seats. They also did not have as many cameras. I didn’t see the MC’s for this show until the end when they came on stage to announce the show’s winner (which was Nu’est 1st win) so they did an encore performance. The MC’s for this show were Lee Daehwi (WannaOne, AB6ix) and Han Hyunmin (runway model). Everyone was going crazy for Daehwi and we had seen Hyunmin at the Fashion Festival that previous weekend walking the runway so it was fun to see him again!
For some reason at the end, the standing audience got a bit crazy and pushed a lot and almost knocked us down, my backpack flew outside the roped off area and security came up. I really don’t know who they were going after. I also think some girls were sneaking filming behind their banners… sigh. Once it all calmed down, the show was over, we left and escorted out. It was the most tiring of the shows we attended.