Controversy arises over the price of Sound Check tickets to see singers’ rehearsals at concerts

Fans complained about the Sound Check benefit at recent K-pop concerts.

LE SSERAFIM recently held their first solo concert “FLAME RISES” on the 12th and 13th of August. Three hours before the concert began, some fans were allowed to enter the concert hall to see the members prepare for the performances. This section is called “Sound Check pre-entry”.

Sound Check is a benefit mainly for VIP Ticket buyers at K-pop concerts. However, some people recently expressed dissatisfaction due to the increase in ticket prices recently.

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Sound Check allows a limited number of fans to enter the concert hall in advance and watch the singers do rehearsals with sounds and check the sound quality. This section was seen at BTS’s “Permission to Dance on Stage – in Seoul” concert in March last year. Since then, other groups, including BLACKPINK, SEVENTEEN, ZB1, etc., also had similar events and it will also be added to IVE’s upcoming concert on October 7th ~ 8th.

Pre-entry tickets for Sound Check are often obtained through the purchase of VIP tickets, which are 50,000 won ~ 110,000 won more expensive than regular seats. However, some fans who bought VIP tickets for Sound Check confessed that they felt disappointed. In the case of LE SSERAFIM’s recent concert, the members sang three songs for about 15 minutes and briefly greeted fans then left the stage. The Sound Check session ended before 4 p.m. but fans were not able to leave the venue and had to stay inside until the concert began at 6 p.m. A fan complained on SNS, saying “I paid nearly 200,000 won, but it seems like the organizer was not considerate of fans”.

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In fact, the price difference between package tickets, which include Pre-entry, and general tickets at overseas concerts is much larger than that of domestic concerts. However, fans’ satisfaction level is said to be higher. American hard-rock band KISS is doing a world tour this year and they offer VIP Package that is about 3-4 times more expensive than general seats. However, the VIP Package includes Sound Check, backstage Meet & Greet, personal photo session, Q&A session, and also signed CDs. 

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In this regard, music critic Kim said, “Since the price difference between seats is large, overseas concerts usually offer clear VIP benefits, such as after parties”. An official in the K-pop industry shared, “With overseas concerts, it feels like watching the concert twice because the singers rehearse many main songs on the setlist with band sessions for at least 30 minutes.”

Source: Donga.com

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