K-Pop

How to survive a BTS concert – a guide

If you are confused what this is all about, see below. Bei Verwirrung bitte hier klicken! ^^

Okay, so, BTS finally noticed your country exists or is coming to a place near you when you’ve saved up enough money and somehow managed to survive the Hunger Games of trying to get a ticket for a BTS concert. But now you don’t know what to expect? No matter whether you’re right in the pit or in the stands, I’ve got you covered with this lejindary Bangtan concert preparation guide for the best possible concert experience ever! Okay, okay, this is way too advertisement-ish, but now that I got your attention and your judgemental looks on me, I swear this is actually going to be very informative!

Preparation is key

Inform yourself. There are soo many blogs and videos made by other fans, who have already been to a concert out there, so you can try to find out what the people experienced who went to the same city or even had similar seats to you. I’m also speaking from some experience as I have been to two BTS concerts and both of them were quite different. :)

If you are travelling to another city or even another country, organise your trip as soon as you can. As with other kinds of trips, the closer to the actual date it gets, the more likely it is that all the cheap/good accomodations will be booked out. Think about whether you only want to go to the concert or whether the city (or country) you’re going might even be worth a little holiday. That depends on your schedule and the amount of money you have at your disposal obviously.

So before you book anything, make sure you will actually be able to afford to go there and that you include public transportation, a place to sleep and food in your calculations. After this you will know how much money you will be able to spend on stuff like merchandise. Also keep in mind that accommodations (be it Airbnb or hostels) often only charge a small fee or half the price in advance and you will pay the rest on the day of your arrival. So don’t look at your bank account balance and assume everything you see is everything you can spend during your trip.

Especially if you are on a budget, trying to find a suitable accommodation can be hard. Definitely check out where exactly BTS is going to perform (perform I said, I’m not talking about where they will sleep). Let’s take one of the concerts I went to: their „Speak Yourself“-Tour in Wembley stadium. If you have never been to London, you might be surprised to find out that Wembley stadium is not actually really in London, but rather at least 30 min by subway from central London. Well, maybe you’re smarter than me, but I at least did not know that. So take that into account when you are planning your trip. If you are going for a holiday kind of trip, it might make more sense to book a place to stay that is close to all the other attractions you might want to visit, rather than sleeping right next to the concert venue for seven days. That way you won’t have to travel into the city everyday, which can get quite expensive. If you only go to the concert, you can of course just look for a place as close to the venue as possible.

Besides that, check that you have the obvious stuff like your (valid) passport, money/credit card and most importantly: your concert ticket. ^^

Getting around – public transport

London’s Oyster Card and Tokyo’s Suica

Different countries have different ways of paying for public transport, so find out about it beforehand to avoid paying more than you need or accidentally buying the wrong ticket. Places like Japan, Korea and also London have travelcards (SUICA, T-Money and Oyster card respectively, to just name a few). These basically look like credit cards and are absolutely awesome. You buy them at a station or a ticket machine and charge them with as much money as you like and then you just go! Basically, when you get to the platform, you have to pass through those little gates that only open if you a) insert/scan a paper ticket or b) if you slap your „I am totally a worldwide citizen and know how this works“-travelcard onto them and wait for the gate to open. Your card gets charged the correct fare automatically since you also do this when you get off at your stop. Bam! No more buying tickets!

Often these cards offer a certain discount compared to paper ticket prices or they have a daily maximum you can get charged. Additionally, you can often use the Japanese and Korean cards to pay for stuff in convenience stores, all of which makes them even more appealing. In Japan they have anime stickers to personalize your card, so I bet in Korea you could paste some BTS stickers all over them. Or maybe they already have a special ARMY-edition? Okay, I checked and of course they do. (There has been a BTS-T-Money card in 2017 and in 2019 they released another limited edition – so it probably already sold out in March.)

Public transport, the old-fashioned way

Some contrast: My first concert was in Berlin and in the apparently not so modern capital of Germany you still need to get paper tickets for all the trains. More often than not you have to push those tickets into a little machine on the platform that stamps your ticket to make it valid. In some places these machines are inside the trains as well, but if they aren’t and you get on without having stamped it, you are basically riding the train without a ticket and might get fined. (Yay for uncomplicated ways of travelling …)

Luckily, some of those old-fashioned cities also have day-tickets (or 2- or 3-day-tickets etc.), which are valid for however long they say they are and only have to be stamped at the beginning of the day – and only if they don’t already state the dates on which they are valid. Additionally, there are sometimes offers for tourists from other regions or countries that can be coupled with discounts on popular tourist attractions. (E.g. Berlin Welcome Card, London Pass, JR Rail Pass for Japan – although I am not assuming that you are from Europe or the Americas and are going to Japan for a concert, but you never know.^^)

Getting the latest updates

If you are going to another country (not including people from the EU travelling within the EU), you might also have to worry about mobile internet. Not all countries have a good coverage of free wifi, so you will either have to take your chances with offline maps (or even those old-fashioned paper things, waaah …) ooor you might want to check out stuff like travel SIM cards or mobile routers.

I don’t think anyone will ask this question, but just in case: Why do you need mobile internet? Well, of course your friends at home might be able to wait for your Whatsapp or Twitter updates until you get back to the hostel and have some slow wifi. But let’s say Bighit suddenly announces that there will be a popup-store in the city you’re going to, but don’t reveal the location just yet. So, to be able to spontaneously google „WHERE IS THE BT21 POPUP STORE IN LONDON AND HOW DO I GET THERE?!?!?!“ while you’re on your way to the hostel or Airbnb might save you at least one little panic attack.

Travel SIM cards you can often get at airports and they usually offer a limited amount of mobile data for a certain amount of time (e.g. 3 GB for 5 days). The main reason I am mentioning this is because you will have to get to the concert venue. And depending on the public transport system and whether you speak the language of the country, it might be way easier to google your way around. Obviously Bighit might also drop Bangtan Bombs, it might be Tuesday and therefore the next episode of Run BTS! will be released, or the members might do a vlive after the concert. But I’ll just assume you won’t watch all of these things using your mobile data while sitting in the train.

As I said, lots of people trying to get onto the same train as you …

It’s also good to check beforehand when exactly the concert might end and how you will get back to where you need to go. Make sure you know whether there are times when no trains are running and if there are any alternatives like buses or affordable taxis. Take into account that thousands of people wanting to go somewhere at once might slow down everything immensely and cause you to miss several trains. In Berlin for example we made our way to the station and then just waited for at least half an hour before any train into the city arrived …

Wembley Park, the station right next to the stadium, put up a sign showing at which time the last trains were leaving. In my case it took me about half an hour to get from the stadium into the train (usually it takes about 5min), which meant I later missed the last connecting train to my Airbnb by about ten seconds. Fortunately Google Maps and mobile data saved my butt by informing me which bus I could take instead and so I got home without having to pay for a taxi or hiking.

Food and drinks during the concert

Getting food and drinks at the venue is usually a pain. Because first of all – at least when we’re talking stadium tours – as far as I know, those venues are only selling a very limited selection of stuff and mainly fast food. So if you have any food allergies, are a health nut or a vegan: good luck. Around the stadium this might be different, but that also means you have to know your way around. But if you are planning on eating inside, this is a gamble.

During the actual performances you probably won’t even think about food, but I just wanted to mention it. And Anpanman is kind of … food, right? :D

What you can take inside depends on the rules of the venue and the event host (aka Bighit) and the mood of the security that is looking at you when you’re trying to sneak in some snacks. Some venues have metal detectors and people checking your pockets, sometimes security will confiscate water bottles or even granola bars and sometimes they just don’t give a damn. I would advise you to eat beforehand and maybe take something small like an energy bar or something with you, if you know that you might get low blood sugar.

When it comes to drinks, again, it depends mainly on the venue and the security what you can take inside. At Wembley I got to keep my 0.5l bottle of water and they even offered a specially marked „drinking water“-tap at the back of the pit where you could refill bottles. Bottles that were sold inside were, for whatever weird reason, sold without a cap. Contrary to the chill atmosphere in London, in Berlin I was not allowed to take anything inside, and they even told me that my smaller-than-A4-bag was not allowed, because it looked too big …

So I stuffed my phone, charger, ticket and chewing gums into the tiny bag your Army Bomb comes with and left all my other stuff at the bag storage thing. (Sweaters or pants with actual pockets come in handy, too.) Because of that I had to buy water inside, which actually came from a freshly opened plastic bottle, but got transferred into a paper cup. Because of reasons. At least you can simply drink the tap water there and refill it at the toilet sink, assuming this is not too off-putting for you. The tap water in Wembley’s bathrooms was hot, and even the specially marked drinking water tasted way too chlorine-like for me, so I did not really want to drink it.

What kind of bag can you take inside?

„Did you see my bag? It’s full of merch and it’s hella thick! What you think ‚bout that? Wait, I’m not allowed to take it inside? But … Oh.“ What I’m trying to say with this lame copy of Mic Drop is: Most times the venue won’t let you keep any bag that is larger than an A4 sized paper. And that, my dear armeries, is quite small! So if you are travelling from further away and you have tons of stuff with you, I suggest checking whether the venue or the concert organisers provide bag storage. In Berlin I had to use a storage thingy and it cost me another 5 Euro, I think. Additionally, the first storage container we went to was already full, so we had to walk around the whole arena to get to the second one. So just in case, remember to plan for that, time and money-wise. Besides the A4-bag the only other thing you are allowed to bring inside is the merchandise you bought at the venue, which is sold in clear plastic bags, so that security can quickly check what’s inside.

If there is no storage option, if it’s already full or if you are simply not sure if there is one: sometimes there are places close to the venue that offer luggage storage. In London there are online services that offer bag storage at pretty random stores throughout town. (I used LuggageHero.) You can reserve a place online in advance, drop off your bag, start a timer and then pay according to how long you stored your bag after you pick it up. Just remember to check how long they will be open because concerts usually end quite late.

By the way, in London „luggage storage“ places at train stations are rare and, for whatever reason, they are called „left luggage“. Just in case you are as confused by this as I was when my non-British self was frantically looking for a place to put my suitcase …

Merch & Money, Money, Money

The merch. Of course there will be merch at a concert, but the real question is: will you be able to buy some? Same is true for pop-up stores. I haven’t been inside one (to ensure I would actually be able to buy food and stuff during the whole trip, you know). But chances are that the lines are gonna be enormous. I asked people, who had queued for BT21 merch in Camden Market shortly after the pop-up store opened its doors, and they said they’d already had to wait for two hours to get inside. At the concert, timing is also important. If you come early, you have a chance of actually getting the popular stuff as well. I couldn’t go to the venue very early, so when I arrived in the afternoon, the most popular stuff was already sold out. ;_; On the other hand, I did not have to wait in line for very long. I assume this was because everyone else had already gotten their merch in the morning. One thing that usually never sells out are Army Bombs though. So if you don’t have a lightstick yet and only want to buy this one thing, you do not need to worry about being super early. :)

I think I might have spent waaaay too much money on BTS …

Depending on the size of the venue there might be several merch booths. In Wembley there was a small one with a huge line when you got halfway to the stadium. Then there was another and way bigger one next to the stadium, but more like behind the stadium, which was almost empty by the time I got there. And then there were some smaller stalls right outside the doors where you enter and inside of the venue, which sold shirts as well. So no matter where you went around Wembley stadium, Bighit was already there, ready to take your money.

I could always pay by card, but I heard that sometimes vendors do not take credit cards and you have to pay in cash. Fortunately, a lot of venues will have some kind of ATM somewhere around it. But it’s really helpful to ask before you get in line. If you wait for 30 minutes only to realize you cannot pay for your stuff and you will have to get cash and then stand in line again … that would be really frustrating. And also, if you are from another country, check with your bank whether you can actually use any ATM at the place you’re going to or whether you might have to pay extra for paying by card.

What to wear at a BTS concert

Clothing. First of all, try to think about what kind of venue it is and what the weather might be like. Then dress accordingly. I know you want to look as good as possible, but if you are going to an open air stadium in the middle of winter while wearing hot pants and a crop top, chances are you might not enjoy the week after the concert. If the weather report says it’s gonna be 40°C (REALLY F*ING HOT, for all the Fahrenheit-users out there) and sunny, you’d better apply sunscreen and maybe think about how to cover yourself without getting a heat stroke. And obviously, plan to have enough money to buy water. You don’t want to get dehydrated, because you spent your last dollar/euro/yen on a sweatshirt with BTS on it outside of the venue and then weren’t allowed to bring your water bottle inside.

In general, I’ll just say the same stuff, everyone else is saying: wear comfortable clothes you feel good in and have a light jacket (or BTS sweater) you can take off if it gets too warm and put on if it gets too cold. (Yeah, really enlightening, right?) Only wear heels if you can stand and/or jump in them for several hours. That includes being able to walk back home after the concert.

If you are able to, you WILL jump. Facts only.

As I said, after the concert there are approximately a billion people trying to go from there to somewhere else, so you might have to stand in place with your feet hurting for another 30 min to one hour. Don’t expect everything to go smoothly. Sometimes the public transport system might be overwhelmed with that amount of people or for whatever other reason trains might get cancelled and you will have to wait. Use this time to process that you actually went to a BTS concert, sort through your photos or just try becoming friends with the people waiting next to you. Simply make the most out of every moment of that night and don’t ruin your great mood just because of some traffic problems. :)

Does it matter where I sit?

Okay, so you got inside with your clear plastic bag and a bag below A4 size and now what? You probably checked beforehand in which area you will sit and usually everything is marked clearly, so it shouldn’t be a problem to find your seat. Otherwise just ask around, in Wembley security was really helpful.

For my first concert I was stuck at the very back – we literally sat in the last row of the Mercedes Benz arena. And I have to tell you: If you are scared of heights, you might want to consider spending more on your tickets because it’s steep. Also, being that far away makes it almost impossible to actually see the boys on stage. Although not a stadium, it’s still a large arena, so Bangtan were more like seven specks of color moving vividly all over the stage. So the monitors are your best friend to be able to tell what’s going on. Of course that does not stop most Army in the seats further away from having a good time. My friend and me were doing a whole cardio workout just because we were jumping to almost any of their faster songs. And also: The ocean of light from up there is breathtakingly beautiful.

💜 💜 💜

I won’t lie though … During the second concert in Wembley I was sitting in row N. That is N numbers of chairs away from the stage. That’s less than 20 meters. I. Could. See. Their. Faces. Somehow expecting something similar to my first concert I was really shocked, when I realised that I was this close. I mean, BTS probably still wasn’t really able to see me, but we were really close to one of the cameras that was filming (or livestreaming) the concert, so the view was pretty awesome.

The „pit“ was no longer a standing area, but filled with chairs and until the end of the concert security went up and down between the blocks to ensure people weren’t sneaking up to the stage. As far as I know there was no standing area because people kept pushing others too hard during other concerts and they wanted to avoid that. Does not mean people were sitting though. During the adorable video intermissions that any BTS concert has, people usually sat down, but as soon as BTS came on stage everyone jumped up and waved their Army Bomb as much as possible.

Did I mention that people were jumping?

Another thing I had not expected: Since Wembley is, obviously, an open air venue, during summer the concert will start during bright daylight. Being able to see all the other people inside the stadium that clearly was really something else. During the night it got dark of course, so nearing the end of the concert you could see the ocean of light really clearly.

Speaking of lights: of course lightsticks are expensive. I think I paid about 55 Euro at the merch stand in Berlin. So I want to emphasize that no matter where you are sitting, you don’t need to have one. (If you have one, remember that it needs three AAA-batteries to run and bring some. If you buy an Army Bomb at the concert, you can usually buy it together with a pack of batteries.) If you don’t have one, I saw some people bringing glow sticks as a replacement and I’m sure you have seen tutorials by people who DIY’d their Army Bomb. Also maybe the person next to you is kind enough to let you borrow theirs for your favourite song.

No matter what, being an Army is about feeling a connection and love and not about having the most expensive merch, so don’t worry if you can’t afford that. Just to remind you. And if you aren’t able to afford tickets or go to a concert and you are just reading this to torture yourself (come on, don’t do that …) remember that BTS loves you no matter what. And of course: You nice, keep going! :)

Sending a message during the concert

A lot of people were also carrying banners with the names of their favourite members or positive messages (or a whole Chimmy <3), which I thought was really cute. But this brings me to another point: Please, please, no matter how sexy you might find one or all of the members, ple-a-se do not write really explicit stuff on your banner and wave it in their faces. This is not babying them, I know they are adults, but seeing „Yeah, Daddy, I wanna lick your ******** ! Please ******** me!!!!“ being addressed to you would make most people pretty uncomfortable. I am leaving the *** to your imagination, but I am sure most of us have seen enough thirsty comments to know what kind of stuff I mean.

Also there might be others around you, who feel uncomfortable reading stuff like this. And if someone takes a photo of you waving your „JK, please step on my neck!“ sign and shares it, the fandom might – again – seem very weird or even scary to outsiders. (As usual: Don’t scare the locals or make them think BTS is some kind of weird fetish cult or something. Well, it’s not that they aren’t a cult, but a different kind of cult! :D)

I think this was during T.E.A.R: Min Yoongi, Min Yoongi, Min … okay, I’ll stop. ^^

If you have a sign with a fluffy positive message, then I just want to mention one more thing, before I send you off: Don’t wave a bedsheet-sized cardboard sign in front of every other Army’s face for three hours. You might be having the time of your life and be happy that BTS saw your sign, but they don’t have to constantly see the message to get it and others would like to enjoy their view of BTS too, thankyouverymuch. :D I’m sure none of you would do this, but since there are always people who seem to forget they aren’t the only person around, I just thought I might mention it.

Also, since we recently saw how well that went: Don’t google translate a long message. If you get something wrong, BTS will most certainly not be angry at you or anything, but it might still be hard for them to understand what you actually wanted to tell them. FYI: I am talking about the fan who wanted to ask J-Hope and V whether they were excited to go back to Korea and thanks to Google probably made their day by asking whether they were horny to go back to Korea. Now that I’m thinking about it: Go ahead and use Google translate, if it makes everyone laugh weird translations are totally fine! :D

You are not GCF. Sorry!

What I noticed is that, while it is totally cool to have amazing videos from the concert, there is a downside to it. If you are really focused on getting the best fancam ever and that is your goal, okay, you do you. But if you went to a BTS concert to actually enjoy the concert, then do so. Don’t constantly focus on your phone. If I got too focused on filming them (with my low-quality phone) and after half a song looked up to check the stage, I suddenly noticed that the members were so much closer in person than on my screen … and I had just wasted my time on the 17th video, while totally not noticing that I could actually see them perform and not just look at a screen trying to make out who was where on the tiny display. Obviously you’ll want memories, but I personally think it’s best to limit yourself. I did not want to miss a lot, so I just kinda left my phone running and filmed a ton of stuff while almost never checking the screen. This leads to awful videos (as you can see in the ones I’ve put into this article :D), BUT it actually meant that I was completely there for most of the time and was actually enjoying the moment with all the other Army out there and with BTS.

There are always people trying to sneak in professional cameras during concerts. But as far as I know, this is not allowed. So even if the people are from fansites and feel responsible for getting the best pics for everyone – security will most likely still ask them to stop taking photos. A girl in my section was also asked to put away her camera after security noticed it.

If you are getting emotional, it’s also totally okay to cry. I’m not talking mental breakdown here, but the fact that you are actually seeing people who are really close to your heart and taking in all the different impressions of a concert can be pretty overwhelming. The people you love, the music you love, the amazing stage backgrounds and special effects, as well as the pure fact that BTS are awesome performers. All that together with the immense wall of noise from every other fan there shouting their lungs out because of their own whole jumble of emotions … That is a lot to take in. When I saw some of the stages, my jaw literally dropped and I might have forgotten how to breathe for a second. I’m not saying anyone has to cry, I’m just saying don’t worry, if you are getting too emotional over your favourite song or anything else. You are not crazy and (most) people won’t judge you for it.

On this note, while I’m sure I don’t have to mention this, I’ll still say it: be nice. ^^ Generally, Army are a very kind fandom (if they don’t catch you mocking BTS), so everyone tries to help each other out. That means: Don’t push, shove or generally be rough to other people just because you want to get a tiny bit closer to the stage or get a tiny bit faster to the merchandise area. It won’t really help you and in the end it might just make the guys, who are performing for you, sad, when they see that you are arguing or even hurting people while you should be enjoying their stage. And even if we are all very different, I think we can all agree on one thing: We don’t want BTS to be sad because of us.

Making friends :)

It’s a friggin BTS concert after all, so everyone will be exited and in a great mood anyway, which means it’s the ideal time to be making friends! :D Okay, I’m being a bit of a hypocrite here, since I almost never leave my room and therefore have very little experience of just going out somewhere and approaching people. I’m just trying to tell you that (ignoring getting there and back) even if you are somewhat of an introvert, you can go to a concert alone.

When I went alone to the concert at Wembley, I had no problem talking to others because everyone was just as hyped as I was. I talked a lot with a girl in my row before the concert – because yes, I was that nervous to miss anything that I went inside like three hours before it started … But luckily I was not the only one. If you don’t know anyone else who likes K-Pop, concerts are one of the few places where people will actually ask the question „Who’s your bias?“ in real life. I totally enjoyed that everyone was on the same page.

The girl who had the seat next to me joined us later on and as my phone entered it’s usual „I don’t think we should see each other anymore“ kind of phase, both of them offered me to use their phone to sync my Army Bomb. Which I actually did after I had tried to connect it with mine about 15 times, when the concert was just about to begin and I was about to start panicking. Since I did not even know this was possible, I just wanted to mention that you can sync several lightsticks with one phone and then all of them will be part of the synchronized colour change that makes those oceans of light so beautiful. :)

This was during the concert in Berlin, so no flying Jungkook this time. ^^

Of course you don’t have to talk to anyone, but I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that it makes the concert even better if you can share your joy and maybe even tears. That way real friendships can form. BTW, this is another reason to be able to use the internet while on the go. Mobile data means you can quickly add your new Army friends to whichever social media platform you prefer. Ofc you can also just write down their user names or something like that, but since I tend to forget my own user IDs pretty often and since there are usually a ton of other people with similar names that just have another underscore or something, following or adding the person right away makes things a bit easier.

The checklist

  • know how to get to the venue and back to where you’re staying
  • have an emergency plan in case you miss your last train or the trains are not running (mobile internet be my guide …)
  • wear comfortable clothes with something you can either take off if you’re feeling too hot while jumping around or put on if it gets cold later at night
  • check the rules of the venue/event beforehand
  • make sure your bag and all its contents comply with the rules
  • if you have more luggage than allowed inside, before you go check whether you can store your bag at the concert or find a storage place near the venue
  • have a charged powerbank plus the cable with you to ensure that you can take as many photos and videos as you want without your phone dying right when you were about to take THE picture of the night
  • (especially iPhone users) check that you have enough memory space BEFORE the concert starts, you don’t want to miss an epic stage cause you were busy deleting photos or trying to upload stuff to the cloud w/o good reception due to all the other phones close to you
  • eat before the concert and (especially if it’s hot) either bring some water or buy some inside to keep you hydrated
  • take enough money to spend on merchandise and/or the willpower not to spend too much
  • if you have one, bring your light stick including batteries …
  • if you get emotional very quickly, take…scratch that. Bring tissues. If you don’t need them, someone next to you might.
  • if you have time during the weeks before the concert, maybe check the setlist and brush up on the fanchants for those songs. (I did not and I was sometimes lalala’ing away and being a bit embarrassed because of that. :D)
  • BRING. YOUR. TICKET. Make sure you do not damage it in any way that makes it invalid (ripping of the slip on the side, scratching/folding the QR-code, you know what I mean)
  • enjoy the concert 💜

Call-to-action

And lastly, if you’ve enjoyed this article, please subscribe to my blog crazyth1ngs.com – which is totally not Bangtan-focused and usually written in German, so saying this is kinda stupid … Well, since this was originally a „test article“ I wrote during an SEO-course (see below), please don’t take this part too seriously … :D

Nevertheless, I really hoped you at least kind of enjoyed my concert experience/guide for BTS concerts. If this even helped or entertained one person, I’m already happy. ^^ In case I forgot something or you want to give me some feedback, just let me know in the comments!

Have a great day! (And don’t spend too much time on „BTS World“!^^)
0utofjoint =)

For all the confused readers out there: I attended „Wordcamp Europe“, a conference about WordPress, and in one of the workshops we were asked to write a Seach Engine Optimized (SEO) article. Since I couldn’t think of anything better, I just used one of my default topics. And hey, that way you kinda got to know something (or rather way too much) about my concert experience! I still don’t know whether the article actually is optimized, but I just liked my draft so much that I had to write it … Since the conference was in English, it only made sense to write in English as well … So sorry to all the Germans out there, who were actually going to read this but expected an article in German! m(_ _)m

AUF DEUTSCH/IN GERMAN: Für alle verwirrten Menschen, die diesen Artikel gar nicht lesen wollen: Ich war beim „Wordcamp Europe“ in Berlin und habe dort unter anderem an einem Workshop zum Thema „Suchmaschinenoptimierung (SEO)“ teilgenommen. Da wir dort spontan einen Artikel schreiben sollten, habe ich einfach das gemacht, was man bei spontanen Referaten in der Schule auch schon gemacht hat, und über eines meiner Hobbys geschrieben. Aber hey, so habt ihr immerhin einen Konzert-Bericht bekommen, den ihr vermutlich gar nicht wolltet! :D Ich weiß übrigens immer noch nicht, ob der Artikel jetzt irgendwie suchmaschinenoptimiert ist oder nicht, aber nach einem ersten Entwurf musste ich einfach lostippen … Da die Konferenz auf Englisch war, hat es irgendwie keinen Sinn ergeben, den Artikel auf Deutsch zu schreiben. Falls euch das also abgeschreckt hat, sorry! m(_ _)m

Werbeanzeigen

Manga, Comics und … K-Pop? – Die DoKomi 2019 #1

Ich war bisher schon zwei Mal auf der DoKomi, der größten deutschen Anime- und Manga-Convention, die jedes Jahr in Düsseldorf stattfindet (2016 und 2017). Eigentlich hatte ich nicht geplant dieses Jahr zu DoKomi zu gehen, weil ich dachte, ich hätte keine Zeit. Aber wie das nun mal so ist, hat es sich spontan – sehr spontan – ergeben, dass ich doch Zeit hatte. Also habe ich Freitagvormittag bei den Organisatoren der Convention angerufen, so ungefähr mit „Heeeey, ich hab schon mal als Presseperson Artikel über die DoKomi für meinen Blog geschrieben … möchtet ihr mir nicht spontan ein Presseticket für morgen früh ausstellen?“ Ich habe ehrlich gesagt damit gerechnet, dass die mir eher mit hochgezogener Augenbraue verbal einen Kalender um die Ohren hauen, aber Andreas, der Hauptorganisator der Messe, meinte einfach nur: „Schick mir mal die Links zu deinen Artikeln zu und dann schaun wir uns die an und melden uns bei dir.“

Was ich dann gemacht habe. Und da ich ja immer noch davon ausgegangen bin, dass die besseres zu tun haben, als die Artikel einer kleinen Bloggerin zu lesen und der Pressetickets auszustellen, dachte ich mir abends, dass es eh nichts mehr wird. Kurz bevor ich dann ins Bett gehen wollte, kam aber dann plötzlich eine email, in der stand, dass ich mir am nächsten Morgen ein Presseticket abholen könnte. Versendet um viertel vor 11 abends. (What the actual Arbeitszeiten?)

Damit möchte ich jetzt nicht sagen, dass ihr das auch so machen sollt – ganz im Gegenteil! Falls ihr einen Blog oder so betreibt und gerne zu so einer Veranstaltung gehen würdet, um darüber zu berichten, dann meldet euch dort bitte frühzeitig! Das macht alles für alle Beteiligten viel einfacher und unstressiger. Aber ich wollte noch einmal danke sagen für diesen Einsatz und dafür, dass mein Blog überhaupt berücksichtigt wurde und dass alle da so nett sind und überhaupt. m(_ _)m

Die Ausstellerhalle, Halle 15

So, nun aber zur Veranstaltung! :D Nachdem ich die Info gefunden und noch mehr Leute von der Arbeit abgehalten habe, habe ich mich erst einmal umgesehen und mal wieder festgestellt: Ich bräuchte eigentlich einen Job, bei dem ich 10.000 Euro im Monat verdiene, um alles zu kaufen, was ich interessant finde. ^^ Ankommen tut man nämlich in der Aussteller-Halle (Halle 15), das heißt dort findet ihr tonnenweise Merchandise von so gut wie allem, was das Nerd-/Geek-/SpecialInterest-Herz begehrt.

Nicht arbeiten, spielen!

Orientieren kann man sich übrigens auch mit der niedlichen RPG-ig gestalteten Karte, die ich teilweise alle zwei Minuten befragt habe, wenn ich etwas bestimmtes gesucht habe. Zuerst gehen wir aber mal in die „Unterhaltungshalle“ (Halle 14), in der ein hüpfburgartiges Dings dem vielleicht noch einigen Leuten bekannten „Takeshis Castle“ nachempfunden wurde. Man kann darauf also wabbelnd einen Hindernis-Parcours absolvieren, was ehrlich gesagt nach ziemlich viel Spaß aussah. Und vermutlich weniger weh tut als das Original, da ja alles weich ist. ^^ Es heißt übrigens auch „Creamies Castle“ nach dem Muffin-Maskottchen, das ihr im Artikelbild seht.

Eine Seite von Takeshis … ich meine … Creamies Castle in Halle 14 :)

Dann gab es noch ein paar japanische Spiele, die dort bei Festen traditionell stattfinden, wie das „Fäden ziehen“, bei dem man einen Preis bekommen kann, indem man aus einem Gewust herabhängender Fäden am richtigen zieht. Habt ihr sicher schon mal in einem Anime gesehen. In der Halle war außerdem noch ein AMV-Bereich, also Anime-Musikvideos, aber auch alles, was mit Games zu tun hatte. Darunter Indie-Games, Retro-Arcade-Games und Stationen von Playstation und Nintendo. Und natürlich konnte man überall Spiele ausprobieren. Ach und Live-Turniere von verschiedenen Spielen wurden auch übertragen!

Für diejenigen, die Zeug loswerden oder gebrauchte Sachen (von Manga bis Cosplay) kaufen wollten, gab es natürlich wie immer einen Bring&Buy-Raum und natürlich auch Workshops – die allerdings in Halle 13 waren. Von den Workshops habe ich mir dieses Mal nichts angeschaut, weil ich mir relativ sicher war, dass ich sonst nicht alles schaffen würde … ^^“ Die Auswahl war aber wieder gut gemischt, mit Schnupperkursen Japanisch, Workshops zum Thema Cosplay und Synchro war eigentlich recht viel dabei. Wo ich gerade meine Fotos durchschaue: Lasertag und Fußball in äh diesen komischen riesigen aufblasbaren Bällen (sieht man auf einem der Fotos) gab es übrigens auch.

Kurzer Hinweis: Manche Fotos habe ich übrigens relativ kurz nach meiner Ankunft auf der DoKomi gemacht, deswegen ist es dort noch recht leer. Die Halle mit den Spielen ist aber ohnehin eher zum relaxen gedacht, weshalb es dort auch Sitzgelegenheiten gibt, aber die Hallen 13 und 15 sind eigentlich immer voll.

Sehen und gesehen werden

Jetzt muss ich ehrlich gesagt zugeben, dass ich mir nicht ganz sicher bin, wo die Fotokulissen sind. Ich glaube zwar, es war die gleiche Halle, es könnte aber auch Halle 15 gewesen sein, weil dort auf dem Plan ein Fotobereich markiert ist. Davon gab es allerdings mehrere … Der hier war jedenfalls von den Kulissen her (Resident Evil und so) ziemlich cool, mit einem Polizeibereich inklusive blinkendem Auto. ^^ Dort habe ich nur das Auto fotografiert, weil die anderen Bereiche besetzt waren und ich nicht andererleute Shootings stören oder abfotografieren wollte.

A propos Störung … :D Es gab ein Meet&Greet mit berühmteren Cosplayern, das ich fotografieren wollte. Nachdem ich bereits ein paar Fotos gemacht hatte, bei denen ich eigentlich nur den Andrang zeigen wollte und nicht die Cosplayer, hat mir dann ein Dokomi-Helfer dieses wunderschöne Bild geliefert, das ich einfach stattdessen nehmen werde:

Sorry Dude! :D Ich hoffe einfach, wenn ich die komplett erkennbar cosplayende Person mit Creamy zensiere, ist das okay. ^^

Ach ja, es gab natürlich auch verschiedenen Bühnen, auf denen Dinge stattfanden, darunter Cosplay-Contests, Dance-offs, eSport-Turniere und Musik. Die Eröffnungsrede auf der Black Stage in Halle 16 hielt der Vizepräsident der Deutsch-Japanischen … ihr könnt ja alle lesen, oder? Yasuo Inadome hat sich jedenfalls sehr dafür bedankt, dass die DoKomi das interkulturelle Verständnis und die Verbreitung von japanischen Mangas und Animes fördert. ^^ Daneben seht ihr noch ein verschwommenes Foto vom Auftritt des Sängers LEX und die hartarbeitenden Menschen, die sich um Beleuchtung und dieses Gedöns für die Bühne kümmern.

You got some money, fam?

Die Veranstaltung an sich kostet zwar Eintritt, aber es wird, wie ihr seht, mit den Auftritten, Games und Workshops auch schon einiges kostenlos geboten. Ganz anders sieht es da in Halle 13, der Zeichnerhalle, und Halle 15, der Ausstellerhalle, aus. Wer hier mit Bargeld reingeht und Fan von irgendetwas ist, kommt definitiv *Wissenschaftler-Brille zurechtrück* mit signifikant weniger Geld aus der Halle raus.

Zuallererst haben wir da natürlich die ganzen Manga- und Anime-Publisher, bei denen man unüberraschenderweise Mangas, DVDs und (im Fall der Anime-Publisher) teilweise auch Poster und Shirts kaufen kann.

Den Rest der Halle füllen Merch-Stände. Und was ihr hier nicht bekommt, bekommt ihr vermutlich auch sonst nur sehr schwer … Die Glaskästen mit Figuren haben mich teilweise sehr nostalgisch in Erinnerungen an Akihabara in Tokyo schwelgen lassen. Auch wenn es in Düsseldorf natürlich wesentlich weniger waren, einen ganzen Stadtteil nimmt die DoKomi schließlich (noch) nicht ein.

Dann gab es Shirts in allen Variationen, Tassen, Anhänger und Gedöns. Vieles zu amerikanischen Comics oder Serien, aber natürlich auch Sachen wie Jacken, die wie die Uniform oder das Outfit von allen möglichen Anime-Charakteren aussehen. (Dumme Frage, aber nennt man das, was Goku trägt, eigentlich eine Uniform? Ich hab’s ja nicht so mit Dragon Ball.) Was mir aber immer wieder aufgefallen ist: K-Pop has arrived, b*tch. ^^ Anders als beim letzten Mal, wo ich auf der DoKomi war, gab es dieses Mal nicht nur zwei Stände mit ein paar Alben diverser K-Pop-Gruppen. Insbesondere BTS ist mir in der Merch-Halle an etwa jedem dritten Stand in irgendeiner Form begegnet.

Do you know BTS?

Ebenso wie bei Anime/Manga/Comics, gab es auch hier massenweise Shirts, Armbänder, Schlüsselanhänger und sogar Body Pillows. Aber die hatten darauf mehr an, als die Animefiguren sonst! xD Ich habe gespannt neben einer Gruppe aufgeregter Mädchen gestanden, die ein Kissen mit einem Foto von BTS’s Jin kaufen wollten. Also sie dann jedoch festgestellt haben, dass so ein Ding 49 Euro kostet, wurde die Transaktion doch wieder gecancelt. Es ist schon teuer Fan zu sein …

Auch der Trend koreanischer Kosmetik ist hier angekommen. Es gab einen kleinen Stand mit koreanischen Beautyprodukten und Haarbändern von … BTS (bzw. deren Comic-Charakteren BT21). :D Ich habe übrigens mal an einem Tester dort geschnuppert, weil die auch meine Sonnencreme hatten und dem (sehr speziellen) Geruch nach zu urteilen, sind die Produkte auch legit! Beim K-Pop-Merchandise bezweifle ich das stark. Da habe ich, soweit die Sachen in Reichweite waren, mal auf die Zettel geschaut, und es stand eigentlich immer „Made in China“ drauf und nichts von „Bighit Entertainment“ oder „LINE“, den Firmen, die den offiziellen Merch eigentlich vertreiben …

An dieser Stelle ist nun WordPress abgestürzt und ich muss jetzt versuchen den Rest des Artikels wieder aus meinem Gedächtnis nachzuempfinden. Hat ja nur eine Stunde gedauert … Immerhin weiß ich jetzt, dass WordPress nicht mehr automatisch zwischenspeichert.

Fuck. Ich meine ooooommmmmmm …

Von Bento bis Hinamatsuri

Aber zurück zum ursprünglichen Thema: Japan. Zwischen dem ganzen Anime-Merch fanden sich einige traditionelle Sachen, wie Origamikarten, Puppen für Hinamatsuri (das „Mädchenfest“), Laternen und natürlich Bento-Boxen, Stäbchen und Teegeschirr.

Auch immer wieder schön finde ich den Stilbruch, wenn an einem Stand plüschige Häschenmützen (bei den Besuchern sehr beliebt dieses Jahr) direkt neben Ahegao-Unterwäsche hängen (also quasi Stringtangas mit Gesichtern von gezeichneten Frauen während äh bestimmter theoretischer Momente im Schlafzimmer). Japan, eh? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Gundam, Gacha, Purikura \(^ ^)/

Weitere typisch japanische Sachen waren übrigens nicht nur die gefühlt eine Milliarde Sorten japanische Süßigkeiten, sondern es fanden sich auch noch ein Gacha-Maschine, Gundam-Basteln und ein Purikura-Automat in dem ganzen Gewusel. Falls ihr jetzt gar keine Ahnung habt, wovon ich rede und das zu viele Fremdworte für euch waren, hier eine kurze Erklärung mit Bild. :D

Also, Gundams sind quasi Kampfroboter, die von Menschen gesteuert werden. Also Modelle davon. ^^ Auf dem Foto sind sie hinter den Teddybären und den Pokémon nicht ganz so gut zu erkennen, aber rechts seht ihr das übliche Bastelchaos, während sich gerade Menschen am Zusammenbau versuchen.

Darunter seht ihr das sehr rüschenhafte Bild mit „LoveStar Slim“ drauf, einem Namen, der fast nur aus Japan stammen kann. Hinter dem Logo verbirgt sich eine Fotokabine, in der man mehrere Aufnahmen machen kann, die automatisch over-the-top-gephotoshoppt werden und danach noch einmal mit einem Eimer Glitzer übergossen und mit Kitsch dekoriert werden, bevor das fertige Ergebnis ähnlich wie ein Polaroid ausgedruckt wird. Diese Automaten nennen sich „Purikura“ und sind in Japan bei (weiblichen) Teenagern sehr beliebt und die so entstandenen Fotos sind so absurd weit von der Realität entfernt, dass es sich auch für Nicht-Teenager lohnen kann, sie auszuprobieren, weil man dann etwas zu lachen hat. ^^

Das letzte Bild zeigt einen Gacha-Automaten, der eigentlich genauso funktioniert, wie ein alter Kaugummi-Automat. Man wirft Münzgeld ein, dreht an einem Griff und heraus rollt eine Plastikkugel mit einem zufälligen Spielzeug. Von den Dingern gibt es in Japan insbesondere vor bestimmten Läden (Animate! <3) ganze Wände und jeder Automat spuckt Gimmicks zu bestimmten Serien oder auch mal klischeehaft kitschige Souvenirs aus. Am Tokyoter Flughafen finden sich auch hunderte Gacha-Automaten, an denen man wunderbar Kleingeld loswerden kann und dafür zum Beispiel kleine Plastikkätzchen mit einem Service mit grünem Tee drauf bekommt. Ich wiederhole mich ungern, aber: Japan halt. :D

Ich kenne mich so gut aus … mit Google …

Was darf auf so einer Messe nicht fehlen? Cosplayer natürlich. Es liefen einige mit sehr coolen Kostümen herum, aber ich muss zugeben, dass ich am frühen Nachmittag schon so fertig war, dass ich irgendwie nicht mehr die Energie hatte, im Außenbereich herumzulaufen, wo es wesentlich einfacher ist, Leute anzusprechen und einem nicht so oft einer ins Bild rennt. Daher hier leider nur fünf der Leute, die mir begegnet sind und wo ich spontan die Kamera dabei hatte.

Den Beginn machen Mina Ashido und genderbent Bakugo aus „My Hero Academia“ und der gute alte Genji aus Overwatch. Darunter Alkali von League of Legends in der K/DA … K-Pop-Version. (Ja, schon wieder dieses Wort mit K, sorry ^^‘) Daneben ist ein Cosplay von Anne Takamaki aus Persona5 und auf dem letzten Gruppenfoto haben wir links Esdeath aus Akame ga Kill und dann ist wieder das eingetreten, was mir jedes Mal passiert. Der Character kam mir sooo bekannt vor … und nach 20 min Googlebefragung finde ich dann heraus, dass es ein alternativer Skin des Charakters Kagura aus einem Spiel namens „Onmyoji“ ist, das sich gerade in der public Betaphase für Mobilgeräte und PC befindet und von dem ich noch nie gehört habe. So kann man sich täuschen. xD Das letzte Bild ist natürlich Ace aus One Piece, aber mit zwei sehr coolen Tattoos, wie ich fand. ^^

Zwischendrin gab es auch immer wieder Dinge, die nicht direkt etwas mit Anime zu tun hatten oder kein direkter Merch waren, aber die möchte ich euch natürlich trotzdem nicht vorenthalten, also da! ^^

So, das war’s erstmal! Im zweiten Artikel werde ich euch dann von der Zeichnerhalle berichten, in der ich am meisten Zeit verbracht habe. Und euch, wie die Youtuber so schön sagen, meinen Haul präsentieren, also den Grund, warum ich jetzt broke af bin … :D Ich warne euch allerdings schon einmal vor, der Artikel wird vermutlich noch ein wenig K-Pop-lastiger als dieser hier. Also falls euch das stört, tut es mir leid. Ihr werdet aber sehen, warum. :)

Unabhängig davon wüsste ich mal gerne, ob ihr schon mal auf so einer Convention wart und wenn ja auf welcher? Was findet ihr an solchen Veranstaltungen besonders toll? Oder was hält euch davon ab, zu einer zu gehen? :)

Ich hoffe der Artikel war einigermaßen unterhaltsam und verabschiede mich damit dann mal zum Abendessen. :D Ich wünsche euch einen begeisterungverursachenden Sonntag!
Eure 0utofjoint =)