This story beings a long time about when I first heard about SF Music Festival coming to Daejeon. It was one of those things that lingers in the back of your mind and occasionally you think, “I should really buy tickets for that,” or “I should really double-check what date that is.”
And so, as it usually does, time slipped away much quicker than I anticipated and before I knew it the concert was a week away and I still hadn’t bought tickets. So finally I logged into the website only to see that they were all sold out.
My first reaction was despair. BTS, my one and only favorite Kpop group was going to come, and considering how much they’ve exploded with popularity in the last year, I might not get the chance to see them in Daejeon again.
But then I remembered. I teach middle school.
I have at my disposal a veritable army of 12-14 year old girls who understand on the deepest level my need to go to this concert.
So one day, after a particularly good grade 3 girls class we had a few extra minutes. I settled them all down after our activity and very very seriously said, “Guys. I have a super important question for you.” I gave it a moment for dramatic effect and then said, “I NEED to go to SF concert but there aren’t any more tickets. What can I do??”
The entire class erupted. I’ve never heard so much frantic English being spoken in a classroom at this school since I’ve been here.
After a few seconds of trying to decipher what they were all saying I zeroed in on one girl who seemed to really know what she was talking about. And the consensus seemed to be, “twitter.”
Then my co-teacher, in a moment of true compassion, said as dramatically as I had earlier, “guys… take the computer.”
And suddenly I was surrounded by about 15 middle school girls all scrambling to log into the ticketing website. They were asking me all kinds of questions like how much would I be willing to spend on the tickets, what floor did I want to be on, and did I need two tickets for a friend? It was hysterical.
Three or four girls were mainly leading the efforts to log into the ticketing website, but there were at least 10 others just hovering around watching.
At one point I heard a girl say to everyone in Korean, “Wow this is cool! This feels like Teacher is our friend.”
My favorite group, and really the only group that I know much about, is BTS. I like them for a lot of reasons but one big reason being that through them I can connect with my students in a way that they really care about. They love these groups a LOT. Sometimes if I use one of their pictures in a power point the girls will literally scream when they see it.
Some kids who would never speak English otherwise, will sheepishly come up to me to ask if I’ve seen the new music video, or what do I think of Yoongi’s new hair?
So hearing her say that was just confirmation.
Pretty soon class time ran out but one girl told me that she would go home and continue to search on twitter for people selling tickets and then let me know when she found some. A few days went by without success but she continued to update me on her searches. Eventually about 4 days ago she found two tickets together in the back section and I immediately bought them.
The only problem was that because she had done the searching the tickets were going to be sent to her house by mail. So on the day of the concert I had to meet up with her outside the World Cup Stadium to get the tickets.
It was funny trying to coordinate that but when we finally met up she was with a ton of the girl students from our school. We all laughed and took a picture together and then they went on their way.
Eventually I found my friend who I was going to sit with and we went inside.
I was mainly there for BTS but there were a ton of other REALLY popular groups performing as well so it was cool to get to see them. All in all I think the line up was: Red Velvet, Black Pink, B2B, Gfriend, Winner, Hyuna, Ailee, and JJ Project.
Taehyung (V) from BTS and Jinyoung from Got 7 were the hosts. With one other girl who I didn’t know.
BTS was the last to perform and played three songs. Mic Drop, Fire, and DNA. Myself, and all my students I’ve seen and asked since then, agree that DNA was the best.
They did really well and it was so surreal to see them in person after having watched their videos for sooooo long. It was really fun. But more importantly the kids have been so excited to see me this week to ask what I thought about the concert. And if that’s not the most natural way to force them to speak English I don’t know what is.
So that’s the story of the time I enlisted the help of a 14-year-old student to help me find kpop concert tickets. Thanks for reading!
(Ps. I didn’t bring my real camera because I was afraid the stadium would have rules against that. But of course when we arrived no one even checked our bags. Regrets. Oh well. Anyway these were all taken on my phone so I apologize for the quality.)