Experience: #LoveYourselfInChicago

Before BTS in Chicago, I didn’t believe in post-concert depression.  Clearly, I was wrong.

BE FOREWARNED!

If you thought some of my other posts were long, you’re in for a treat! This one is longer!

 

~ 💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜 ~

 

I spent four, long, arduously stressful months trying to get tickets to see BTS in New York or Chicago.  My friend and I combined devices to become a tiny force to be reckoned with, only to lose out on tickets for New York AND Chicago!

October was coming around the corner.  I had set-up dozens of Facebook and Twitter notifications for various BTS groups and one extra special gem, BTSTicketBOT.  Eventually, I had to make a decision on one location instead of being bombarded by notifications for two, so I picked Chicago.  I started to search for BTSxChicago hashtags and various keywords in search engines until I hit the jackpot! I found LoveYourselfxChicago, a BTS fanbase in the Chicago-area that organizes fan events and charity drives.

DO NOT buy from unreliable websites such as Craig’s List.  You WILL be scammed.  No matter how tempting and how desperate you may have become during your search, DON’T DO IT! There will be tickets, just keep reading! (•̀ᴗ•́)و ̑̑

LoveYourselfxChicago was selling tickets for a suite ($250 each), at the tip-tip-tippy top of the arena with a full meal plan and semi-private bathrooms.  I told them, “I do.”

K, I was at peak gambling mode at this point before I had to look at the time and stop taking chances.  Originally, I told them NO! I wanna see sweat dripping from Namjoon’s forehead from P1 seating! Then I crumpled my wish on a piece of paper (seriously, I wrote exactly what I wanted multiple times on several slips of paper), before I meekly asked to be put on a waitlist.  (*≧▽≦)ノシ))

Luckily, we had already booked an Airbnb and THE cheapest transportation through Megabus ($13 total with tax, for two tickets)…..but you ought to know I’m never on time, so we missed it and had to drive (LOL!).

Yoooooo, my friend and I wanted to enjoy those charter seats and avoid the erratic Chicago traffic so bad that I called my niece to see if I got ahead of the bus, would she keep my car at her college over the weekend, just gas it up.  We didn’t make it.  Which…worked out for us later…We stocked up on flavored soju at Joong Boo Market and got some awesome food at San Soo Gab San Korean BBQ *cackles*

Finally! We’re in Chicago! We go to Mecca and it’s a barricaded parking lot across from United Center with people dancing it out to BTS music blaring from BigHit speakers.  Choreo, cheers, screaming over biases, everyone was just having so much fun! Hanging out in a parking lot was a bit of a let-down considering how much money we ARMY deliberately and emotionally give BigHit, but at least the Love Yourself banners and images were displayed everywhere.  It was nice seeing the block decked out for BTS:

 

 

Right at the entrance of the barricade was the lightstick help desk, so I made a beeline!

HERE’S THE ULTIMATE V3 LIGHTSTICK FIX!…put a little cushion on the bottom of the battery pack to boost it up.  There’s an issue with the battery not completing the circuit, so the light doesn’t come on.  The cushion eliminates that issue.  o(≧∇≦o)

There was NO line for merch.  Everyone came and went.  (I meeeaaaan, if you’re going to line up all night for first dibs, you shouldn’t have to wait all day right?).  Luckily, I had found a GO and we got merch without having to wait in line! We were able to meander over to the merch table after getting my lightstick fixed and lazily check off the order ballet whatever we wanted.  Merch availability was posted on banners.  The more popular items like the photo book, slogan, certain t-shirt sizes, premium photos, etc., were sold out, but there was a ton of lightsticks, mini lightstick rings, and photo cards, left over.

Legit. We were in and out in minutes.  The longest part was making up my mind.  I even purchased more PCs after a change of heart while still staring at the cashier (I needed at least two packs!).

Next, we were on the prowl…to sell fanmerch! This was our first time.  We had created some Love Yourself themed pocket mirrors and were hoping to recoup some of the concert costs.  We almost got bounced by BigHit Staff (LOL!).  This lady came over to us like, “this is your final warning.” My friend said to her, you mean our first?! Cause, we ain’t never seen this chick or spoke to her before.  She pursed her lips a bit cause she knew that was dumb to say.  Meanwhile, fansites and savvier fan merchants were stealthily dodging BigHit Staff and United Center Security, just making a KILLING!

I friggin love fan merch so much.  I buy from fans all the time online and it’s my favorite thing to do at a kpop concert. Fan merch can be beautiful and are usually the better things the band’s company doesn’t sell.  Since they’re unique, you’ll never find it anywhere else and if they’re discontinued, it’s once in a lifetime, so it was a bit disappointing that BigHit had the place on lockdown.  It was greedy, especially with how they’re pummeling us fans with various collaborations and activities (Mattel dolls, Funko Pop Vinyls, UNO cards, BTS World, The Notes Books, etc.)  Support your fandom family!

Honestly, there’s not much more to do and since I didn’t enter the photo booth lottery, I don’t have more to describe. I realized the set-up is more of a dip-in and dip-out scenario.  Buy merch, see some sights, get pictures, then bounce (although, I’ve seen posts from fans in Asian countries where it’s a whole damn festival, but whatever America.  Capitalism sucks.).  We tried to sell more merch while fans were lining up at the entrances, then made our long walk back to the bus stop (I was not driving or paying for parking) and turned in for the night.

The lines into the United Center were extraordinary…because people wouldn’t listen.  Granted, everyone had to form a line prior to the doors opening, but eventually, security was telling people to exit the lines and enter through any of the other doors.  One whole section, with multiple entrances, had no lines, but fans were so damn scared to lose their place that they didn’t trust to leave their spot.  Most had reserved seats!  Swear, fans must have PTSD from how they have to fight for everything.  Security was checking bags and scanning people through the metal detectors very quickly, so there was no need for the uncertainty.  ¯\_(⌣̯̀⌣́)_/¯

The next day was CONCERT DAAAAAAAY! I’m gonna skip a bunch of stuff because it’s redundant and I pretty much talked about security.  How. Ever.  We did sell more fan merch (Thanks!), made mutuals, spoke to some great people, and even met Dee Skelliton.  Eventually, it was time to check our bags and ride that evasive elevator to the sky-I mean, our suite.

Kudos to the people that handed out free stuff.  I got a couple of PCs and lyrics to Seesaw in support of Yoongi’s solo stage.

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Word of caution.  Don’t overexert yourself.  We brought water, snacks, a hand fan, extra batteries, charger, and other necessities.  I thought we were ready, but that walking! Ugh! We must’ve walked the equivalent of 10 miles from the bus stop to United, around United several times, to Subway for grub, back to United.  We were tired AF, so when we got to the suite, we wanted to chill, but there were 20 other people already there and not enough seating with a view (suites can accommodate 20 people, but only have 10 stadium seats.  There were barstools and couches, but the TVs were not broadcasting the show).

But we had fooooooood, baby!  *raps* I’m a big girl, that likes big things, and I keep a plate, for my big dreams.  There was hotdogs, ciabatta sandwiches, meatball subs, fruit, a bunch of other stuff and champ-angia.  I was so stressed from low sales and so many people around me, I really needed a breather so when the attendant cracked that bottle open, I didn’t shy.  I got lit.

Music videos were blasting.  Snapchat Geofilter was on! We had our fan project banners ready (Day 1 and 2)! Fans were singing along with their lightsticks on.  And then, THE LIGHTS DIMMED! Our lightsticks went crazy colorful! BTS popped up from beneath the stage and I blacked out.

Swear, I remember screaming my head off, trying my best at the Korean lyrics, crying a shitload, streaming to my closest BTS friends (shhhhh! (*≧艸≦)), hopping from our suite to the practically-empty-suite these beautiful, magnificent, gracious girls were willing to share, but otherwise, I don’t remember a lot.  Luckily, there’s film….but I’m too embarrassed by my screeching to post it (and it’s taking forever to upload!), so enjoy these photos instead!  Mind you, we reached the last summit when we walked off the elevator.

 

We also got some amazing scenes:

If I were to describe the euphoric feeling I had seeing the boys in person, I’d never do it justice.  They were marvelous, engaging, funny and oh-so-sweet.  Hence why I’m pissed that I’m missing their stadium tour.  I told myself, I’m definitely seeing them next time…who knew they’d drop tickets this week?! This sounds weird, but I was extra upset that I won’t be able to go to one of the stadium stops and see the awesome light show.  Up to 80-90,000 lightsticks flickering and forming multicolored art in unison! Have you seen those videos? Wow. It would be such a breathtaking experience.

If you’re looking to get BTS Tickets, check out my other post.  The title is a little misleading, but my Plan B for getting tickets after they’re sold out is there.

If you’re banking on getting tickets direct from Ticketmaster…it’s all luck.  You can do everything correctly according to fans:

  1. Have multiple devices
  2. Recruit friends with multiple devices
  3. Have the fastest internet service
  4. Have multiple browsers and tabs open
  5. Not refresh the page
  6. For certain platforms, refresh the page
  7. Log-in hours in advance and wait to be placed in the queue

Even Ticketmaster provided a preparation guide.

You can do all that and some (I did) and still not score a single ticket.  Remember, based on the stage set-up, only 2/3s of the stadium’s seating will be sold, part of the tickets are already reserved for BigHit, Ticketmaster or another broker, and season ticket holders.  That means even fewer tickets will be available! Not only are you competing with each other but also scalpers with dedicated servers to snatch up tickets.

I’m not trying to scare anyone, just stating facts.  If Plan A doesn’t work, don’t give up hope! Plan B may be your best option. Just keep storing your coins and be flexible.  A couple of things on my previous post in the bonus section actually happened:

  • Ticketmaster released additional tickets, unannounced, a week or two before the Chicago concert date.
  • United Center sold extra tickets both nights of the show
  • People were posting last-minute ticket sales in various groups

It pays to keep checking the website, staying tuned to social media and just waiting in the box office line at the venue.

Another thing I learned while talking to various fans at United Center and also from social media posts, is that sometimes people with extra unsold tickets may just give them away! *screams*

If you choose to purchase resale tickets, do it through StubHub or Vividseats.  Both sites guarantee similar tickets if the ones purchased are fake or will refund your money.  Last year, StubHub realized how popular BTS is and created a dedicated customer service hotline (too many people were calling lol!).  Also, if you call into Vividseats, they might give a discount (the rep offered me 15%).  Lastly, if purchasing resale tickets from another fan, ask for proof and have someone else look at the proof with you.  You can even ask in groups if other people know of the account selling the tickets.

 

~ My Last Humble Opinion ~

 

Last year, Love Yourself tour tickets for Metlife Stadium had a decent resale price on StubHub because many ARMY had already purchased tickets: extremely overpriced resale tickets and multiple face value tickets in hopes for the right seats.  I’ve seen many ARMY say they might sit this tour out because they’re broke like me, they’re saving for other kpop concerts, or they’re unsure how different the Speak Yourself concert will be from Love Yourself stages.  That ups the chances for tickets and, if the demand isn’t as high as last time, the resale prices will go down about two or three days from the concert date and they’ll become lower the day of.  Hell, Ontario wasn’t a popular destination and those tickets were nuts.

Just don’t buy tickets because you can and then hold them in hopes of better tickets.  There will be more chances.  There were lots of tickets that were unclaimed.  Some of the top tier levels. Were. Not. Full.

So anything is possible! Believe it and stay fighting!


 

There you have it: This behemoth posting that tired me out enough over the weeks that I had to just publish the sucker and get it over with! LOL! Hopefully, this is useful.  I wanted to get it out sooner than the day Speak Yourself tickets go on sale.  I also forgot about DPR! Oh well. (੭ ˃̣̣̥ ω˂̣̣̥)੭