It’s nearly Christmas! Which means it’s nearly the end of the year. Which means it’s about time for the end of year music shows!

For those who might not be so sure, at the end of every year three of South Korea’s main TV stations host their own collective concert with artists performing their songs released in 2013. Of course, they’re broadcast on TV and commonly streamed online by independent bodies so that we can see them real time! Thankfully for us in the UK, the time zone falls so that the shows are broadcast around midday here. Unfortunately, they can be really long, and there are always acts that you don’t really care about seeing (…come on, nobody likes every group). But, they can be really fun and a great way to reminisce about all your favourite music and performances from the year and see some special stages. The three shows are spread out over one week, and the line-up of artists doesn’t change too drastically so don’t worry about missing one because you still have two chances left. And you can always catch the performances later on YouTube!

Show times this year:

2013 KBS Gayo Daejun – 27th December

2013 SBS Gayo Daejun – 29th December, 8.45pm KST

2013 MBC Gayo Daejun – 31st December

 

Some handy tips to get you through…

1)      Don’t wait for ads! There is generally a lack of adverts; you might be waiting a while! A show without tons of ad breaks can be a good thing because the show isn’t interrupted, but when you need to grab a drink or even slip in a toilet break, you might be hard pressed to find the time…

2)      Use performances of groups you don’t really know or like as break time. A song averaging between three and four minutes is plenty of time to run for a drink or your laptop charger…

3)      Prepare beforehand! Cushions, snacks (plenty), drinks (preferably caffeinated). You don’t have time to get up and make a sandwich halfway through if you want to make sure you don’t miss your favourite groups.

4)      Pace yourself with all the food and drink. It would be a shame if you ate everything within the first five stages and had to keep getting up to go to the bathroom…

5)      Ensure that you won’t be disturbed. There is nothing worse than getting really into the performances and then having your parents shout, “Come on, we’re going for dinner at your grandparents’!” This also includes your phone – which needs to be on silent or vibrate at least. Having your phone start ringing and interrupting performances should not be top of your list this year. If you still live at home with your parents, this one might be tricky. Whenever I watch a live stream, I’m constantly in fear of being pulled away to ‘do the washing up’ etc. The excuse, “But mum, SHINee are live on my screen!” has never ridden well.

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6)      Have headphones on hand in case you’re asked to, “Turn that racket down!” Why would we want to strain our ears to hear the songs and rely on our memory of them? Just plug your headphones in and re-immerse yourself.

7)      Check the streams before the show starts. Usually there are minutes upon minutes of adverts before the show is ready to begin. If your stream is stalling and lagging in the adverts before the show has even begun, find a new stream. And hurry!

8)      Don’t panic if it’s time for the show to start and the adverts are still on. This is common when the show doesn’t start exactly on the dot and also the stream might often be a few minutes behind real time. If you start flicking between streaming channels you might miss the start of the show and even lose the good stream that you had to start with! You can check twitter trends and tags where people will tweet if they have a good streaming link.

9)      If you’re watching on a laptop, do make sure it’s fully charged. This eliminates the hassle of having to run to find the charger or even not being able to find it!

 

If all goes terribly wrong and you lose the streaming connection and your computer dies and you have to go food shopping and you ate all the leftover Christmas chocolate too fast, relax. Performances can be uploaded to YouTube within an hour of the show! Yes, that fast. If you wait a few days, the whole show is usually uploaded, if not in two parts. I actually prefer to watch them this way; it means I can skip groups I’m not that keen on and I can watch at my own pace and come back to it later. It can be fun to watch real time though, at the same time as K-pop fans not just in Korea but all over the globe.

Have you got any other tips to share? Or maybe you’ve had a funny incident when streaming Korean shows? Let us know in the comme

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