Queueing for a K-pop concert? Then you should know about The Book

23 November 2012 / 3 years 11 months ago

Source: The New PaperSINGAPORE - In the K-pop world, it's called The Book and the power it holds is immense to some.Others have disregarded it and deemed it powerless.The unofficial queue book, held by the first fan in the queue, holds court during queueing disputes by those who abide by it.It's currently being used for the SMTown Live World Tour III queue at The Float@Marina Bay, a week ahead of this year's biggest K-pop concert. The queue started last Friday.But the best part about registering in The Book?Only one representative needs to be sitting there to queue for any number of people.So although there were only 30 people in the queue on Tuesday, the line was already 200 fans long.There's also the "merge", where if two groups of fans are willing, they can join together to form one unit.The advantage of this is so that one person can queue for the combined groups.To date, 23,000 tickets to the concert have been sold and fans were queueing for the three mosh pits which will hold 4,000 people.When newcomers join the line, such as student Natalie Neo, 18, who arrived on Monday evening, they would have to register their representative's name in The Book, along with their contact details and how many people they are queueing for.Student Amelia Lee, 15, who is one of the 20 people in group 1, told The New Paper that anyone who wants to join the queue will be told, usually by the person in front of them, to register in The Book.She said: "So when it rains and we all run for shelter to the Esplanade or Marina Square, we will be clear on who is where in the queue when we get back."Everyone here has a lot of integrity and most of us make friends with each other, so we will (abide by the book)."The only thing is that I'm hoping that the concert organisers (Running Into The Sun) will recognise this as the official queue."But The Book is meaningless to some who feel that queueing a week in advance for the concert is too extreme.There was an uproar on Monday when a tweet by a fellow K-pop fan frightened the early birds in the queue.The fan named Samuel - a member of the local arm of Girls' Generation fan club Soshified - had tweeted that he had intended to "hold a bigger army and cut that queue on that actual day".The fans, especially those who had taken leave to queue, were worried that their efforts would all come to naught and alerted TNP of the tweet.Read about what happened after that tweet on the next page.

Taking sidesAll hell broke loose on Twitter with K-pop fans taking sides on the queueing issue.A staff member of Soshified, who had written in to TNP, said: "Tweets from members of Soshified do not necessarily represent Soshified as a whole."Soshified does not encourage fans to queue early, nor do we discourage it."We certainly do not have any intention of cutting queues or creating negative experiences for other concert attendees."In response to the anxiety that he had caused the fans already queueing at Marina Bay, Samuel tweeted on Tuesday that he was only kidding and his ramblings were "troll tweets".SMTown Live World Tour III will feature giant K-pop acts such as Super Junior, Girls' Generation and SHINee.A Running Into The Sun spokesman told The New Paper on Tuesday: "We are only able to recognise the official queue that starts on Friday at 9am and we would like to discourage fans from queueing overnight."Their safety is our utmost concern and we also hope they will be in their best condition to fully experience the concert."We have more than 250 security personnel and over 600 ushers to manage the queues. And 2,600 barricades have been laid out all the way from City Hall MRT to The Float@Marina Bay."It has been a challenging journey staging this concert. We understand everyone's excitement and anxiety and we will do our best to maintain harmony and fairness for everyone watching the concert."The queueing process has so far been smooth. After registering, the fans sat down to wait and enjoy the gorgeous view of Marina Bay.Most of the fans who were students said their parents had given them money - more than $50 - to support them during their time spent queueing.Said Amelia: "When I first told my dad I was going to start queueing, he didn't speak to me for days."After he got over his anger, he told me to take care and call him if I needed anything."Added student Tay Si Han, 15: "My mother agreed to me doing this and kept asking if I had enough money."She also said to call her if anything happens."But the girls assured us that there was no extra cost incurred as they would be spending the same amount of money if they were going out with their friends during the school holidays.So what would one need to survive in a queue?The girls said the must-haves are a raincoat, an umbrella, a mini-fan, a sweater, a portable phone charger and a laptop.The usual "queueing attire" consisted of a T-shirt, a pair of shorts and slippers.Said Amelia: "It was really funny because there was this day when two guys were here and they were dressed really nicely in shirts and jeans and high-cut shoes."When the rain came down, they were soaked and their shoes were so smelly.No one brings tents or sleeping bags as sleeping near the concert venue is not allowed.The girls said security guards would patrol the area and wake everyone up.Most of the fans in the queue were on shifts - one morning or one night - that last 12 hours each. When a shift ends, the fans go home for a bath and to prepare themselves for another day of queueing under the elements.Said Amelia, who is queueing for a concert for the first time: "We are girls, so we are more hygienic and have to go home to shower. We can't just be like male fans who have taken a bath in public toilets."The shifts run like clockwork here and there are no quarrels as we spend our time watching K-pop videos."When we get bored, we go shopping and eat at the fast-food restaurants around here."

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