SINGAPORE – The first round of pre-sales for K-pop’s biggest girl group Blackpink’s concert in Singapore kicked off without glitches or drama on Monday morning.
The quartet, made up of Rose, Jennie, Jisoo and Lisa, will be holding the Singapore leg of their Born Pink concert tour at the National Stadium on May 13, making them only the second K-pop act to hold a show at the venue since BTS.
Another two rounds of pre-sales will be held on Tuesday and Wednesday, before general sales to the public open on Thursday morning. Monday’s pre-sales were for members of Blackpink’s Weverse, an official international fan platform.
Several Blinks – the moniker given to the group’s fans – The Straits Times spoke to signed up for the group’s Weverse with the express purpose of getting pre-sale tickets, and snagged their tickets after waiting online for 15 to 30 minutes.
Among them is Mr Joshua Yim, a sales manager at a wine company, who split the cost of the US$23 (S$31.70) annual membership fee with a colleague in order to secure a pair of tickets for the show.
“We didn’t want to risk going for the later pre-sales or the general sale because we feel like with each round of pre-sale, there’ll just be fewer and fewer tickets,” says the 34-year-old, who taught himself Blackpink’s dance choreography during the stay-home period of the pandemic.
The recent Taylor Swift ticket debacle convinced him that securing pre-sale tickets was the best move for hardcore fans.
General sales for the American pop star’s The Eras Tour in the United States were cancelled recently after a pre-sale ticket release was bogged down by technical difficulties and overwhelming demand. Ticketmaster announced after the pre-sales that it had insufficient remaining ticket inventory for public sales.
Mr Yim adds: “We don’t want to buy from the general sale when there are no tickets left.”
Mr Yim, who was around number 60,000 in the virtual queue to purchase Blackpink tickets, says the process went off without a hitch. He entered the queue around 11.50am and bought a pair of Category 6 tickets priced at $278 each at 12.05pm, just five minutes after sales for standard Weverse members opened at noon.
Sales for early-bird Weverse membership holders began at 10am. Such memberships were available for only a limited time after Blackpink joined Weverse in December 2021.
Ms Wang Tingyun, a 35-year-old Taiwanese who will be flying to Singapore with her boyfriend to see Blackpink here, says she prefers Singapore’s ticketing system to Taiwan’s.
Blackpink is holding a concert in the Taiwanese city of Kaohsiung in March, which she will also be attending. Tickets for that show reportedly sold out in seconds.
The food and beverage chain owner said: “The Taiwan one didn’t have a queue system, so everyone just went in at the same time and tried to buy tickets and crashed the system. You could queue for the Singapore one, but I didn’t realise that you could enter the queue before sales opened at noon. I logged in earlier by chance around 11.50am or so and found out I could start queueing. By the time I bought tickets at 12.10pm, the ones we wanted were sold out.”
While she was originally aiming for either Category 5 – the most expensive seated tickets priced at $328 – or front-row VIP tickets priced at $398, she settled for standing pen tickets priced at $248 each.
Mr Josh Ho, an IT consultant in Vietnam, will also be coming to town to see his idols.
The 27-year-old, who purchased two Category 3 tickets for $248 each, says even pre-sales are competitive. “I subscribed to their membership when I heard that members would have exclusive access to pre-sale for their tour. But I feel like everyone has that access now and so the general public has very little chance to get tickets, even if the organisers do try to set aside some tickets for that.”
Live Nation declined to reveal the percentage of tickets left after Monday’s pre-sale opened. ST understands that there are tickets in every category allocated for each pre-sale and the upcoming general sale. The National Stadium’s official full capacity is 55,000.
Mr Jean-Francois Susbielle, a retired engineer in his 60s living in Singapore, was hoping to get tickets for his 10-year-old god-daughter on Monday, but did not succeed.
The Frenchman said: “I signed up for the Weverse account but there is an additional step to buying pre-sale tickets. You have to register for the pre-sale after signing up for Weverse and my wife missed that, so now we’re hoping we can get the $278 tickets during the PayPal pre-sale on Tuesday.”
Blackpink World Tour Born Pink Asia
Where: National Stadium, 1 Stadium Drive
When: May 13, 7.30pm
Admission: Tickets range from $168 to $398. Tickets go on sale on Thursday at 10am via Ticketmaster’s website (www.ticketmaster.sg) and hotline (3158-8588), and SingPost outlets.
Pre-sale for Weverse members begins on Monday, from 10am until midnight. Visit www.livenation.sg/blackpink2023 for more information.
Pre-sale for PayPal users begins on Tuesday, from 10am until midnight. Visit www.livenation.sg/paypalpresale for more information.
Pre-sale for Live Nation members begins on Wednesday, from 10am until midnight, via www.livenation.sg.