Last Updated on September 24, 2023 by Eden
For many k-pop fans, there’s no bigger thrill than getting to see their favorite idols or idol groups up close. Many k-pop concerts give you a chance to do just that after the show at the hi touch event.
Hi touch is a chance for fans to wave hello to or even hi-five their favorite k-pop artists once the show has ended. Fans line up, usually based on the queue number they’re assigned at ticketing, and watch the members of the group walk by.
A hi-touch session may be included automatically if you’re purchasing a top tier ticket to a kpop concert. Paying extra for a VIP ticket may also unlock other perks, like access to the pre-show soundcheck, onstage photo opportunities or free gifts, such as tote bags or a special photo card.
But is it worth it to pay extra for hi touch kpop tickets? And what can you expect if you do?
We’re breaking down all you need to know about hi touch kpop live events, plus the pros and cons of upgrading to VIP.
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Table of Contents
What Is Hi Touch Kpop?
Hi touch, also referred to as high touch, is one of several special events k-pop fans may have access to when purchasing upgraded concert tickets or attending other k-pop events. For example, k-pop groups may also end an in-person fan sign or fan meet & greet with a hi-touch session.
The hi touch is meant to be a special benefit that’s available to premium ticket holders. Event promoters can offer ticket packages for k-pop events that include hi touch to give fans a shot at seeing their favorite k-pop stars after the live performance has ended.
If you want to be more than just an audience member at a k-pop concert, hi touch can help you level up your experience.
Related post: What to Wear to a Kpop Concert
What Do You Do at a Hi Touch Kpop Event?
Traditionally, a hi touch event would have fans first organize in a straight line, then walk past the members of their favorite groups. As they walk by, the fans would have the chance to give each member a high five and offer a smile or a brief comment.
(That is, if you can get your brain to function when your bias is standing right in front of you.😂)
For example, here’s a clip of a Stray Kids hi touch at KCON LA, the flagship Los Angeles event, in 2019. You can see the fans filing past chatting with the members, while other fans wait their turn.
Like everything else, however, the k-pop world has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of that, a hi touch kpop event doesn’t always look the way that it used to.
For example, when Ateez visited the U.S. for their Beginning of the End world tour in January 2022, the members stood behind a clear plastic barrier as fans went by. There was no high-fiving and no chance for fans to make small talk with the members.
Other groups, like P1Harmony, did the same thing when they toured in 2022. Fans could purchase tickets to a Hello Session instead of hi touch.
The good news is that fan engagements have begun looking more like they used to as health and safety restrictions have eased.
So if you’re heading to a kpop show for the first time now, you might have a shot at touching palms with your faves if you purchased hi touch tickets. And kpop fansigns are starting to take place in person again too, instead of virtually.
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How Long Does Hi Touch at a Kpop Concert Last?
Hi touch moves pretty quickly, since there are usually a lot of fans waiting to see their favorite idols. You can expect the staff to shuffle you and your fellow fans through the line at a steady pace and you might be face-to-face with each group member for just a few seconds.
The high touch is designed to be quick. That makes sense since group members are likely tired out from their live performance by this point and want to rest. Or else, they’ve got to jump on a bus to move on to the next venue.
And sometimes, the staff isn’t all that polite about rushing you along. That can be a downer, given how high ticket prices for VIP seats can be. But that’s sometimes the reality you have to deal with when you’re attending a kpop show.
It’s possible that you might have a little bit of pure luck on your site and end up at a hi touch event for a group or soloist that isn’t concerned about rushing things. For example, fans who’ve attended KCON NY have had good things to say about how much time they got to spend with the idols who appeared.
Related post: How Long Are Kpop Concerts?
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Can You Record During Hi Touch?
Generally no, you’re not allowed to record during the hi touch, even if you’re just waiting in the standby line until it’s your turn. And most of the time, trying to record idol appearances at a hi touch could get you kicked out of the venue.
So no matter how tempted you are to get a shot of your fave to post on social media, leave your phone in your pocket. And while you’re at it, here are a few other things to avoid doing at a hi touch kpop event:
- Don’t bring gifts if gifts are not allowed (for example, KCONUSA has a strict no-gifts policy)
- Don’t invade your idol’s personal space (that means no attempts at hugging or other PDAs)
- Don’t try for a handshake if the event specifies hi-five only (unless you want to get barked at by a security guard)
- Don’t drag your feet and slow down the line on purpose
- Don’t try to start a long conversation (idols don’t have the time and you may run into a language barrier anyway)
- Don’t ask your idols for personal info like a phone number or email address (and don’t try to slip them yours either)
- Don’t bring food or drinks into the line if they’re not allowed (after all, how embarrassing would it be to spill something all over your bias)
- Don’t scream or fake a fainting fit
- Don’t flash idols (not only is it weird, but indecent exposure is also a crime)
It’s a good idea to read any important information provided by the promoter or the venue before you go to the hi touch so you know what is or isn’t allowed.
And most importantly, don’t panic. The hi touch goes by quickly and you want to enjoy it, not walk away with major embarrassment because you had a momentary freak-out or said something inappropriate.
Related post: Are Kpop Concerts Safe? [Your Ultimate Fan Guide]
Is Buying VIP Tickets for Hi Touch Worth It?
Splurging on VIP tickets could be worth the money for a few reasons.
First, VIP tickets can offer a better view of the show. VIP ticket holders get to enter the venue well before the general public for sound check and you may be able to snag a prime spot near the barricade.
That alone could make VIP worth it if you want to be able to clearly see the members of your favorite group. You might also have a better shot at being included in a group photo if your group snaps a pic of the audience at the end of the show.
And of course, you can get special extras for being a VIP. If you want to go up on stage and take a selfie with your friends, for example, you might have a chance to do that before the show starts.
Now, should you get VIP just for the hi touch?
Yes, if you want to be able to see your favorite idols up close. Seeing them from a distance of a few feet can be an entirely different experience if you’re used to seeing them on YouTube only. Bonus points if you’re able to get your fave to crack a smile as you pass by.
What you have to consider is the cost. VIP tickets with hi touch can easily cost $1,000 or more. So you have to decide if it’s worth it to drop that much money on an experience that may only last a minute or two at most.
Comparing prices at the ticketing site can help you decide what fits your budget. For example, there might be different VIP packages for:
- Soundcheck access
- Group photo ops
- Hi touch (or Hello Session)
- Meet & Greet
When checking prices, be aware of whether you’re buying original tickets or resale tickets. Sites like Live Nation and Ticketmaster both allow reselling of kpop tickets but you might pay more for resale VIP tickets in the long run.
Remember, you can still have fun at a kpop show even if you’re going the VIP route. For example, you can participate in fan projects like the one that Hello82 did for the final stop on Ateez’s Break the Wall world tour. Or you can just make some new kpop besties while showing off your fit in the entry line.
hello82 brought together fans who attended ATEEZ World Tour THE FELLOWSHIP : BREAK THE WALL in North America to participate in an unforgettable project surprising their most beloved K-pop group, ATEEZ.https://t.co/7RmWz1G8DF@ATEEZofficial #FromATINYtoATEEZ #ProjectStar1117— hello82 (@hello82official) December 3, 2022
At the end of the day, whether it makes sense to spend extra money on hi touch comes down to what you most want to get out of your kpop concert experience.
Final thoughts on hi touch kpop
The hi touch event has become ingrained in Korean culture, at least as far as the music industry goes. Whether you’re going to an indoor concert or an outdoor concert, a hi-touch session can be a fun way to cap off what may already be a memorable event. Knowing what to expect as part of the hi touch crowd can help you have the best experience possible when seeing your favorite idols in person.
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