K Culture

Open Radio Shows in Korea – A Guide on How to See Kpop Idols for FREE

Every Kpop fans who wish to go to Korea have probably dreamed of seeing their favorite Kpop idols in the flesh. However, going to Korea does not guarantee that you will have a chance to meet your favorite Kpop artists. It’s not like you can bump into them on the streets or see them walking outside their respective agency buildings. There are other ways on how you can meet them in person but it requires you to spend money, and sometimes, a lot of it. But don’t lose hope, there are still other FREE ways too on how you can watch Kpop idols live in Korea like attending Open Radio Shows.

About Open Radio Shows

An Open Radio Show is a viewable radio program where audience can watch it live while airing. Fans cannot directly enter the studio but they can watch the show through a glass that separates them from the DJ and program guests. Most of the Kpop idols who are promoting their new albums, do radio guesting to introduce their new songs and meet with their fans. In this way, fans can also show their support for them. These radio shows are not exclusive to Kpop artists, Kdrama actors and other media personalities do radio guesting too. Good news is that Korea’s largest television networks such as MBC and KBS provide such opportunity for fans.

MBC Garden Studio

MBC has a Garden Studio in its building where they record some of their radio shows. It is actually a part of MBC World, Korea’s first broadcasting theme park. MBC Radio programs such as Idol Radio and Starry Night are holding their shows at the Garden Studio. Both programs regularly invite Kpop idols who are having a comeback or are debuting. It is a perfect opportunity to see your favorite Kpop artists for free. Bonus if your bias is the show’s DJ. And sometimes, they give FREE merchandise too.

In addition, sometimes MBC radio programs hold open concerts too just outside the studio. Here are some fancams from Sandeul’s Starry Night with Kangta, Tiger JK, Yoon Mirae & Bizzy as guests for the show’s 50th anniversary.

KBS Cool FM and KBS Happy FM

Compare to MBC, KBS runs two open radio stations – the KBS Cool FM and Happy FM. They are located in the KBS Building where the KBS ON Experience Hall is located too. KBS Cool FM plays mostly older Kpop music from the 90s compared to KBS Happy FM which plays the latest Kpop tracks. Both shows regularly invite Kpop idols too with Kpop Idols or Kdrama actors as their DJs.

Tips in Attending Open Radio Show

Check Kpop idols’ schedule

If you are going to Korea and your favorite Kpop idols happen to have a come back, check if they will have a guesting schedule in any of the open radio shows. Do not miss the chance of seeing your faves in the flesh for FREE!

Check Open Radio Show’s Schedule

Once you have confirmed that your favorite Kpop idols are guesting in any of the open radio shows, check the show’s schedule so you can be there on time.

Reserve Your Spot Early On

Remember that this opportunity of seeing Kpop idols in person is for free thus, many fans all over Korea are going to. Therefore, make sure to reserve your spot early on. There are some fansites (fans who take photos and videos of idols and upload it on their site) who go to the studio early in the morning. For bigger artists, some fans are even staying there overnight just to save a good spot. Hence, if you arrive late, you will not be able to see the artists closely. A lot of people will block your view, not to mention the large ladders, chairs and cameras that the fansites usually use.

Bring Snacks and Water

If you are planning to go to the studio early to save a good spot, it is wise to bring some snacks and water with you. There are nearby convenience stores from KBS and MBC building so grab a snack first so you will not get hungry while waiting.

Be Patient

Aside form bringing snacks, you also need to bring a lot of patience. Patience for waiting, patience for the crowd, and patience for some fans who can be rude. Of course, you wouldn’t want to be in trouble just to see your bias.

Prepare A Letter (Optional)

This is optional but you might want to prepare a letter to give to your favorite Kpop idols. Most of the time, you can get a chance to get closer to them and hand them letters before or after the radio program. It would be such a waste to lose this opportunity to directly tell them your feelings through letters.

Locations and How To Get There

MBC Garden


267, Seongam-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul, Korea  (서울시 마포구 성암로 267)


From Airport: Get off at Digital Media City Station on the Airport Railroad. Take Exit 9 and walk for 10 minutes.

From Gyeongui Line: Get off at Digital Media City Station on the Gyeongui Line. Take the connecting passage to Exit 9 and walk for 10 minutes.

From Gyeongui Line: Get off at Susaek Station on the Gyeongui Line. Walk for 10 minutes by using the pedestrian road (rabbit cave) that passes through the Gyeongui line railroad.

By Bus: Get off at DMC Promotion Hall or Nuritkum Square MBC.

  • Green Bus: 6715, 7013A, 7013B, 7715, 7016, Mapo 15 (Village Bus)
  • Blue Bus: 171, 271, 710, 771
  • Red Bus: 9711

KBS Cool FM and KBS Happy FM


13, Yeouigongwon-ro, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul


Take the subway to National Assembly Station, Exit 4. Walk straight then turn right and walk straight again. KBS building is located at the end of the road.

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🇵🇭 Joey

A scholar, marketer, educator, traveler, and ultimately, a fangirl currently living in South Korea. I mostly write about Hallyu-related places as well tips on traveling and living in Korea.