Around the Festival
The entire area around the arena that weekend was buzzing. Next door to the arena is London Designer Outlet, where there were plenty of shops to browse and restaurants to eat at during the day. Which many seemed to have taken the chance to do, as I saw probably the longest queue for bubble tea I’ve ever seen at Chaboba! Although I had to pass on getting some (as it was so busy!) I loved their EXO display in the window.
With Wembley being a popular place in London, what with the adjacent Wembley Stadium as well as the Arena, you can bet there were plenty of choices for hotels as well. I stayed at the Premier Inn, which is positioned between the Arena and the station. I always say that you can always count on Premier Inn to be a nice enough place to stay and this one is no exception. The staff were friendly, the rooms were clean. What more do you need? Definitely a recommendation!
That’s not all, though. HallyuPopFest also had its own “HallyuTown” courtyard area. This was the festival’s own showcase of Korean products. The products were mostly K-Beauty related, and I was given some free spot patches. These actually worked really well during the couple of times I used them, but I’ve since lost the sheet and completely forgotten the brand name, so… that’s a little disappointing. HallyuTown also hosted giveaways for the products they were showcasing.
If you wanted to meet your idols, HallyuTown was the place to be for that as well! HallyuPopFest offered the chance to meet Weeekly and CIX in the plaza. Although this would have been cool, I didn’t want to get in the way of more dedicated fans, so I decided it would be better to leave. (Although, it would have been a different story if ONEUS was one of the groups…)
HallyuPopFest was an incredible first K-Pop live experience. It made a dent in my pocket, but I was prepared to pay so much to be able to see so many acts live. After COVID, I was begging to be able to go out and enjoy some time in London and enjoy some live music. HPF definitely achieved that mission.
I got some HallyuPopFest merchandise from the merch stalls, too. I got a notebook, and plushies of the little mascots of the festival, the latter simply being because I saw ONEUS’ Leedo with one. (I’m easily convinced…) I also managed to get some fan-made merchandise! I got the concert banners for ONEUS and Kai, made by the lovely fanclubs who distributed them at the entrance of the venue. They’ve been on my wall since I came back, so thank you for the great memento! <3
But my favourite thing? That was simply being there and being involved with the community. K-Pop has been quite a funny interest of mine. For years, I had gotten so used to basically being the only person I knew who listened to it. Then I got used to being surrounded by many people at university who istened to it… To be one in a 12,500-capacity arena listening to it live? Magical.
recommendations (November 2023)
In 2023, HallyuPopFest were supposed to be going to Macau. Despite their indefinite postponement, who knows where they’ll go next? To keep up to date with them, I’d recommend following them on Twitter. (No, I’ve not been sponsored – this is a genuine recommendation!)
If you want to relive the experience of HallyuPopFest, you can do so by visiting their YouTube channel. After almost a year, they finally uploaded clips of each performance! I can’t wait to sit down and watch them all again!
Have you ever been to a K-Pop festival before? Did you go to HallyuPopFest? Let me know about your experiences below in the comments!