Loud music, screaming fans, bright lights, synched dancing, spectacular costumes. It’s the B.A.P concert everybody had waited for. This boy group from Korea captured the attention of fans around the globe with their amazing and thought-provoking songs and I was able to attend the concert!
B.A.P came to London in April 2014 as part of their World Tour and performed at the O2 Academy in Brixton. I was so incredibly excited it was ridiculous!! I took along my favourite carer, Karen* who by that point was able to sing along to a couple of songs and name some of the members – thanks to my teaching xD
We were booked into the Holiday Inn Express in Southwark and arrived at the hotel around 2:30pm. I was excited to be staying in a hotel, especially because of the stress caused last time without an overnight stay! The accessible room was on floor 4 but when we got to the lift, it was too small and positioned sideways with not enough room to manoeuvre my wheelchair 😦 The hotel was having a whole new section built which would include brand new accessible rooms and a large lift…completion date set a couple of weeks after we left.
The panic then started to set in with only 4 hours to find a place to stay, unpack, find a restaurant and get a taxi to the venue. Luckily the assistant manager was more than helpful, managing to get us an accessible room at the Novotel across the road at no extra cost. I had never been to a Novotel hotel so was really amazed at what it was like! So shiny 😀 Our room was pretty small with two single beds; the bathroom had a couple of grab rails which probably was the ‘accessible’ part of it, but we managed to make it work with some furniture rearranging! – Unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures…
We both made ourselves presentable and set off to the venue, there was a Nando’s directly opposite so that was dinner sorted – although with my nerves, I couldn’t eat much! Myself as well as others with mobility issues were allowed early access. The group headed inside where I was nearer to the front of the line but unfortunately, after stopping to inquire about the signed albums and Hi-Touch event, I lost my space and ended up right at the back. There weren’t even enough fans to reach the back where
I was sitting 😦 – The picture to the right is the view from my seat to the stage.
There was an event happening whereby fans could purchase B.A.P’s newest album, signed by one member with the possibility of including a special ‘Hi-5’ ticket, giving that fan the chance to high 5 the group along with other winners. I didn’t get a ticket in the album I pre-purchased 😦
I asked Karen to see what merchandise they had for sale. There were large member posters, hoodies, t-shirts and eco bags! I ended up buying a Yongguk and Daehyun poster, the B.A.P tour hoody and t-shirt, as well as the bag and after having a good feeling – a second signed album for the ticket. The merchandise woman came to where we were sat and handed Karen a Hi-5 ticket saying it had been misplaced from the album I bought anyway 😀 I was so happy!!!!
During my favourite song and knowing I’d be staying for a while longer, I went to check out the disabled toilet and was actually quite impressed. Normally with older buildings, the toilets are very small or in an awkward to reach area but this one was in the main foyer with masses of space!
The concert was amazing and there are many fan accounts available online, most I felt the exact same way about so I won’t repeat it all again. Although these weremy fave songs performed:
Badman – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLHY_7PgaV0&feature=youtu.be (official music video)
Warrior – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8Pwejfz0rI&feature=youtu.be (official music video)
Body & Soul – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EnqKDX4uIiw (concert performance & wow… this dance o.O)
Check On – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TA2B2sMQT4Q (concert performance, learned this dance just before the song!)
After the show ended, I went to the area by the merchandise stand and asked about how to get to the Hi-5 event – I had phoned and emailed to make double sure it was accessible in which they replied yes. The security guard asked me to wait in the foyer and he’d see if the group could come downstairs at the end to me so I could get my Hi-5. We waited for about 20 minutes, the guard came back and said ‘there was no way to get me upstairs and the boys had left already’. Like WHAT THE HECK?!
I bought two signed albums for this once in a lifetime chance to meet my favourite idols and because of access, I couldn’t. Why say the building is accessible or they could do something to enable me to still meet them and not? The security guard said he couldn’t get through to the supervisor upstairs either
You can probably guess how upset I was?! Fans outside probably thought I was crying with excitement but no…Karen and I got a taxi back to the hotel but I felt like everything had been ruined. Having to call my mum back and tell her what had happened was awful.
The next morning, we had a complimentary breakfast and it was yummy! The taxi back to the station went smoothly and we even managed to get an earlier train which we were thankful for 🙂 – Staff at both stations I have used were very friendly and helpful with providing assistance and the ramp onto the train (we usually get put in First Class where the wheelchair spaces are!). Once home, I told many people about what happened to see what I could do but there wasn’t much; I don’t speak Korean so I couldn’t even write to B.A.P at TS Entertainment, but then I thought, wasn’t it the security at the venue and lack of communication?
So this was my experience at the amazing B.A.P concert, the highs of the music and watching my idols live but the lows of missing out on an awesome chance. Hopefully this has also made the venue think about the future and similar scenarios 🙂 I felt such a whirlwind of emotions over these two days and i think both Karen and myself were glad to have a cuppa!
Please share 🙂 Or comment and tell me about your experience at a B.A.P concert!
*Not real names
*Credit to owners of pictures and videos used