K-pop fever hits Bay Area ahead of concert


May 16, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
The same Korean pop culture trend that's sweeping Asia is now taking hold in the Bay Area. K-pop -- Korean girl and boy bands -- are about to rock the music scene in the Bay Area next week. A ticket giveaway brought out hundreds of fans Wednesday.

K-pop is more than hot. And it's not just the girls, there are boy bands too.

Lined up around the parking lot at the Korea Times in Oakland Wednesday, more than 500 K-pop fans waited for a chance at free tickets to a sold-out K-pop extravaganza next Monday in Mountain View.

"We got here since about 11 a.m. yesterday and we camped out until right now," one fan said.

One expert compared K-pop to soccer, saying it's already huge everywhere except the United States. It's gaining popularity here too, and definitely not just among Koreans.

"What do I love about K-pop? Everything about K-pop! OK, the music, the lyrics, the men, the mEN! Plus the messages behind the songs, the catchy dance moves," K-pop fan Belinda Sulleza said.

The Times ran out of tickets, and had to turn 100 people away. But one fan's looking on the bright side about all the demand.

"The more people like it, the more they'll come over here and, like, perform," Abigail Wong-Rolle said.