Hi guys! I’m Stacy from MyMusicTaste (MMT).
In February, I was one of the MMT crew who helped bring EXO to Dallas, Vancouver, LA, Chicago and Newark, NJ, for their first North America Tour! The months leading up to the tour were crazy...I think my dog forgot my face during that time because I was so rarely home. :(
Planning an entire tour in the timeline given is not an easy feat..without getting into all the details, there are negotiations with artist management, production agency, the venue and the ticketing agent affiliated with the venue. Hotel, flights, and transportation for EXO, SM staff, DreamMaker staff and MMT have to be booked as well. Oh, and security. Lots of security.
As a company, this has been our biggest tour to date and we know that this moment would not have been possible without the support from all the fans who have MADE on our platform and have gone to our shows. As a thank you, we tried to incorporate fan engagement in every step of the process from making movements for the cities to being involved in the unveiling of the artist video with the puzzle contest as well as with our #MMTREP and #MMTMOMENTS contests.
Touring with an artist, even one as cute as EXO, is not as glamorous as it may seem. The typical schedule for one of our crew members is similar to the below:
[Day Before Show] Arrive in city. Separate in groups to check the venue, finalize details for hotel/transportation/security, arrange artist hospitality. Some members go to the airport to assist EXO when they arrive as well and we usually end up getting squashed by excited EXO fans. Once the artist is securely checked into the hotel and any miscellaneous hospitality runs are take care of, staff members meet until late into the night to discuss any final details for the next day's show.
[Day of Show] Crew members are up EARLLYYYY on the day of the show! Most of us leave for the venue around 6-7AM to supervise production of EXO’s stage to ensure it is done safely and securely. We are at the venue throughout the day and remain long after the show is over (~1-3AM) to make sure that merchandise is properly inventoried and set for shipping to the next city as well as to settle any remaining paperwork with venue management.
Once we arrive at the hotel, on a good day we are able to get 1-2 hours of sleep before waking up to pack and catch an early flight to the next city to start the process all over again.
As a result of this schedule, pretty much all of our staff ended up getting sick. All the pictures I have of our crew during the tour are of them falling asleep during late night meetings or sick in bed. :( It's fun work but very, very, tiring.
One of the best things about touring was seeing the fans in every city. For many fans, this was their first time seeing EXO live in person and the excitement was palpable at the venue from the early hours in the morning when fans first started showing up. Fans groups big and small put so much effort into making fan banners, pins, and stickers to share with other fans.
I was able to get a few to keep as mementos of the tour for our office (yay!) but I loved walking around and seeing how EXO was bringing fans together. :D
Because I was so much busier than expected, I was (and still am!) so grateful for the lovely MMTREP’s for each city who were able to interact with the fans on the day of the show. The MMTREP’s who were selected by fans from each city, were some of the sweetest, funniest, and most down to earth people I’ve ever met on tour. We had Brittany (Dallas), Tien and Ella (Vancouver), Tina (LA), Inna (Chicago), and Raymond (NJ/NY). They were so excited and really sincere in wanting to interact with fellow fans. We have their videos by the way so stay tuned to our blog since they will be released soon! :)
This may sound corny (actually I'm 99.99999% sure this sounds corny) but seeing how happy the fans were, the excited screams when the opening notes of EXO's VCR resounded through the venue...all of those made every hardship incurred throughout the tour totally worth it. By the end of the tour, our staff were dusty, bruised, somewhat delirious...but so happy to know that the fans and the members themselves had such a good time. :D
Speaking of the members....I'm sure everyone wants to know. So how is EXO? How are they in real life? Are they as good-looking in person as they are on screen? ....
As expected, the members are ADORABLE. They have a bright glow to their skin that I have yet to be able to replicate, even using the best facial serums and creams available in store (if anyone knows which dermatologist they go to, please let me know :( ). Chanyeol was especially endearing (along with every other member of course tee hee) because of his bright smile and because he really is that happy ALL. THE. TIME. I'm sure fans know from looking at the members Instagram accounts that they like to explore the cities they are in when time allows but they are just as happy playing games in their hotel rooms (you can hear their laughter up and down the halls). They were polite, hardworking, and an overall pleasure to work with. I miss working with them already! :(
I'll sign off with a few of my favorite #MMTMOMENTS (credit to the owner). Hope to see all of you on our next tour! Thank you for helping us make EXOPLANET #2 - The EXO'luXion - in North America such a beautiful experience! I will remember this tour always~ xx :) :D