You would think that being able to claim the profession of a K pop star is already the pinnacle of success...being able to follow your passion, the countless adoring fans, the travel, the glamour...these are all things that come with being a star in the world of Korean entertainment. However, the K-pop industry seems to have its own unique indicators of success.  For example, you know that you have made it as a K-pop group when you are given the opportunity to perform at the Seoul Olympic Gymnastics Arena! And while it takes some groups years of dedication and ladder climbing to reach this goal...others find access to the illustrious arena much easier.  Just how long did eight of Korea's most popular K-pop groups take to make it? Read onto find out!

***Please note that this list is in order of time taken to reach the Seoul Olympic Gymnastics Arena and does not indicate the overall popularity of the groups in question. 


iKon - Less than 5 months

As our fastest group to perform at the Olympic arena, iKon performed their Koncert 2016: Showtime tour just after a little less than 5 months, just barely beating out our next group.


BIG BANG - 5 months

As an astounding feat for a rookie group back in the early 2000’s, BIG BANG performed at the Olympic arena after only 5 months and performed to an audience of 12,000 in 2006.


EXO - 2 years

K-pop group EXO impressed SM as one of a few of their groups to perform at the arena in less time than a majority of other groups! After 2 years the group had their EXO from Exoplanet #1 – The Lost Planet tour at the arena.


INFINITE - 3 years

When it comes to hard work, K-pop group Infinite really showed their true talent! Coming from a small company, the group had to work extra hard to become well known. Their hard work finally payed off in 2013 as they performed their 1st world tour, One Great Step at the Olympic arena.


Beast - 3 years

After debuting in 2009, it took Beast until 2012 before they were able to perform at the arena for the opening of their Beautiful Show tour.


2NE1 - 3 years

Since their debut in 2009, 2NE1 only took 3 years before they started their New Evolution Global Tour at the Olympic arena in 2012, making them the fastest girl group to reach the Arena.


SHINee - 3 years

SHINee slowly built up their fame as they continuously came out with one hit single after another. In 2011 SHINee was finally able to perform at the arena as part of their SHINee World tour.


Girls’ Generation (SNSD) - 4 years

While one of the most popular K-pop girl groups to this day, Girls’ Generation’s took a surprisingly long time to make it to the arena. After debuting in August of 2007, the group did not get the opportunity to perform at the arena until 2011 during their Girl’s Generation Tour.


Were you surprised by how long it took some of these groups to perform at the Olympic Arena? Let us know what you thought below!