Music Festival Boom in Korea


Until the 1990s, music festivals were unimaginable to locals Korean music fans.  A couple of festivals have begun to be organized after the mid-1990s and it has grown into a big business since the mid-2000s. The year 2013 would be the peak of the festival boom. Yearlong fests are going on smooth and the new ones are still emerging. About the list of the festivals between March and August this year, see below. While some are international ones, while others are largely local. That’s why some have English websites, wile others are not.

What kinds of music are there? There are different genres/styles in different festivals: pop, rock, jazz, electronica etc. But the most popular ones in the local festivals would be ‘indie pop/rock,’ which is not-so-popular to  international ‘K-pop’ fandom.  You can check how it sounds in the website of one of the (local)  festivals in May: Greenplugged Fastival ( above is the poster). Although there are clash of schedule with two other festivals (!), the two-days tickets are sold-out already.

I wonder if something similar is going on in other parts of Asia. If so (with differences in many respects, of course), it needs to be under serious investigation and discussion. One thing I can say for sure at this moment is that ‘live music’ is becoming more important than ‘recorded music’ for non-mainstream Korean pop musicians and their fans. But that would not be the whole story. Any information we can share? (HJ)

<Music Festivals in Korea in 2013>

Seoul Live Music Festa Vol.14 March 30 5 theaters in Hongdae, Seoul-si
Beautiful Mint Life 2013 April 27,28 Goyang Aram Nuri, Ilsan
Metal Fest 2013 May 9 Olympic Hall, Olympic Park, Seoul-si
Seoul Jazz Festival 2013 May 17,18 Olympic Park, Seoul-si
Jarasum Rhythm & BBQ Festival May 17,18 Jarasum, Gapyeong-gun Gyeonggi-do
Green Plugged Seoul 2013 May 17,18 Nanji Hangang Park, Seoul-si
2013 World DJ Festival May 17-19 Narukke Festival Park (나루께축제공원), Yangpyeong-gun Gyeonggi-do
Rainbow Island 2013 June 7-9 Namiseom Island, Gapyeong-gun Gyeonggi-do
Ultra Korea 2013 June 14,15 Olympic Park Stadium, Seoul-si
Muse in City June 15 Olympic Park, Seoul-si
2013 Ansan Valley Rock Festival July 26-28 Daebu Sea Breeze Theme Park (대부바다향기테마파크), Ansan-si, Gyeonggi-do
Jisan World Rock Festival August 2-4 Jisan Valley Ski Resort, Icheon-si, Gyeonggi-do
Incheon Pentaport Rock Festival August 2-4 Songdo International city, Incheon-si
Super Sonic 2013 August 14-16 Olympic Park Seoul-si

☞ Festival Homepages:
Seoul Live Music Festa: (Korean)
Beautiful Mint Life: (Korean)
Green Plugged Seoul: (Korean)
2013 World DJ Festival: (Korean, English)
Rainbow Island: (Korean)
Ultra Music Festival Korea (Korean, English)
Ansan Valley Rock Festival: (Korean)

☞ Reservations
[Metal Fest 2013] (English)
[Seoul Jazz Festival] (English)
[World DJ Festival] (English)
[Rainbow Island] (English)

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