Top 5: Ways Korea Nails Music Festivals

August 01, 2017



I've been to a few music festivals in Korea, and my experience has tended to mirror my general impression of the country: genius yet unpretentiously convenient.

Venue

In a country that barely has enough livable land to support its population, it's no surprise that Korea has to get crafty when it comes to choosing a venue. I've been to festivals in Korea held within huge soccer stadiums and the most recent (Greenplugged Seoul 2017) was at a bustling park within Seoul. The latter seems unlikely, but they made it work.


Respecting personal space

Did I mention Korea barely has enough space to support its enormous population? Personal space in this country can be an issue day-to-day, but compared to my concert experiences in Canada, concert-goers in Korea are more mindful of personal space. There's no crowding or pushing. Unless you find yourself in the standing area in front of the stage at a Big Bang concert. But that's a different story.

Umbrellas

Canada thinks it's so great, but the people there only use umbrellas as shelter from the rain. What about snow!? And sun!? Granted, Canadians don't tend to think of precipitation as an acidic danger, but we could all use protection from the rays of the sun.



Charging stations

Phone batteries are available for rent and it's so simple yet so genius. The need for extra battery power is a guaranteed necessity at all-day festivals. They rent them out by the hour for something like $3 or for the day for $10.  


Line up

Diverse! Perhaps this isn't specific to Korean festivals, but I've always been impressed by the diversity of artists at Korean music festivals. The Greenplugged Festival had larger stages for main acts, but had separate sections for acoustic buskers, indie artists, and jazzy bands.

Music festivals are one of the best things about summer. The only setback in Korea is that they have to fit them all in before the rainy season starts in July. See a list of 2017 music festivals here. Don't let the name of the festivals fool you; the Seoul Jazz Festival consisted of a lot more than just jazz with a ton of big-name, non-jazz artists (Zico, Bewhy, 10cm, Crush, etc). 

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