Music in the mountains and fun in the sun
With summer in full swing, the time is upon us for the two biggest music festivals in South Korea. With a little bit of everything, Valley Rock Music & Arts Festival and Pentaport Rock Festival have put together line-ups for music lovers of all ages.
Valley Rock Music & Arts Festival
After two years at Daebu Island in Ansan, Valley Rock Festival is making its grand return to its roots. At its original stomping ground of Jisan Resort – located just south of Seoul – brace yourself for a weekend of music in the mountains on July 22-24.
Those who suffered through midge bites and hour-long hikes from their cabins to the festival in Ansan will rejoice; the festival organizers explain “we listened to and reflected the opinions of the audience by returning to the space that created good memories for Valley Rock”.
This year, Red Hot Chili Peppers headline the show on Friday, with DJ/producer Zedd taking to the main stage on Saturday and Disclosure and Travis rounding things out on Sunday.
Other names to hit the different stages at the event are Kula Shaker, Biffy Clyro, Sekai No Owari and Tegan and Sara. As always, the festival also selects a full line-up of local artists ranging from bands Lowdown30, Bye Bye Birdman, Guckkasten and Jang Kiha and the Faces, to Korean hip-hop and R&B artists Zico and Dean.
Valley Rock Music & Arts Festival also includes a variety of food and drink booths alongside a busking area and various interactive sections. Past festivals have included swimming pools or water areas, so it might also be a good idea to bring along a swimsuit.
Camping is available on the festival grounds, though fires and cooking are not allowed. Tickets cost KRW 15,000 and tent rental is available for an extra KRW 57,000. Tickets must be purchased online at Interpark, Yes24, Ticketlink, Hana Ticket or A Ticket and are only available to three-day ticketholders.
There are also accommodation packages available for those who don’t wish to rough it in a tent. Each package is for three days/two nights as folks can choose between condos at Yangji Pine Resort or a room at Ichon Miranda Hotel, with prices ranging from KRW 440,000 to KRW 660,000. There is also a jjimjilbang package ranging KRW 18,000-22,000 per night. All packages include a free shuttle to the festival grounds and can be booked through the Valley Rock Festival website.
Festival passes are KRW 160,000 for one day and KRW 260,000 for three days and can be purchased at the venue or online at Interpark, Yes24, Ticketline, Hana Ticket, A.Ticket and Naver Booking.
And if you are looking for an easy way to get to and from the festival, never fear. Organizers have set up three shuttle routes from Seoul to Jisan Resort that leave from Seoul Station, Yangjae Station and Kiheung Station. Buses from Seoul and Yangjae leave at 10am, 12pm and 4pm every day of the festival, and return trips will leave every hour from 12pm to 4am. Tickets are KRW 15,000 each way.
From Kiheung Station, buses leave every two hours from 11am to 7pm and return every two hours from 8pm to 4am. Tickets are KRW 10,000. All tickets must be booked in advance on Interpark.
More information can be found at the website at http://valleyrockfestival.mnet.com/2016/index.asp.
Pentaport Rock Festival
Hailed as the oldest music in Korea, Pentaport celebrates its 11th edition this year on August 12-14 at Songdo Pentaport Park in Incheon, with a strong lineup featuring headliners Weezer, Panic! At the Disco, Suede, Two Door Cinema and Nell.
Other foreign acts, including The Oral Cigarettes, Run River North, At The Drive-In, Crossfaith, Nothing But Thieves and Black Honey, will join locals Idiotape, Crash, The Koxx, Galaxy Express, Rudepaper and many more, with a special Rapbeat Show stage featuring Korean hip-hop artists Geeks, Incredivle, JaMezz, Microdot and Zion.T.
There will be a campground at the festival with tent rental services available. Information on camping tickets and the cost of rentals will be available at a later time on the concert’s website.
Until July 31, tickets for Pentaport are available for a discount, with one-day tickets going for KRW 123,500, two-day tickets for KRW 171,000 and three-day tickets costing KRW 209,000. After that, tickets will be regularly priced at KRW 130,000 won, KRW 180,000 and KRW 220,000 for one, two, and three days, respectively. They can be purchased in advance on Interpark, Yes24, Melon Ticket, Timon and Enticket with information on VIP tickets to be announced on the Pentaport website at a later date.
To make coming and going from the festival grounds more convenient, Pentaport is offering shuttle routes from three locations in Seoul to the event and at four stops from the festival back to the city. Buses will leave from Sadang, City Hall and Hapjeong at 9.30am, 11.30am and 3.30 pm. The return journey sees shuttles running to Hapjeong, Gangbyeon, Express Bus Terminal and Jamsil every hour from 10.50pm to 1.50am. Several other routes are also available from outside Seoul, including Daegu, Busan, Daejeon and Gwangju.
Tickets can be reserved online through the festival website and until August 10, a special one-way ticket is available for KRW 9,000. Regular one-way tickets cost KRW 14,000-15,000 with round trip tickets available at KRW 23,000 won. The weekend of the festival, shuttle tickets are KRW 15,000-16,000 one-way and can only be purchased between 12pm and 8pm. All tickets come with a free drink on the bus.
More information can be found at the website http://pentaportrock.com/#main.
Emma Kalka is a freelance writer who runs the blog “Discovering the Korean Underground” on Tumblr, which focuses on the Korean underground hip-hop scene. Check it out here, http://discoveringkoreanunderground.tumblr.com/.