Back To Top

EDC Korea attracts 90,000 with creative stage designs

Global EDM festival’s choice of venue questionable

Electric Daisy Carnival Korea premiered last weekend, attracting some 90,000 festivalgoers for two days of electronic dance music at Seoul Land.

The event, known as EDC Korea and hosted by US festival company Insomniac for the past 23 years, is based in Las Vegas but travels around the world to countries including Mexico, China and Japan.

The global festival landed in South Korea for the first time this year at Seoul Land, an amusement park in Gwacheon, Gyeonggi Province, a 30-minute drive from central Seoul. According to the organizers, the location was chosen because of the festival’s carnival theme.

Kinetic Field (EDM&Co)
Kinetic Field (EDM&Co)

A total of 96 DJ acts from Korea and elsewhere participated in the festival. There were more foreigners than anticipated, accounting for 30 percent of ticket sales, according to the organizers.

This year’s lineup included world-class acts such as Alesso, DJ Snake, Timmy Trumpet, Alison Wonderland, Deadmau5 and Yellow Claw. Korean DJ team Groovyroom X Avin, noted for its participation at EDC Las Vegas earlier this year, took the stage as well, dropping a mix of head-banging music.

What set EDC Korea apart from other music festivals were the five creatively designed stages: Kinetic Field, Circuit Grounds, Bass Pod, Boombox Art Car and Wide Awake Around the World hosted by Pioneer DJ. The exceptional stage designs were in line with the overall fairytale image of the theme park.

Stages, spread throughout the theme park, were connected to each other with neon installation-decorated roads, called Electric Avenue, Daisy Lane and Rainbow Road. Festivalgoers could also boost their adrenaline levels on 10 amusement park rides.

As with any other EDM festival, attendees showed up in unique costumes -- an Indian chief, Dr. Strange from the Disney film of the same name, Dobby from “Harry Potter,” fairies and more.

However, because the theme park was not set aside exclusively for the festival, festivalgoers and crowds of families with young children inevitably mixed. Toddlers and young children were seen dining in the same places as festivalgoers dressed up as half-naked police officers or clad in revealing swimsuits, raising questions about the appropriateness of choosing an amusement park as the venue of a raucous EDM festival.

Heavily intoxicated attendees were occasionally spotted, too, and police were called to the scene.

EDM festivals cannot be separated from alcohol or sensational costumes, raising the question of why a festival open only to adults born before December 2000 was held at an amusement park full of families with young kids who were looking for a fun day out.

By Im Eun-byel (