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[Herald Review] Parking lot turns circus tent for Halloween

The first edition of the Escape: Psycho Circus Korea music festival lit up the pre-Halloween weekend in Seoul.

The Halloween-themed festival, organized by US festival company Insomniac, landed in Korea this year at the parking lot of Seoul Grand Park in Gwacheon, Gyeonggi Province. The lot was transformed into a circus-themed wonderland, filled with sounds from more than 27 notable dance music names.
2019 Escape: Psycho Circus Korea (EDM & Co.)
2019 Escape: Psycho Circus Korea (EDM & Co.)

The mainstage Slaughter House set up inside a large circus tent featured a stage designed in the smiling mouth of a clown.

Dream Hackers, a Korean producer who has made his name in the US electronic music scene, officially kicked off the festival, presenting “Lazer Beam” and “Tik Tok,” followed by the likes of Uglyduck, Raiden, Kungs and Slushii.

The world-class DJ Marshmello headlined Friday night with an original set list and a mix of pop star Katy Perry’s “Firework,” getting the attendees singing along.

On the next day, San Francisco-based DJ Jauz presented a “Baby Shark” remix, which he first released at the Coachella festival earlier this year.

Before presenting the song, he said that it was one he “must play in Korea,” referring to how the old campfire song that became a cultural phenomenon across the globe was reinvented by Korean children’s entertainment brand Pinkfong.

Later, Swedish electronic dance music duo Galantis took the stage. The duo, which has often performed at music festivals in Korea, held up the Korean flag on the stage, earning big cheers from the audience.

Kaskade, who hails from the Windy City of Chicago, wrapped the night up.

Local DJs -- GooseBumps, Scene, Cchekoz, Comarobot and more -- graced the outdoor stage, shaped like a boom box, entertaining attendees despite the sudden cold weather.

Held on the weekend before Halloween, festivalgoers showed up in costume, ranging from Harry Potter, angels, bloodstained doctors and zombies to the latest film version of Joker.

Insomniac, a longtime dance music event organizer based in Southern California, organizes multiple dance music festivals, including Nocturnal Wonderland, Beyond Wonderland, Electric Forest, Electric Daisy Carnival and Day of the Dead.

It exports its festival brands to 10 countries around the world, including Korea. Earlier in the summer, the organizer hosted the first leg of Electric Daisy Carnival Korea at Seoul Land.

By Im Eun-byel (