As there a host of events scattered all over town for people to get into the spirit (pun intended) of Halloween, another festival featuring mostly expats and surrounding communities gives partygoers a chance to see more than 50 bands and artists in one location.
The Howlin Weenie Fest, now coming up to its fifth anniversary, will take place this Saturday in the expat neighborhood of Haebangchon, kicking off around 2 p.m.
Featuring a wealth of local and Korean talent, the festival has grown from a celebration of a handful of foreign musicians to a must-see afternoon and evening event of some of the best live acts around time.
The added bonus in recent festivals has been the emergence of venues specializing in theater sports and improve comedy venues, that has led to the recent boom in stand up comedy nights.
Many of these comedians are now touring the Asia circuit and will MC certain bars.
Comprising of some seven venues performing over a 12 hour period, HBCFest has come a long way, though not without a few teething problems.
Originally conceived to bring out foreign local talent - and provide a chance to get together for performing and networking - the event gained a life of its own as local pub and restaurant owners threw their weight behind the idea.
With the success of the first fest, organizers and sponsors got more businesses involved, as demand for a chance to see expat bands perform has surged in recent years.
This led to the obvious problems of holding a festival on two sides of a narrow busy street. Noise complaints and traffic risks.
Neighbors alerted police and venues with stages nearer the entrance to the street forcibly had the plug pulled.
However, with some good PR work from the staff at DeeLeeBob music armed with a decibel level monitor and a copy of the legal requirements of permissible volume, following similar complaints from the LRD studio, things have quieted down. Literally.
The traffic chaos has also eased thanks to many venues being located either upstairs, downstairs or at the back of the premises.
The venue owners have also complied on noise levels with some venues not featuring live acts beyond 7 p.m.
The organizers are very pleased with this year`s turnout.
"I think this will be a slam dunk fest if I`ve ever seen one," said Lance Reegan Deel, manager of Deeleebob music and frontman of LRD Band.
Lance, a prolific songwriter and performer, who originally hails from Canada, has seen the music scene in Korea grow at an amazing rate.
Regularly touring Korea, and Asia with LRD he spends a great amount of energy when back in Seoul liaising with bar owners about putting on events.
The feedback he gets is very positive.
"The bar owners all love music, and they love the fact that their patrons come and have a fantastic time. This is their way of saying thank you."
Phillies Up and Downstairs
Ole Stompers Rock Spot and Rocky Mountain Tavern.
The line is as follows.
Phillies 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. - Host Jim Gaynor
2 p.m. The Two Guitars
3 p.m. Jonathan Stephen
4 p.m. John Wade
5 p.m. John Valentine
6 p.m. Mia Zepeda
7 p.m. Bethany B
8 p.m. Sugar Brown
Phillies Basement 4:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. - Host Jeremy Toombs
3:30 p.m. Junior Panthers
4:30 p.m. Princess Disease
5:30 p.m. Drunk N Disorderly
6:30 p.m. Cassie Norton Band
7:30 p.m. Fan Death
8:30 p.m. B Z B Z
9:30 p.m. Random Animals
10:30 p.m. Dharma Club
11:30 p.m. Grooble
12:30 a.m. L.R.D. Band - AC/DC - 4 Angus`s Show
HBC Cafe 4 p.m. to Late - Host Allison Miller
4 p.m. Rebecca Cant
5 p.m. Allison Millar
6 p.m. Nolan Stu duo
7 p.m. Kerry Smith Duo
8 p.m. Saggy Q
9 p.m. Jen Waescher
10 p.m. Mikey`s special late night drunk Jam Space.
Cafe Alexandria 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. - Host Steve from Kimchi Cowboys
4 p.m. Kimchi Cowboys
5 p.m. Noah Nite
6 p.m. Jazzy J
7 p.m. John Redmond
8 p.m. Bradley
VFW 3 p.m. to 12 a.m. - Host Brian Aylward
3 p.m. First Round Hero`s
4 p.m. Neoteen Idols
5 p.m. International Goat Breeders
6 p.m. Bint Eastwood
7 p.m. Seoul Finger
8 p.m. Solitaire Love Affair
9 p.m. Puppy Cats
10 p.m. Like A Fox
11 p.m. Mirror House
Jacoby`s 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. - Host Yvon Malenfant
4 p.m. Roger Peacock
5 p.m. Darren Mullins
6 p.m. Joe Hegel
7 p.m. Yvon
8 p.m. Greg James Hanford
9 p.m. Zak`s twin guitar attack
Orange Tree 4p.m. to 10p.m. - Host Mississippi Dave
4 p.m. Ryan Gerard
5 p.m. G.T. Arpe
6 p.m. Ill With The Consumption
7 p.m. El-Skel
8 p.m. Banco Acoustic
9 p.m. Mississippi Dave
Stompers - 10 p.m. Los Diablos Blancos
Rocky Mountain Tavern - 10 p.m. Guns n Roses Tribute Band
For more information, visit www.hbcfest.com
Signups for the HBC compilation album will take place. Check out DeeLeeBob Music for details.
To get Haebangchon, leave Noksapyeong Station at exit 2 and head toward Namsan Tunnel. At the bottom of the hill, veer left at the large brown kimchi pots and walk up the hill.
Bus numbers 143, 401 and 406 take you straight there.
As it is a relatively quiet neighborhood, Reegan-Diehl adds as a reminder, people must respect the neighborhood and try to keep out of the streets and inside the pubs.
T-shirts will be on sale for 10,000 won.
By John Redmond