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Summer brings a feast of festivals to Busan

City hosts international contests, concerts and summer events

Busan is running a plethora of fiestas this month that will be the envy of those living in the northern part of the country.

First and foremost, the city of festivals is currently running the Busan Sea Festival until Aug. 9 at several locations in the nation’s second biggest city. The largest events will be held at Haeundae beach with other events taking place at Gwangalli, Songdo, Dadaepo and Songjeong Beaches. There is also a sailing competition at Suyeong Marina. 
Sailors participate in a yacht competition off the coast of Busan on Sunday. (Yonhap News)
Sailors participate in a yacht competition off the coast of Busan on Sunday. (Yonhap News)

The sheer number of international events, concerts and everything else possible would make the most energetic of people exhausted. Then there are 38 marine sport competitions in six fields to either watch or participate in.

In its 16th year, more than 30 agencies related to arts, water sports, groups, local media, district and county offices are participating in the Busan Sea Festival.

Some events to look out for are the supermodel beachwear fashion show, a salsa dance festival, a bikini contest, fin swimming lessons, the Shanghai Circus and for something completely different, a watermelon punch contest.

Held under the theme of “Into the Sea of Festivities,” this year’s Busan International Rock Festival will host 26 bands at the Busan International Rock Festival. Along with the international film festival in October, the Busan International Rock Festival has played a vital role in promoting the artistic affluence of Busan, the largest port city in the nation.

Running from Aug. 5-7 at Samrak Riverside Park, the Rock Festival will make your head bob to a strong lineup of local bands that includes fan favorites Crying Nut, No Brain, Guckkastein, Heaven Shall Burn, Mongol 800, Boohwal, YB and Kim Chang-wan Band.

For that international flavor, Firehouse from the U.S. and The Haunted from Sweden will put the lead back in metal.

For the Rock Festival’s lineup, check out (Korean and English).

The buck doesn’t stop with just head-banging, moshing, fist waving music; there is also the International Hip Hop Festival (, Korean only) which features 16 B-boy troupes out to murder the beats in Busan from Aug. 2-3 at Haeundae Beach.

With all these festivals happening at the same time, it would seem that the city hired the best magicians to bring it all together; in a way, it did.

The Busan International Magic Festival featuring famous magicians from home and abroad will mesmerize from Aug. 4-7 at Busan Citizens Hall, with the opening ceremony held at Haeundae Beach’s special stage. Visit for information regarding the magicians, the dates, times and location for their performances and the different themes happening on any of the four days of the festival.

In addition to all this fun, a youth band competition and a supermodel pageant will also be held during the Sea Festival. There will also be a wide variety of beach sports including rowing, canoe rafting, yachting, windsurfing and beach volleyball taking place.

For more information on the Sea Festival, visit, which is available in both Korean and English.

By Yoav Cerralbo (