The Korea Herald


Trouble-ridden Jisan festival canceled 3 days before opening

By Yoon Min-sik

Published : July 23, 2019 - 16:50

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The 2019 Jisan Rock Festival was officially canceled Tuesday, as the ambitious attempt to revive the festival came to a sudden and screeching halt, much to the anger and confusion of fans.

D2 Global Company, the organizer for the festival, said on its homepage earlier in the day that it had called off the event.

“2019 Jisan Rock Festival was to be held for three days at Jisan Forest Resort on July 26-28, but we decided to cancel the event as it was not possible to hold the concerts,” the online notice read.

The company said it had “lacked the perspective reading the trend of today, and that the biggest problem was that it did not communicate enough with the fans.” However, it did not elaborate on what had caused the cancellation of one of the largest music festivals in the country. 

Poster for 2019 Jisan Rock Festival (D2 Global Company) Poster for 2019 Jisan Rock Festival (D2 Global Company)

The company vowed to fully refund tickets that had already been sold and to reimburse cancellation fees for lodging that may have occurred for out-of-town festivalgoers. Those who wish to find out more have been notified to do so at (02) 6954-2333 or 070-5151-0442.

The abrupt cancellation has come as a shock to the industry, as it came just days before the event was due to kick off. The news only surfaced Tuesday afternoon via an exclusive report from a local media outlet.

It quoted one of the groups slated to perform at Jisan, who said that they were only notified of the cancellation on Monday. “I never expected anything like this to happen three days before the performance. I figure fans would be more shocked than we are,” the group was quoted as saying.

There had been no indication of an impending cancellation, and the calling off of a music festival of such magnitude less than a week before the opening is unprecedented.

On Friday, With Innovation -- a local operator of booking services for accommodations -- launched a 2019 Jisan Rock Festival package that offered up to 30 percent discount for those holding a ticket for the music event.

The history of the festival is complicated enough. The first annual rock festival to be based in Jisan, Gyeonggi Province, can be traced back to the Jisan Valley Rock Festival in 2009. When it relocated to Ansan in 2013, the resort decided to hold its own 2013 Jisan Rock World Festival that disappeared after just one year.

The original festival eventually moved back to Jisan in 2016 and 2017, but was canceled in 2018.

D2 Global Company organized the short-lived 2013 Jisan Rock World Festival.

Bad omens had been popping up prior to the shocking revelation. While many fans who visit music festivals have high expectations for foreign artists, the lineup for Jisan had only one foreign artist – Australia’s King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard -- until mid-July. While some heavy punchers were added in a July 15 release, lack of information so close to the opening baffled fans.

In Tuesday’s announcement, the organizers hinted at problems in recruiting artists for the festival, referring to the “many innate problems in concert-producing business in Korea.”

“Due to lack of communication between producers, the environment that forces us (festival organizers) to depend on foreign content to cast artists leads to excessive competition. This results in an even more hazardous environment for producing (concerts),” it said.

By Yoon MIn-sik