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Seoul Jazz Festival kicks off after two-year COVID-19 hiatus

 
People wait in line to enter the venue of Seoul Jazz Festival, which took place at the Olympic Park’s 88 Jandi Madang, in southeastern Seoul, on Friday. (Yonhap)
People wait in line to enter the venue of Seoul Jazz Festival, which took place at the Olympic Park’s 88 Jandi Madang, in southeastern Seoul, on Friday. (Yonhap)
Seoul Jazz Festival, a landmark annual outdoor jazz fest, kicked off its three-day concert series on Friday. The in-person festival resumed after a two-year break as South Korea scrapped most of its COVID-19 social distancing restrictions.

This year’s Seoul Jazz Festival took place at the Olympic Park’s 88 Jandi Madang in southern Seoul. While Friday’s performance was set to run from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m., some of the audiences came as early as 8 a.m. to get in a line to reserve the best spots.

Among the 10,000-strong crowd, Weki Meki’s Kim Do-yeon and singer Jeon So-mi were captured enjoying the long-awaited outdoor concert series, dancing to performers’ music while sipping on beer. 

The first day of the festival began with Los Angeles-based jazz trio Moonchild, who visited Korea for the first time to meet local fans. It was followed by British singer-songwriter Etham, who was also in the country for the first time. The artist performed his new song, “You’re the Reason,” which was released an hour ahead of his performing schedule. 

People watch stage performances at Seoul Jazz Festival at the Olympic Park’s 88 Jandi Madang, in southeastern Seoul, on Friday. (Yonhap)
People watch stage performances at Seoul Jazz Festival at the Olympic Park’s 88 Jandi Madang, in southeastern Seoul, on Friday. (Yonhap)
Including the two acts, American singer-songwriter Johnny Stimson and Korean singer Baek Ye-rin were to perform Friday. American R&B singer-songwriter Pink Sweat$ was to headline the first day of the Seoul Jazz Festival.

On Thursday, the singer-songwriter held a press conference with local reporters in Seoul and hinted that he is going to be a “spontaneous” performer onstage on Friday evening.

The lineup of performers for Saturday and Sunday include American singer-songwriter Alec Benjamin, British electronic pop-duo Honne, American modern jazz vocalist Jose James, hip-hop trio Epik High, singer-songwriter Sunwoo Jung and sibling duo AKMU.

By Jie Ye-eun (yeeun@heraldcorp.com)
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