The Korea Herald

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Music festivals gear up for summer season

By Lee Jung-youn

Published : April 23, 2024 - 18:34

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Ultra Korea 2022 held at Seoul Olympic Stadium (Ultra Korea's official Instagram account) Ultra Korea 2022 held at Seoul Olympic Stadium (Ultra Korea's official Instagram account)

Music festivals are gearing up for the summer season with artists of various genres from around the world set to ignite the summer in Korea, transcending borders and bringing diverse musical experiences.

The Seoul Jazz Festival 2024, celebrating its 16th edition this year, will herald festival season on the summer's cusp, from May 31 to June 2.

On the festival's opening day, the band Day6 and singer-songwriter and rapper Kik5o will take to the stage along with American singer-songwriter Lauv. On June 1, unique vocalist Wonstein and jazz pianist Jimindorothy will perform, to be followed by singer-songwriter Ha Hyun-sang on June 2.

Lauv is one of the artists being spotlighted at this year’s Seoul Jazz Festival, presenting distinct performances on the festival's first and final days. Foreign artists including Gipsy Kings, Caravan Palace, Jungle, Laufey and Cory Wong will be performing in Korea for the first time.

Performances by leading Korean jazz artists, including the Yun Seok-cheol Trio, violinist Danny Koo's collaboration with the jazz pianist Cho Yoonsung Trio, pop-jazz singer-songwriter Lee Jin-ah, jazz vocalist Kim Yu-jin and saxophonist and producer Jason Lee will capture the ears of festivalgoers.

The Peak Festival, which has been held annually at Nanji Hangang Park since 2022, is to take place June 1 and 2.

Various leading artists in the Korean band scene, including Nell, Crying Nut, FT Island, CN Blue, Soran, Glen Check and Monni, will grace the stage. Emerging artists such as Meaningful Stone, Onewe and Dasutt will also appear.

Kim Yun A, vocalist of the acclaimed co-ed band Jaurim, and Kang Hyung-ho, a member of the crossover group Forestella who also performs solo under the name Pitta, will also take the stage.

Additional lineup details will be announced later through the festival's official social media channels.

Fans of EDM should mark their calendars for Ultra Korea 2024 at Paradise City on Yeongjongdo in Incheon, from June 7-9.

Ultra Music Festival, having originated in the United States in 1999, marks its 10th anniversary since landing in Korea under the name Ultra Korea. Paradise City will host Ultra Korea for the next three years.

Festivalgoers will be able to enjoy performances from global top-tier artists in electronic music, including Swedish House Mafia, Armin van Buuren, Afrojack, Alison Wonderland, Artbat, Deadmau5, Knock2, RL Grime, Seven Lions, Slander, Testpilot, W&W and more who have made significant contributions to the global music scene.

Special packages, including a hotel stay at Paradise City, will go on sale at the end of April, allowing revelers to enjoy both the festival and facilities.

S2O Korea 2023 held at Seoul Land (S2O Korea's official Instagram account) S2O Korea 2023 held at Seoul Land (S2O Korea's official Instagram account)

The DMZ Peace Train Music Festival, which explores the meaning of peace and solidarity through music, will take place June 15-16 near the Demilitarized Zone in Cheorwon, Gangwon Province.

The festival upholds the principle of respecting musicians from all genres and generations without highlighting specific headliners. Pioneers of the ambient house genre, The Orb, will make their first visit to Korea, presenting the essence of dreamy electronic music. Porridge Radio, known for blending emotive sounds with raw punk-rock elements, will also take the stage.

Korean musicians including Silica Gel, a rising act in the Korean music scene, singer-songwriter Hanroro, rock band Dabda and post-rock band Seaweed Mustache will perform on the stage. Guitarist-singer-songwriter Kim Soochul, who has left a mark on the history of Korean popular music across generations and genres, will perform as well.

A special feature of the Peace Train Festival is the "Peace Camp" program, catering to those who want to enjoy camping before the diverse performances. Information about special programs utilizing nearby historical spaces will be announced later.

Tone & Music Festival, encompassing R&B and soul, as well as various music genres derived from them, will take place June 15-16 at the Olympic Park 88 Lawn Field in Songpa-gu, Seoul.

Legendary hip-hop trio Epik High, Onew of SHINee, singer Lee Hi, Yugyeom, boy band Treasure and the innovative music group 0Wave have been added to the final lineup.

Not only domestic artists like Dynamic Duo, Giriboy, I.M, George, Thama, Paul Blanco, Ash Island, BIG Naughty and Siso, but also international musicians including Fly By Midnight, Valutboy and Tomioka Ai will contribute to making the festival even more diverse.

Four emerging rookie artists -- Creespy, Rohann, Blessfor and Otis Lim -- will also present unique music live on stage.

S2O Korea, now in its third edition in Korea, is the world's largest water EDM festival, derived from the Thai New Year festival, Songkran, where people splash water on each other to celebrate and wish for blessings in the new year.

Last year, S2O Korea 2023 drew around 40,000 festivalgoers over two days, making itself a leading summer festival in Korea. This year's S2O Korea takes place July 13-14 at Seoul Land in Gwacheon, Gyeonggi Province.

The lineup includes Nicky Romero from the Netherlands, Israeli psytrance DJ duo Vini Vici, Salvatore Ganacci and Ray Volpe.

Incheon Pentaport Rock Festival 2024, one of the largest rock festivals in Korea, will take place at Songdo Moonlight Festival Park from Aug. 2-4.

The lineup has not been revealed yet, but the Incheon city government and Incheon Tourism Organization plan to expand the scale of the festival with an additional budget of 2 billion won ($1.45 million) through 2026.

At last year’s Pentaport, performances were presented by over 60 teams, including international rock bands like The Strokes and Ellegarden, as well as domestic musicians like Kim Changwan Band, Chang Kiha, Leenalchi and Band Nah. The event attracted 150,000 visitors.

Tone & Music Festival 2023 held at Olympic Park's 88 Lawn Field (Tone & Music Festival;s official Instagram account) Tone & Music Festival 2023 held at Olympic Park's 88 Lawn Field (Tone & Music Festival;s official Instagram account)