Zandari Festa 2016

Image courtesy of Zandari Festa
Image courtesy of Zandari Festa

Just like I mentioned last year when I wrote about Zandari Festa, it’s one of the music festivals that’s on my “I really want to attend” list and someday, I’ll get back to Korea to attend. I love music festivals of all kinds but the chance to see so many Korean musicians in one place, would be a dream for a music writer. But Zandari Festa isn’t just about Korean musicians, musicians from all over the world play the festival so it’s one you’ll want to catch if you’re in Korea from September 30th – October 3rd. Plus, if you’re in a band, applications to play the festival are open until July 31.

About Zandari Festa

This year’s Zandari Festa will take place from September 30th – October 3rd and will see more than 150 Korean and international acts performing at 10 venues in Seoul. You just need one wristband to catch all the action. It’s a young – it was founded in 2012 – but growing music festival that had musicians from 15 different countries last year. This year’s promises to be another amazing showcase of Korean and international music.

Juck Juck Grunzie at Zandari Festa 2015 | Image courtesy of Zandari Festa
Juck Juck Grunzie at Zandari Festa 2015 | Image courtesy of Zandari Festa

Curious what musicians think

Keep reading for some thoughts from two bands who’ve played Zandari Festa in the past. And if you’re interested in playing the festival, applications are open until July 31st (click here).

Quote from Juck Juck Grunzie about Zandari Festa

Juck Juck Grunzie played at Zandari Festa each year between 2012 and 2015.  The band’s vocalist and synthesizer player Ahreum Lee recently moved to Canada and is living in Montreal.

Here are some quotes from Ahreum:

What are some of the things you like best about the festival?

In Korea, there are so many big festivals that have big budgets to attract famous international musicians. Those festivals are good, but if you want to see and experience the real indie scene in Korea then Zandari Festa is the event for you. Zandari is made by musicians and happens in Hongdae, an area of Seoul where there are many live venues. The festival is not about selling tickets, it’s about showcasing the talents of musicians and the indie scene.

More and more international bands and delegates are traveling to Seoul each year for Zandari Festa. Why do you think this event is good for overseas musicians to play at?

Whenever Juck Juck Grunzie play outside of Korea, I like playing with local bands to get a good sense of the local scene there and to make new friends with fellow musicians. And I think that must appeal to the overseas bands that come and play Zandari Festa as well.  Like I said before, it’s a real good way to get introduced to the real local indie scene in Korea.

How long will you live in Canada for? Will Juck Juck Grunzie be doing any tours or releasing any music while you’re living abroad?

I think I’m going to stay in Canada for at least two years but things are still a bit up in the air. Juck Juck Grunzie don’t have any plans for international tours right now, but we’re going to release a three-song digital EP soon.

Quote from Diealright about Zandari Festa

Diealright played at Zandari Festa for the first time in 2015.  And the trio were included in the first lineup announcement for Zandari Festa 2016.

Here are some quotes from guitarist and vocalist Song-Hwa Chae:

Why are you excited to be playing at Zandari Festa 2016?

I think because it feels like a “real” festival. People are free to hop around between all the different venues and can go watch shows wherever they want.  The bands that play at the event are all really good and everyone is really excited to be involved, so I think that makes Zandari Festa a lot more interesting than other festivals too.

Why do you think Zandari Festa is good for Korea’s indie scene?

It’s a great opportunity for musicians to promote themselves to a different audience and to music industry staff from around the world.  And as I mentioned before, because people have a wristband that allows them to enjoy all the different venues, it is a good way for the clubs to get some attention too.

What does Diealright have planned for its Zandari Festa 2016 showcase?

We’re not sure yet, but we’re thinking we might let people hear a few songs from the new album we’re working on now.

Just the facts

Applications are now open!!

  • Who can apply? Bands from all over the world, all types of music, so no matter what style of music you play, apply!
  • Until when? July 31, 2016.
Diealright | Image courtesy of Zandari Festa
Diealright | Image courtesy of Zandari Festa

Final Thoughts

Seriously, if you’re in Korea during Zandari Festa you should really check it out – you just need one wristband for all the fun and music. And if you’re in a band, you only have one week to apply to play the festival so don’t wait. Man, I wish I was going…

Cindy Zimmer

Live life to the fullest everyday - this is a the philosophy I try to live by and it's taken me on many adventures. I write about Korean culture from a non-Korean perspective as the editor/founder of ATK Magazine and I'm the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Toronto Korean Film Festival (TKFF). Previously, I ran a Korean-English language exchange group (in Toronto) for 3 years to stay connected to my three years living in Korea as an English teacher. I love music, film, food and sports and write about 3 of the 4.

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