Apply Now for Zandari Festa 2017

I know I’ve said it before but music festivals rock (pun intended) and Zandari Festa, Korea’s largest music showcase festival is one that I’d love to attend some day. It’s a fabulous collection of Korean bands and international artists

About Zandari Festa

Founded in 2012, Zandari Festa takes place in the Hongdae area of Seoul, Korea. The music festival brings together a collection of great Korean and international bands and musicians, along with music industry professionals from around the world, in the hotbed of Korea’s indie music scene for 3 days of music. The best part? One wristband gets you access to all the shows.

Zandari Festa 2016 featured more than 160 bands from 18 different countries. The festival was also attended by Korean and overseas music industry staff, including festival representatives from Primavera Sound, Focus Wales, Liverpool Sound City, V-Rox, Exit, Tune in Tel Aviv and more.

Zandari Festa 2017 will be held from Friday, September 29th to Sunday, October 1st.

Are you a musician?

Zandari Festa is accepting applications from international acts until May 31st, 2017 for this year’s show. So hurry, you don’t have much time! Applications from Korea-based artists will be accepted from until June 30th, 2017. Interested in applying (or know someone who might be)? You can do so in English on the Zandari Festa website.

They accept applications from musicians of all genres; however, there are some requirements for bands who would like to apply including playing regular shows over the last 2 years and having released an EP or album within the last three years (see the link above for full details).

Want to know what the music festival is like? Keep reading to hear from a couple of musicians about their experiences.

National Pigeon Unity on Zandari Festa

National Pigeon Unity has played at Zandari Festa every year since 2014. The high-energy Seoul rock duo showcased material from their third full-length, Hero, during their Zandari Festa 2016 showcase before releasing the album in November. Drummer Young-mok Park answered questions about the festival.

Why do you like Zandari Festa?
This festival is made specifically for musicians and because of that, all of the artists are treated with a high level of respect. Playing at Zandari Festa is a lot of fun, and it’s a great way to make new international friends. Each year, more and more overseas bands are delegates come to Seoul for Zandari Festa. It’s great getting to see and meet new bands from other countries, and getting to hang out with music industry staff from all over the world.

Why should international bands come to Seoul for Zandari Festa?
Korean fans are a lot of fun to play for! And there are lots of people from the Korean music industry at the festival each year too. An increasing number of global media, international record labels, and overseas bookers and festival staff come to Zandari Festa too. The festival puts a big emphasis on friendship and creates lots of opportunities to network with all of the delegates and other musicians. It’s really easy to meet lots of new people and make some great contacts during Zandari Festa.

Magnolian on Zandari Festa

Last year, Magnolian became the first act from Mongolia to play at Zandari Festa. This year has seen Magnolian playing showcases at SXSW in March and at CMW in May. The mastermind behind the project, Dulguun Bayasgalan, answered a few questions about his experience at Zandari Festa.

Why did you like being a part of Zandari Festa 2016?
We had an amazing time at Zandari Festa! The venues were all in Hongdae, which is the best neighbourhood in Seoul for live music and has loads of great food. Also, the swag at Zandari Festa was the best!

What are some of the benefits of playing at Zandari Festa for international acts?
There aren’t many opportunities to meet music industry people in Asia. But the delegates at Zandari Festa are really approachable and easy to connect with, so the festival is a perfect way to meet new people.

Would you recommend that other bands make the trip to Seoul for Zandari Festa?
I would definitely recommend for other bands to check out Zandari Festa, and I hope to see another Mongolian act there this year!

How to apply

Applications are now open!!

  • Who can apply? Bands from all over the world, all types of music (certain restrictions apply, see application for details)
  • Until when? Wednesday, May 31st 

Just the facts – Zandari Festa

  • When: Friday, September 29th to Sunday, October 1st
  • Where: Hongdae, Seoul

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. I spent a lot of time in clubs/bars in Hongdae when I lived in Seoul so a music festival that happens there… oh yeah. And if you’re a musician or band, apply now! Seriously, do it!

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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