The third and last day of the Zandari Festa had begun and I intended not to miss a single performer I was interested in seeing. After learning from my mistakes on the first day and testing out my theories and routes on the second, I figured out the most efficient and effective routes to ensure I didn’t miss a performance and that I could watch enough of it to have fully enjoyed it. I realized I wouldn’t be able to cover as many performances as I did the first night, but so long as I could see a handful and truly listen to their music, that would suffice. I also visited the artist lounge that was just above the MUV Hall where I was able to talk with artists and delegates of the event.
I started the night with a group I was really interested in listening to live from just their one YouTube song that I sampled. Performing in the Evans Lounge, Today’s Hot Song is a Korean group that produces music in the folk and indie genre. The vocals of Taek Woo (택우) are melodious and he is accompanied by Gi Soo (기소) and Kim Joong Hoon (김종혼) on the guitar and percussion. They kept the audience intrigued through little bits between songs and giving the audience a feel of who they are. I highly recommend them to anyone looking to explore this genre of music.
The next performance on my list was Big Baby Driver Trio, another Korean group performing in Club Freebird. However they had me intrigued from their sample music I had heard and their profile. In this I learned that the four member group was formed by the singer songwriter, Big Baby Driver, who is known for being involved in Korean drama soundtracks for dramas like The Heirs (왕관을 쓰려는자, 그무게를 견뎌라-상속자들) and A Gentleman’s Dignity (신사의 품격). I can promise they did not disappoint my expectations as I really enjoyed their sound of indie rock.
In the K-art DDIM HALL, another one of my favourites took the stage coming from the United States was John OFA Rhee. Debuting on Superstar K7 (슈퍼스타 K7) in 2015, this group had quite a following and I found the vocalist John OFA Rhee’s (이요한) refreshing and soothing. An interesting story about this performance is that while watching and filming, I noticed the girl in front of me had her phone’s camera focused on the keyboard player the entire time, till it was made know to us less knowledge people (me) that the keyboard player was rather famous as he had a hand in the soundtracks in the popular Korean drama Goblin (쓸쓸하고 찬란하神-도깨비). All together their performance was really enjoyable and I can now say that I am now one of their fans.
In the Rolling Hall, the punk rock band Galaxy Express had a very luring sound about their music that just drew audiences in. Honestly, there isn’t much I can say as their music speaks for itself.
The next group I will talk about was, in my opinion, a crowd favourite and this group proved that language barriers are no obstacle when it comes to music. Coming all the way from Hungary, Bohemian Betyars is a lively group that really knows how to get an audience moving. From the minute I walked in the room, I could feel the energy bouncing back from them to the audience. Their sound is fresh and energetic and I was glad to be able to listen to this group again later at the after party where they went even more over the top with their performance.
The After Party
As part of the final day of Zandari Festa there was an after party beginning at 11:00pm, with 10,000 cases of beer. I honestly have never seen that much beer in my life nor do I intend to see that much ever again. Anyways, the after party consisted of people who bought tickets into the after party event, along with press, delegates and artists. The ones performing were a lot of the fan favourites like The Barberettes, Bohemian Betyars, and many more. It was an excellent way to end the festival and I was able to meet Arlo Maverick and many others as it gave us the chance to talk with artists and organizers. If you happen to be in South Korea during the beginning of October, I highly recommend attending Zandari Festa, and I am so grateful I was given this amazing opportunity to be a part of this year’s event. I don’t know what will top this during my year in Korea but I look forward to the challenge.
Till next time,