SXSW 2018 – Korea Spotlight, formerly known as K-Pop Night Out

Quick on the heels of last week’s major announcement of artists, South by Southwest (SXSW) released information about this year’s major SXSW Korean showcase. The showcase, Korea Spotlight, formerly known as K-pop Night Out, will take place at The Belmont on Friday, March 16th and just like previous years, there will be seven (7) artists/bands performing. Of the seven, five were previously announced in the general announcements (including a few we talked about in yesterday’s article) but two were announced as a part of the special Korea Spotlight statement.

I have to say, I like the new name of the showcase as it better represents the show as a spotlight on Korean music. The K-pop Night Out name was slightly funny if you think of K-pop as a genre (as I do) as half (or more) of the bands/artists performing weren’t K-pop artists. The new name, Korea Spotlight, makes more sense.

The showcase has an interesting lineup with musicians representing a broad spectrum of genres from pop to R&B to indie-rock and more. There really is some great music to fit pretty much everyone’s taste. And if it’s anything like past years, it will be a fun night filled with great music so you won’t want to miss the Korea Spotlight if you’re attending SXSW this March.

It will be open to ages 18+. For more details on the announcement, check out SXSW’s article.

Korea Spotlight Artists

Without further ado, let’s talk about who will be performing at the Korea Spotlight showcase…

Newly announced performers include:

Lee Hi | Courtesy of SXSW

Lee Hi

Only 16 when she debuted with her single  “1, 2, 3, 4”, Lee Hi has a soulful R&B voice that belies her young age.

Here’s her SXSW page for more info.

Social Media

KARD | Courtesy of SXSW


KARD is a coed K-pop group with lots of cute charm on stage.

Here’s their SXSW page for more info.

Social Media

Previously announced performers in the Korea Spotlight lineup include:

CIFIKA | Courtesy of SXSW


An electronic pop artist with a fun sound you’re going to love. While I’ve never seen her live, I’m certainly looking forward to it.

Here’s her SXSW page for more info.

Social Media

Image courtesy of Hyukoh’s Facebook page


This indie rock band was formed in 2014 and was first act to sign with Tablo’s independent label HIGHGRND. They made quite an impression on North American fans during their tour last fall (click here for our review).

Here’s their SXSW page for more info.

Social Media

DPR LIVE | Courtesy of SXSW


An up-and-coming hip hop artist is a part of the DPR (Dream Perfect Regime) team that started gaining notice with the song “Eung Freestyle (응프리스타일)”.

Here’s his SXSW page for more info.

Social Media

Crush | Courtesy of SXSW


The charismatic R&B singer has made an impact on the Korean hip hop and R&B scene since he first debuted in 2013. Definitely check out his music if you haven’t already

Here’s his SXSW page for more info.

Social Media

Say Sue Me | Courtesy of SXSW

Say Sue Me

I’m super excited as Say Sue Me is one of the indie bands on my ever-growing “want to see live” list. They have a laid back indie-rock sound and their second album is coming out next year.

Here’s their SXSW page for more info.

Social Media

Final Thoughts

This year’s lineup is another good one with some strong talent and fabulous music all packed into one evening. Each year I wonder how they will top the previous year – last year was my personal favourite as it featured three groups I love (No Brain, Galaxy Express and the Feel GHood Music family) but this year might come close with Crush, Hyukoh, Say Sue Me and CIFIKA. I just know it’s going to be a good night!

Who are you looking forward to seeing most?

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.

We want to hear what you think!

%d bloggers like this: