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Live music festivals announce lineups, gradually returning to regular concerts
  • October 13, 2021 | Music

Live music festivals announce lineups, gradually returning to regular concerts

Updated : 2021-10-10 16:31

By Park Ji-won

Since last year, following the start of the ban on large gatherings due to the spread of COVID-19, regular music festivals have been forced to hold online concerts or cancel their events. As concerts cannot be held outside of designated music halls, under the strict Level 4 distancing measures, which have been in place in the Seoul and surrounding metropolitan region until Oct. 14, outdoor music festivals have again met the same fate as last year, in which they must either be held online or cancel their events.

However, as the number of vaccinated people in the country grows, along with the possibility of the introduction of eased distancing measures, amid the government's effort to introduce a "living with COVID-19" scheme by November, music festivals are gradually betting on being able to be held offline again.

The organizer of the 18th Jarasum Jazz Festival, the country's biggest jazz festival, said it had delayed the event on the island that the festival is named after in Gyeonggi Province, from Oct. 9-11 to Nov. 5-7, while announcing its final lineup. The lineup includes Leenalchi, an alternative pop sensation that reinterprets pansori (a traditional genre of Korean music) with pop rhythms, singer- songwriter Sunwoojunga; Jazz vocalist Nah Youn-sun; singer and member of girl group SES, Bada; and guitarist Park Joo-won.

Last year, the festival was held via online channels. This year, the festival is planning to have assigned seats, as well as to allow groups of maximum three people only. It is also planning to move up the start time of the festival due to the cold weather.

The Seoul Forest Jazz Festival, which was originally planned for Oct. 16-17, also delayed performances to Oct. 30-31 while streaming the festival online. Its lineup includes 12 groups, such as Lucid Fall, Lim Kim and trumpeter Damon Brown.

The 2021 Grant Mint Festival, which was planned for two weekends, Oct. 16-17 and Oct. 23-24, said that it will be canceled due to the pandemic.

The 2021 Busan Rock Festival was held on Oct. 2 with about 450 in attendance. As Busan has far fewer daily infections than the capital area and is under Level 3 of the social distancing measures, it is allowed to hold outdoor music festivals with less than 500 participants.

Some festivals are providing livestreaming online for free. The Incheon Pentaport Rock Festival, which was held online Oct. 9-10, has provided its entire program via YouTube. The World DJ Festival, which is being held Oct. 9-11, has been displaying its event via YouTube, Naver and U+VR.

Have A Nice Day, an indie music festival held from Oct. 23-24, where Standing Egg, MeloMance and Cheeze are scheduled to perform, has changed its venue from an outdoor stage in Incheon to Samsung Hall at Ewha Womans University, Seoul.