Ulsan World Music Fest

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Now I know this isn’t technically a Busan event… but it’s close enough and the amount of overseas talent onstage is alarming. There will be folk music from all corners of the world, reggae, disco, hip-hop, jazz. Sometimes, the absence of outside culture here gets to me and I yearn for something different to stretch my brain around. This festival seems designed to do just that.


Held in one of Korea’s most economically robust cities, the festival itself is in it’s 46th year. Also, this is the first year there will be a conference held called the Asia Pacific Music Meeting which aims to connect artists, promoters and other industry folk from around the world. It’s an interesting addition that should help the lineup grow even bigger in the future. However, as it sits today, this festival is no joke.

Sadly, my computer doesn’t jive with the music festival website. Oh to be a mac user in Korea. But the details I am able to glean are as follows: There are 4 venues… I’m not sure if some of them are free or what, but I assume the ‘Open Stage’ is. The lineup is nice in that most acts play a couple times throughout the weekend so it’s easy to see every offering without jeopardizing your usual habits of drinking shitty beer in some dive. I found the Korean version of the website is more extensive than than the English one.

Skip & Die

If you can help it, don’t miss Tahuna Breaks(NZ reggae/funk) or Che Sudaka(Cumbia/ska). A lot of the Korean acts look like very interesting modern riffs on traditional gugak and pansori (Coreyah,Song-Hee) in addition to old favorites likeYaya and Surisuri Mahasuri. And then there are lots of random musics that I’d probably otherwise never get a chance to see like Skip & Die (hip hop, electro, random coolness),Bajofondo (tango), Breabach (Celtic), and Muzsikas (Hungarian Folk). One act that I am excited to see is a funky homegrown outfit called Sultan of the Disco. The band is spot on and the singers seem to have a choreographed thing going on that it seems only Koreans can pull of these days (although that’s up for debate).

So here’s an English lineup. The festival runs from October 3rd through the 6th. Most of these acts are worth checking out. Don’t miss this opportunity for some full on world culture up in ya face-piece!



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