Story by: George Kim, Photos by:
The sooner you get your New Year plans set in stone the better. Wait too long and you risk spending another New Year’s Eve sipping soju in front of Family Mart. Not that that’s ever happened to me.
Following are some venues with the foresight to have their New Year’s Eve plans established in November, so we could give them free advertising in Groove Korea’s December issue. Details have been provided by hosts and are subject to change. Call ahead.
The Wolfhound Pub
Wolfhound is having a countdown at midnight at both of its locations. They will offer champagne by the glass bottle specials all night. They will give away free Jell-O shooters throughout out the night. There is no cover. To get to Wolfhound, take Line 6 to Itaewon Station, Exit 4. As soon as you exit the station, double back and turn right at the intersection. Turn right at the first ally and Wolfhound is on your right about 20m down the street.
Countdown Seoul @ Times Square
Countdown Seoul is back this year at the same venue. Like last year’s party, the 2011-12 version is packed with great artists. Completed in 2009, Times Square is Korea’s newest landmark attraction. It’s a huge complex with Shinsegae Department Store, CGV Starium, Kyobo Book Centre, E-Mart, and a 273-room Marriott. Bands include UV, So Me, Housse De Racket and Breakbot, who are performing in Korea for the first time. Party kicks off at 7 p.m. and goes to about 5 a.m. Early bird tickets cost from 66,000 won to 77,000 won. Tickets at the door cost 99,000 won. To get there, take Line 5, Line 1 to Yeongdeung-po Market Station, exit 3,4. Get your tickets at ticket.yes24.com or call (02) 1544-6399. For more information, go to http://timessquare.co.kr/en.
Every year as the clock nears midnight on Dec. 31, Americans eyes turn to the dazzling lights and bustling energy of Seoul and the Dragon Hill Lodge. Called “America – The Beautiful”– New Year’s Eve her has become somewhat of a tradition. As the clock counts down, an estimated 2,000 people inside the Dragon Hill Lodge are united in bidding a collective farewell to 2011. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for reservations. JW Marriott New Year’s Eve Room Package includes a double room and two tickets to the Dragon Hill Lodge’s New Year Gala. For $233, get transportation to and from the Dragon with your room.
High Light Festival
The popular Asian-American electro hip-hop group Far East Movement is putting on a show to celebrate the New Year. Six acts will perform at this hip-hop and electronic festival at the Vista Hall — while four groups perform at the Walkerhill Theater. Artists include DJ Sebastian, Idiotape, DJ Yup, DJ Feadz, Beat Burger and more.
The festival goes from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. Tickets range from 66,000 won to 132,000 won.
Go to Gwangnaru Station, line5, Exit 2. For more information, call (02) 323-2838 or go to highlightfestival.mnet.com.
Bongeunsa Temple & InterContinental Seoul
The InterContinental Seoul suggests first heading to Bongeunsa Temple —right across from the InterContinental Seoul COEX, for of New Year entertainment including the ringing of the bell at midnight and a fireworks display.
Guests at the Sky Lounge will have a view of Samsung-dong and the Han River. Make reservations for a late dinner here to take part in the countdown and enjoy a special drink set, making it a romantic way to end the year.
Also on New Year’s Eve, The Sky Lounge Pluto Room is preparing a “Propose Package.” In the lobby lounge from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. you can take part in Deluxe Wonder Hour, while from 11 p.m. – 1 a.m., the Midnight Snack Buffet has a veritable feast at a reasonable price. Here, join in the countdown and groove to live music until 1 a.m. as you ring in the New Year in style.
At the Grand InterContinental Seoul Parnas, Table 34 is offering champagne with a New Year’s Eve set menu. Marco Polo will offer a late dinner, combining Mediterranean cuisine and an Asian course menu with the thrilling view of the city below.
Since 1994, DJ.DOC has been a K-pop fixture. They’re famous for their exciting stage presence. If you’re a fan, this is where you wan to be on Dec. 31. The concert takes play at Olympic Park’s SK Olympic Handball Gymnasium, Seoul from 8 p.m. Standing room tickets go for 99,000 won and reserved seating cost 110,000 won.
To get there, leave Exit 3 of Olympic Park Station on Line 5. For tickets, go to http://ticket.interpark.com of call the Korean Tourism Organization for help getting information in English.
On 1st floor of W Hotel, WooBar’s sound system will make sure you literally ring in the New Year. DJ Belzebass, previously a member of the New Metal, will seize the night with Nu-Rave on Dec. 31 from 10 p.m.-4 a.m. Tickets come with a welcome drink and cost 50,000 won through Interpark and W60,000 on site. Call WooBar at (02) 2022-0333 or go to their website (email@example.com) for more information.
The Meet Market
Join some of Korea’s hottest queers at The Meet Market for a night of drag, dancing, and debauchery. Hosted by The Butch-hers (Rachel Miller and Kim Thompson), this is a new party for the GLBTQ community (and their allies) that is hosted at the legendary Hongdae club, Myoung Wol Gwan. You don’t have to be queer to come out and have a good time, but you do have to be queer-friendly. The next Meet Market will be a “Roaring 20s, the Night Before Prohibition” party. Expect some amazing drag, dancing, raffles and costumes. Doors are at 9 p.m. Admission is 15,000 won and includes two free drinks. For directions: http://www.facebook.com/meetmarketseoul.
Final Magic Party
Expect lots of loud Korean indie music at the Final Magic Party. Bands include Gogostar, J-Rabbit, Easternsidekick and Broken Valentine. One ticket gets you one drink. Doors open at 7:30 and the party goes to 2 a.m. or later. Cost is 44,000 won. To get to Rolling Hall, near Hongik Univeristy, take Line 6 to Sangsoo Station and leave through Exit 1. Tickets can be purchased through ticket.auction.co.kr. Call Rolling Hall at (02) 333-9593 for more information.
With the year coming to an end, the venue AX-Korea will host a huge Korean rock party. It’s actually a two-day event: from Dec. 30 to early morning of Jan. 1, but tickets are available for just New Year’s Eve. Performers include: Superkidd, The Moonshiners, Yellow Monsters, Peter Pan Complex — and many more. Both the Dec. 30 and 31 parties start at 3:30 p.m. A one-day ticket costs 55,000 to 60,000 won and a two-day ticket costs 66,000 to 70,000 won. To get to AX-Korea, take Line 5 to Gangnaroo Station, Exit 2. For more information, go to www.ax-korea.com and mintpaper.com.