By Maia Dey
This year’s edition of Zandari Festa, the largest annual music showcase festival in Korea, will take place in Hongdae from September 29 – October 1.
Want to show off your musical chops at the event? The deadline for overseas acts to apply has passed, but the fest is accepting applications from musicians based in Korea until June 30. It’s free to apply and you can find the English application form here: http://www.zfesta.com/en/artists/apply/
Started in 2012, each year Zandari Festa presents a wide range of musical styles – there’s literally everything from folk to electronica to hip-hop to hardcore and metal on the bill. Zandari Festa ’16 included showcases from over 160 acts and featured no shortage of top-notch Korean and expat bands. The fest also had its largest global presence to date, with groups from 18 different countries flying to Seoul to perform. Music industry professionals from around the globe attended as well, including label reps, European booking agents, and staff from a number of notable Korean and overseas music festivals such as Primavera Sound (Spain), Focus Wales (Wales), Liverpool Sound City (England), V-Rox (Russia), Exit (Serbia), and Tune in Tel Aviv (Israel).
Comprised of Korean, American, and Polish members, Seoul-based melodic punk band …Whatever That Means have gigged throughout Korea, the US, Malaysia, and Singapore. They first performed at Zandari Festa in 2014, and eagerly accepted invites to return in 2015 and 2016 as well.
“I know everyone always says this, but that doesn’t make it any less true – Zandari Festa is just a big party,” say guitarist/vocalist Jeff Moses. “I’d argue it’s the best party in Korea. It’s great hopping from venue to venue with everyone we know here in Korea. It’s great getting to know more musicians and promoters from other countries. It’s great being able to see all my favorite Korean bands and find out about independent bands from other countries. This year, we’ve even got some friends we’ve met on tours outside of Korea applying for the fest. It’s just straight up good times.”
Moses likes that the fest makes it easy to for musicians to network with peers and industry folks that can help them advance their career both at home and abroad.
“We’ve made connections at Zandari Festa that have helped us book and promote shows in the US,” he adds. “And we’ve also got connections now for whenever we end up making it over to Europe because of Zandari Festa.”
Whatever That Means: https://www.youtube.com/watch?
Korean bluesy rockers Wasted Johnny’s have also performed at Zandari Festa a few times now and are big fans of everything that the festival offers. The group just finished up their first UK tour, which they were able to make with the help of people they met at Zandari Festa 2016.
‘’Zandari Festa is a great festival,” says guitarist/vocalist Angie An. “We can meet bands from all over the world, delegates from overseas, and make new fans too. Last year, we had the chance to hang out with many delegates during the festival. And as a result of our activities, we earned an invite to play at Liverpool Sound City. We also made lots of friends from the UK including members of the Glasgow band Colonel Mustard & the Dijon 5 and Sheffield’s I Set the Sea on Fire. They helped us set up gigs in their hometowns and let us stay at their homes during our tour too. We hope we can maintain these relationships forever and make more friends in the UK and around the world as well.
When asked why bands in Korea should apply to be a part of Zandari Festa ’17, An has this to say.
“It can provide them with a large pool of information and new opportunities. This festival has helped show us that we can go everywhere with our music.”
Wasted Johhny’s: https://www.youtube.