Typhoons don’t rain on rock promoter’s paradeThe three-day Incheon Pentaport Rock Festival, which began last Friday, attracted well-known rock groups from around the world including the Black Eyed Peas and Placebo as well as many rock music fans. Behind the event was Kim Hyeong-il, 36, co-president of Yellow 9, an event promoter.
The typhoon and pouring rain across Korea last week reminded him of the first rock festival in 1999, which was suspended because of a typhoon.
“Watching a rainstorm that continued all night [in 1994], I felt dismal. Foreign musicians, who were participating in the event, tried to console me before leaving. Faxes were coming in from performance event promoters,” Mr. Kim said.
He sustained huge losses, but did not give up his passion for rock festivals. He thought Korea needed a major rock festival like the Glastonbury Festival in England and Japan’s Fuji Rock Festival.
“I envied foreign rock festival culture where strangers found common ground in music and easily became friends. I wanted young Koreans to have fun participating and making a culture of their own,” Mr. Kim said.
Mr. Kim said that just as World Cup cheers became a culture of their own, he believed rock festivals were a venue at which young people could create a culture of passion. The fact that many foreign musicians told him they thought Korean audiences were very passionate and knew how to enjoy themselves encouraged him, he said. His personal favorite group in the festival is Franz Ferdinand.
“There was criticism that even hip-hop musicians were performing in the festival and the purity of the event had been damaged, but I believe rock music can accommodate all genres,” Mr. Kim said. “I selected the musicians based on their musical talents and live performance experiences.”
Mr. Kim said he was going to rent a recreational vehicle and park behind the stage to fully enjoy the event.
by Jung Hyun-mok
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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