Hot days, cool music at Super Sonic

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Hot days, cool music at Super Sonic

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Super Sonic 2013 kicks off this afternoon at Olympic Park in southeastern Seoul and runs for two days. Provided by the organizer

Super Sonic 2013 kicks off its two-day festival of rocking and grooving this afternoon in Olympic Park, southeastern Seoul, featuring 33 artists from Korea and abroad.

This is the second go-around for Super
Sonic, a festival connected to Japan’s 13-year-old Summer Sonic. Organizedby PMC Networks, a promoter best known for its Nanta theater troupe, Super Sonic has three stages: the Super Stage (Gymnastics Stadium No. 1), Sonic Stage (Gymnastics Stadium No. 2) and outdoor Hello Stage.

Although temperatures in Seoul are soaring into the 30s these days (over 90 degrees Fahrenheit), Super Sonic festival organizers say music fans needn’t be scared of the weather, as two of their three stages are air-conditioned.

Today, the big headliners on the main Super Stage are Pet Shop Boys, bringing their classy disco beats and over-the-top theatrics around 10:10 p.m., along with funk greats Earth, Wind and Fire at 7:40 p.m.

Three Korean bands will precede Earth, Wind and Fire, with the pop-rock of Dickpunks beginning at 4:30 p.m. and the electronica of Glen Check starting at 5:50 p.m.

On the Sonic Stage, the English trio Two Door Cinema Club will begin playing for Korean fans at 9:10 p.m. And on the outdoor stage, the mellow, bossa nova-tinged sounds of Humming Urban Stereo begin at 8:50 p.m.

Tomorrow, which is the National Liberation Day holiday, the gates open earlier at noon, and the day will feature even more acts.

Among tomorrow’s lineup will be Western performers John Legend and Lindsey Stirling, as well as Korean groups such as M.C. the MAX, Vibe, Verbal Jint, 10cm and wild indie veterans Hwang Shin Hye Band.

In an unusual twist for a big festival like this, tomorrow’s headliner is also a Korean act - and not just any Korean act, but 63-year-old veteran, Cho Yong-pil. Cho has been enjoying quite a resurgence this year, thanks to the surprising success of his new album, “Hello.”

Earlier this month, Cho got together with the younger musicians from 16 groups, including DJ DOC, Royal Pirates, Vibe and Dickpunks, to record “Let’s Go on a Trip,” a theme song for the festival.

Cho also announced that he’ll receive no pay for his performance at the festival. However, he asked organizers to make some changes he thinks needed for the health of the music industry.

For instance, Cho asked for more Korean indie groups to be added to the bill - and judging by the indie-rich lineup, they’ve done just that.

He also urged the organizers to stop giving out free tickets, a common way promoters increase the number of visitors to festivals.

PMC Networks, the organizer, announced on Aug. 8 that it took Cho’s request to heart, and says there will be no freebies given out for this festival.

Another change PMC has announced for this year is improved transportation after the shows.

One-day tickets cost 88,000 won ($78.90) today, 99,000 won tomorrow, or 160,000 won for both days.

For more information, visit www.supersonickorea.com.


BY YIM SEUNG-HYE [sharon@joongang.co.kr]
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