To nobody’s surprise, it seems there will be no Peace in the DMZ concert next weekend. The only thing I find surprising is that it took the organizers so long to announce what everyone had long suspected.
Peace in the DMZ had faced a lot of troubles from the beginning. They lost a couple of big investors when Artie Kornfeld told them they could not use “Woodstock” in the name of the festival (which, given that the organizer called itself Woodstock Korea and used the Woodstock URL, they apparently really wanted to use). The lineup of bands was a strange jumble that did not really make sense together. But I do find it amazing that in 2010, we are still having this basic, ugly concert problems in Korea.
Now the big question is, will Kanye West really be performing at the Summer Week&T concert in Naksan Beach this weekend? He is still listed on the posters and website, but there is no signs of any mention on Kanye West’s websites, Myspace page, Facebook page, etc. Hopefully it is just an oversight. I find it hard to believe that SK Telecom (a cosponsor of Summer Week&T) would attach their name to an event that misleads about its lineup.
(UPDATE: I just saw Kanye West mention traveling to Korea on his Twitter feed, so I feel a lot more confident about his show now.)
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Oh, the Jisan Valley Rock Festival last weekend was a lot of fun. I was there on Friday and had quite a good time. The concert site is pretty far from Seoul (and organizers definitely need more signage at the bus station … and more shuttle buses), but it is a very picturesque location.
3rd Line Butterfly played soon after I got there, and were their usual solid selves (although 3:40pm and in sunshine is not really their ideal slot). Martina Topley-Bird was really good — a wonderful voice and delightful stage presence.
After enjoying the excellent Belle & Sebastian, I found a good seat at the back, by the food stalls but with a good view of the stage, and basically sat there for the rest of the evening. But I am old, so unapologetic about being lazy.
Best of all, all the advertised bands showed up and performed. What a crazy concept.
Anyhow, Jisan is clearly the top music festival in Korea now, in term of acts, professionalism, turnout and general ambiance. There is a decent write-up about how Jisan went over here.
UPDATE: There is a much fuller and more interesting overview of Jisan over at this blog. He mostly seemed to like it, although he thought the lineup was not as good as Fuji Rock. But to defend Jisan Valley — Fuji Rock has 13 stages, gets well over 100,000 people and costs 39,800 yen (or 550,000 won, or $450), so of course they get more. Korea is still building its festival scene and I think you are going to see more and better festivals in the future.