We’re all super bummed to be missing the biggest and best showcase festival in Korea – Zandari Festa this year – especially after viewing the lineup announcements! So many of our favorites are on there, so it broke our hearts to have to miss it.
Zandari Festa 2017 will take place from September 29 – October 1. This year’s event This year’s event will see 120 acts performing at 10 different venues to enthusiastic crowds of music fans, journalists, and global industry professionals. There were 400 bands that applied to be a part of Zandari Festa 2017, and from that 60 Korean and 60 overseas acts have been chosen.
We had the opportunity to pick the brains of some of the attending artists about what they think of Zandari ahead of their appearances this year. First up, I was BLOWN away by National Pigeon Unity last year at the opening party. I heard they were playing and literally ran across Hongdae from another gig just to see them play. If you get the chance to see them this year, they are not to be missed.
Secondly, I happened to attend Zandari Festa last year for the ONLY year that Lowdown30 didn’t play (and I feel totally offended by this!) So I had to reach out to them. They have one of the most unique sounds in all of the Korean music scene.
Next I wanted to hear from ABTB – who are one of the most intriguing new bands playing in the Hongdae scene, and I missed them last year due to scheduling conflicts. (This is a common festival occurance, when you want to see more than half the line-up, it definitely encourages multiple return trips to Korea for the fest, just to catch everyone you want to see!
New to me was US – based YOJA, who was kind enough to chat with us too!
Why is Zandari Festa a great festival for Korea’s indie scene?
Dong-Hun Kim (National Pigeon Unity): It was easy to find indie bands in Hongdae clubs 10 years ago. But now the culture of Hongdae has changed a lot and most young people who visit the area want to go to a hip-hop club or a dance club instead of a rock show. This is not a good sign for indie bands like us. But when Zandari is happening, Hongdae feels like it used to. Lots of people who love indie music come to Hongdae and the atmosphere is fantastic and makes me feel alive again.
Keun-Hong Park (ABTB): That’s easy! It’s the biggest party of the year in our scene.
Byeong-Joo Yoon (Lowdown 30): The festival’s organizer really cares about and respects Korea’s indie scene. And I like that so many bands are involved with Zandari every year.
Hunter Martinson (YOJA): The indie scene in Korea is awesome and growing fast, but it’s still a little isolated. So, it’s awesome to be able to watch and play alongside bands from every corner of the universe. It puts Korea’s indie scene on the map for a brief but bright time.
Why are you excited to be playing at Zandari Festa 2017?
Dong-Hun Kim (National Pigeon Unity): I had a great time hanging out and sharing music with the foreign bands that played at Zandari last year. I’m really excited to get to meet more bands from all around the world this year.
Keun-hong Park (ABTB): It’s three days filled with lots of great music, lots of great bands, and lots of great music fans. It’s pretty much impossible not to have a great time.
Byeong-Joo Yoon (Lowdown 30): The energy in Hongdae during Zandari Festa is amazing. We’ve played the festival every year except 2016 and the great energy and atmosphere is one of the things that keeps making us want to be a part of Zandari.
Hunter Martinson (YOJA): We’ve been in Korea for a while, but this will be our first time playing at Zandari Festa. It’s a big step for us. We’ve got some butterflies in our tummies.
What bands do you want to try and watch at Zandari Festa 2017?
Dong-Hun Kim (National Pigeon Unity): I want to see LabLION, Eyre Llew, and Idiotape.
Keun-hong Park (ABTB): I want to see everyone that I can. I love all of the local sounds and am interested in seeing new bands from overseas too.
Byeong-Joo Yoon (Lowdown 30): Definitely Kimoki Fuckingmadness! I’ve only had the chance to check out a few of the foreign bands so far, but the Japanese band Unclose sound interesting.
Hunter Martinson (YOJA): I Am Dive, Gunner and Smith, Billy Carter, and Wasted Johnny’s. Those are our kind of jams.
Thanks to National Pigeon Unity, Lowdown30, ABTB, & YOJA for checking in with us! Click those links, follow the artists, and check them out at the festival happening at the end of the month in Seoul!
Zandari Festa tickets are available on their website, the festival runs September 29-October 1st.
Keep up to date with festival news, announcements and tips on their Facebook page & official website. And be sure to check back on our continuing Zandari Festa coverage. Including our 2017 top 15 acts voted by our intrepid writers.