Korea's Premier Showcase Festival, Zandari, is Back!
Since 2012, every fall sees the return of what many call Hongdae Christmas. It is Zandari Festa time in the epicenter of Korean indie rock, Hongdae! Established, growing and legendary local acts combine with talent from across the globe to rock stages across the Hongdae area. It is a dream live gig spectacular for music fans and an unparalleled learning and networking opportunity for industry professionals from all over. This year, the festa is running from October 4th through the 7th and features over 100 bands who will be performing to enthusiastic crowds, interested journalists, fellow musicians and industry professionals who will be coming from wherever home is to check out what the Korean rock scene is all about.
While the after-party may be our favorite part of the fest, because that's where you can meet and chat with people from all over the globe who are doing great things in music, the true highlight of the weekend is the ability to run around the area popping into club after club seeing one incredible band after another. There are always surprise hits each year and we can't wait to check everyone out!
To get a taste, hear what just a few of the scheduled performers had to say about their upcoming gigs and Zandari in general:
Falsettos | Rock | Japan
Miuko Nakao | Guitarist/Vocalist:
Q: Why are you excited to travel to Korea to play at Zandari Festa?
MN: Because we love Korean food.
Q: Why should people come see your showcase at Zandari Festa?
MN: We’re the hottest act from Japan! I think people are stupid if they miss our show.
Q: What would you like to teach people at Zandari Festa about your local music scene?
MN: Nothing, because the whole scene sucks except for us and a few other cool bands.
Q: Who do you want to see play at Zandari Festa?
MN: As many bands as time allows.
From their short answers alone, we can't wait to see this band and get to know them!
Elis Paprika & The Black Pilgrims | Rock | Mexico
Elis Paprika | Frontwoman
Q: This is your second straight year playing at Zandari Festa. Did you learn anything at last year’s fest that you think will help make Zandari Festa 2018 any easier for you? EP: Yes! Last year was our first time playing at Zandari and our first time in Korea. We learned many things about the bands, what people listen to and like in Seoul, and a lot about the many music venues you have there. We think that the main thing helping us this year was meeting the people who make Zandari possible, the bands and the international and local promoters that we’re now working with. This time we’re staying a bit longer in Korea and performing in other cities as well, and as an independent band knowing people to work with around the world is very valuable. We also learned that everyone gets along really well at Zandari Festa, and we can now invite many people to our official showcase which takes place at The Convent Pub in Hongdae on October 5.
Q: Did you see any Korean bands that you enjoyed at last year’s festival? EP: Yes, we did! We love Nametag and invited them to perform at a music festival and other concerts with us in Mexico. We want to get to know more and more Korean bands to maybe work with in the future. We are an independent band that travels the world and we like to work with other independent bands from other countries to have them come play with us in Mexico and to for us to be able to perform with them in their music scenes.
Q: What can audiences expect from your showcase at Zandari Festa 2018? EP: We have a brand new record called Venganza – which means “revenge” in Spanish – coming out in late October, so our showcase will feature a lot of new material. Audiences can expect one of the best rock shows they’ve ever seen. The new songs are heavy and powerful, and music fans in Korea will be the first people in the world to get to listen to them live!
The independent spirit and collaborative vibe of this band sounds fantastic, and we fully expect to make contact this year and get to know them!
Teardrop | Metal | Korea
Jose Kim | Guitarist
Q: What do you have planned for your Zandari Festa showcase?
JK: We’re going to play seven songs from our second album, Plan Z. We’ll be singing in both Korean and English, so it should be really easy for local and overseas music fans to have a great time at our showcase.
Q: What advice do you have for music fans coming to Zandari Festa for the first time?
JK: Come and have a lot of fun! Zandari Festa is a very unique festival for music fans and gives people the opportunity to enjoy lots of different genres and styles from Korean bands and acts from around the world as well. I'm really proud of how many fantastic Korean bands are in Zandari Festa 2018. All of the local talent on the bill is really great and it’s totally worth your time to see as many of their shows as possible. I guarantee it! Zandari Festa is the only festival of its kind in South Korea. It takes place in an area named Hongdae that is very popular and has lots of good restaurants and other cool places. It’s the perfect spot to have fun all day and then party all night with us at Zandari Festa! Q: There are lots of bands playing at Zandari Festa. Why should people come and see Teardrop play?
JK: We’re one of the few heavy metal bands in the lineup. We’ve been around for 14 years and are known as a “legendary alternative/nu-metal band” here. Our live shows are for the audience. We share lots of energy with them and make them move. If you come check us out, you can expect to hear heavy riffs with groove-oriented rhythms and ear catching melodies. This is our third straight year being invited to play at Zandari Festa, so we must be doing something right!
Seeing a staple like them at a festival like Zandari is going to be a blast!
Heynam Sin X Patients | Punk | Korea
Sumin Jo | Bassist
Q: Please tell us about Heynam Sin X Patients. SJ: This is a new collaborative project between vocalist and bassist Heynam Sin with members of the hybrid punk band Patients. For our live performances, we perform with two bassists and a drummer. We’ve released three digital singles and a 7” over the past two years. Q: Why are you excited to share this new project with people at Zandari Festa? SJ: I think Heynam Sin X Patients is unique and brilliant, and we represent the present and future of Seoul independent music. Anyone who wants to really enjoy some new and exciting music at Zandari Festa 2018 should come and give us a listen. Q: What advice do you have for music fans coming to Zandari Festa for the first time? SJ: There are 100 indie artists from around the world playing at different venues throughout the weekend. It’s a music lover’s dream come true! My advice to you is to try and see as many bands as you can and to make lots of new friends with all the music fans, musicians and music industry delegates who have come to Hongdae for Zandari Festa. The festival is about good music and friendship, and everyone is really friendly and happy to meet new people. So don’t be shy! Q: What bands should people try to watch at Zandari Festa?
SJ: Heynam Sin X Patients, Yoja, Idiotape, DTSQ and more, more, more!
Sumin is among our favorite people in this scene, and the founder of one of the coolest labels/clubs in Korea, Steel Face. So you can be sure, we'll be there!
If you find yourself in the area, or are thinking about it for any future autumn season, make sure to check out Zandari Festa to see some of the best music the world has to offer, make friends and connect with music professionals from all places and in all facets of the business.
Bonus | learn more about one of our favorite bands at this year's fest, lightcraft!