Tuesday, May 24, 2011

World DJ Festival, Seoul

After lots of confusion over tickets and prices and payments and plans, finally Friday after work, with bags packed I headed off to the World DJ Festival. I had read about the event and saw pictures from last year, and had some friends who attended and it looked right up my alley. WDF is an electronic music festival featuring talent from around the world. The line up was nothing really to write home about, but the lack of this kind of fun in my life since I came to Korea meant it was one event there was no way I would miss!

I came home from school on Friday and after a quick pitstop at home Garry and I were all suited and booted for a weekend of fun. We treked with all our stuff to Gangnam by bus and stopped for a bite. From Gangnam we started the almost 2 hour subway ride to YangPyeong, keeping our fingers crossed the whole time we were headed the right way. As we got closer to our destination we saw other foreigners and Koreans looking similarly curious with anticipation so we figured we were headed in the right direction. At the last subway stop we headed out and followed a small crowd to the venue. It was pretty impressive, even at 11pm in the dark, I could tell they had a good set up.

Upon arrival, things almost seemed too easy. We didn't have to line up for anything and it was all pretty straight forwatd. The forecast sucked and there was light drizzle so it looked like the masses were saving themselves for Saturday and skipping out on the first nights festivities. After signing in and getting bracelets we headed to the camping zone and picked up our rented equipment. In the dark we managed to find a spot and got ourselves sorted. Garry passed one of the many hurdles I like to throw at him and was able to put up a (Korean!) tent, in the dark and drizzle with almost no trouble at all (insert nod of approval here).

After quickly unpacking and mentally navigating so we knew EXACTLY where to come back to (not easy when almost EVERYONE is using identical rental tents!), we made the move to festival stages. The set up was massive but it almost looked like a ghost town. We wandered around from area to area and sussed out food stalls, drink stalls, toilets.....all the basics. It was after midnight by now and we stumbled across the main electronic stage, with about 40 people bopping about. As luck had it, when we got up close, the DJ playing was basically the only dude I was interested in seeing all weekend, Satoshi Tomiie.
Friday evening ghost town.

Satoshi Tomiie

It was somewhat bitter sweet. It was so cool to see him playing to such an intimate crowd, but at the same time it must've been a bit of a buzz kill to be playing such a great large venue to only a handful of people. Oh well. Garry and I made the best of it and had a blast. We hopped around the grounds and spent most of our time at the drinks stalls gearing up. A few hours later we stumbled our way back to our tent and called it a night.

Just to set the temperature for the entire weekend, this is how I woke up Saturday morning. I had to use the bathroom and with one eye open knew it was going to be a mission. Without moving, I took a few minutes to mentally prepare myself for the excursion (I could tell by the lack of noise it must still be really early Saturday morning). So I slowly sat up and looked to my right, check Garry. Looked to my left....ugh- unidentifiable man that SHOULD NOT be snuggled up next to me in my tent, check. What the.....? I woke Garry with a start and told him, half laughing at the ridiculousness of the situation, but half really just wanting this guy out of my tent. I went for a quick stroll and much to my dismay, came back to 2 people still in my tent. Garry's only sentiments to me were, "Alex, I think he's dead". Honestly, this guy was C-O-M-A-T-O-S-E! I shook him, and called at him, and poked him...nothing. It took me forever, but I finally managed to stir a very still-drunk Irish guy out of my tent. Later in the morning, we met our other Irish neighbours and one of the girls said her friend got up in the middle of the night to pee and just never came back. She thought it was odd, but was sleepy and figured he just crashed with a different friend of theirs. Um, no, he snuggled into our tent. Interesting fellow. (Note: We later spotted him crusing the festival in a head to toe green and yellow fuzzy dragon suit, see below photo.)
Our tent mate

Saturday. Saturday. Saturday. Saturday. Saturday.

Saturday started off very painful, the after effects of a great Friday night. The forecast took a complete 360 and wound up to be a beautiful, blue sky, hot and sunny day. Desperate for food, we crossed the huge bridge to get back into town and found a Dunkin' Donuts (okay truth be told we hailed a taxi, and I was still in my PJ's but we DID find food fast). It was nice to have a look around though cause where we were, you had a view of the mountain, a lovely river, and the city centre. A pretty nice surrounding for a festival.

The Venue, just over the river.

In a taxi, in my jammies, desperate for hangover food.

Part of the day was spent nursing a painful hangover under a tree in the shade. Music started up again at 2pm and people were pouring in. There were different things to do and check out around every corner. There was traditional dancing in costumes, an international section, a silent disco area, food stalls, massage areas, stalls selling things, games to win things and of course the booze tents. (For anyone who doesn't know what a silent disco is, they're incredible! Basically a DJ spins to a crowd where everyone is listening in on headphones. As a onlooker it is so entertaining cause you can feel and see and hear peoples excitement when a good tune comes on without even hearing the song!)


Jenna showed up on the Saturday and even though I was still a little rough from Friday we all perked up. We spent Saturday dancing and drinking and eating and just wandering about people watching. People watching in Toronto amazes me, but doing it in a foreign country just blows my mind. Especially at music festivals. Especially in Korea. People come out of their shells and just go for it. They dress funny, they act funny, they do things that normally wouldn't fly. Perfect example- I have a self diagnosed sun glasses addiction. I find it strange that in Korea, people don't really wear sunglasses very much. However, at the festival.....AT NIGHT, pretty much everyone donned them. It was awesome, sun goes down, shades go on. Most of my enjoyment from the festival was seeing the Koreans let loose. It was such a fun playground of things to see and people to watch. I've tried to pick a few photos but nothing would really do it justice.

Chinese food stall uniform-
wicked white tees saying "ALEXANDRA"
How random? (I scored one)

'Stached Beauties
Sleeping Beauties

Out for the count

My Jenny Bear :)

After Friday's debaucherie, Saturday was a little more tame but still fun. I managed to get a few hours of sleep before the reality of making our way home set in Sunday morning. We woke up to a drunken group of english teachers practically in our tent, it felt like they were so close. This just motivated us to pack it all and get a move on. It was painful but we did it. The tent was put away and returned with sleeping bags and polls and mats in record time. Bags packed (why does it always seem the bag is heavier, with more stuff in it on the way out than it was coming in?), and off we went. Garry had a weekend injury (that's just a whole other story) so we opted for a lazy return home. Instead of changing on the subway line a whole lot and walking and it taking forever, we hopped in a cab. After major miscommunication issues we finally found ourselves back in Gangnam and on a bus back to Osan. Coming home never felt so good.
Rescue Team

World DJ Festival was a mission. We spent a lot of money, we got really dirty, had one official war wound, amongst a few other mishaps, but all in all, it was a great weekend, fun had by all!

1 comment:

Joey said...

ONLY in Korea can you get away with going into town in your PINK pajama's... that was the highlight of that post.