Zandari Festa 2015 Logo

Started in 2012, Zandari Festa quickly established itself as South Korea’s largest music showcase festival. The annual event takes place in Seoul’s Hongdae area, the epicenter of youth culture in South Korea and ground zero for the country’s indie music scene. For three days each October, Zandari Festa brings together acts and music industry professionals from around the world for concerts and conferences at more than 20 unique venues around Hongdae. One wristband allows festival-goers access to all of Zandari Festa’s shows.

Along with showcasing established acts and exciting up-and-comers from South Korea’s burgeoning indie scene, with each passing year Zandari Festa has placed a greater emphasis on becoming a truly global event. At 2012’s inaugural Zandari Festa, acts from two other countries traveled to Seoul to perform. However by 2014, more than a dozen countries had artists representing them at the festival. By attracting more international talent, Zandari Festa has been able to expose audiences to a wider range of musical talent and has helped build bridges that have allowed for both Korean and overseas artists and Korean and overseas music companies to better communicate, work together, and learn from each other.

Zandari Festa 2014 received more than 500 applications and invited 215 acts to perform over the duration of the event’s three days to an enthusiastic crowd of music fans, journalists, and industry professionals. Zandari Festa 2015 will take place from October 2 – 4 and promises to be the most exciting edition of the festival yet!

We chat with a few artists who will be performing at Zandari Festa 2015.

Jeong-Seok Oh, the trumpet and flugelhorn player for Korean ska band Kingston Rudieska. Kingston Rudieska previously played at Zandari Festa in 2013.

What are some of the things you like about Zandari Festa?

I like that Zandari Festa takes place in Hongdae and that the fest gives good opportunities to underground musicians to perform for new audiences and become more well known. It’s great to see that Zandari Festa continues to grow in size and popularity with each year and that more and that the number of overseas artists in increasing.

What does Kingston Rudieska have planned for its Zandari Festa 2015 performance?

We released our fourth full-length album that came out last year, “Everyday People.” And since then, we’ve been making new singles for our next album. We’ll be playing some of these new songs during our Zandari Festa showcase.

 

Tierpark guitarist Jonathan Jacobson. Tierpark is a Seoul-based dreamgaze/noise rock band made up of members from Australia, Belgium, and the United States. Tierpark previously played at Zandari Festa in 2013 and 2014.

What are some of the things you like about Zandari Festa?

I think it’s great that the festival highlights both local bands and brings in acts from other countries. One thing I think many Korean bands lack is international exposure. So it’s great to bump elbows with foreign bands and foreign press. And the after party is a must.

What does Tierpark have planned for its Zandari Festa 2015 performance?

We’ve actually been on hiatus for almost a year since our singer Sehee and I had a baby earlier this year. Now that we’re playing again it really feels like we’re rediscovering our music. So you can definitely expect a lot more expression and more energy. This month we released our second full-length album, “The Moment Two Worlds Meet”. So we’ll be playing a lot of new material from that at our Zandari showcase.

 

Djang San, a French musician based in China whose music mixes rock, jazz, and folk with world music. Zandari Festa 2015 will be his first time playing in Korea.

Why are you excited to play at Zandari Festa 2015?

I am excited because I feel there is a lot to discover about Korea. I have been in China for a long time and it is now time for me to explore more Asian countries and to share my music with more people. The fact that I use an ancient Chinese instrument that I have electrified as my main instrument will, I’m sure, interest a new audience in Korea.

What can people expect from your performance at Zandari Festa 2015?

Our performance as Djang San + Band will be very interesting because people will discover a new way of doing music. I thought a lot before electrifying my zhongruan (an ancient Chinese instrument) myself and I have played the instrument since 2001. I have transformed the way to play this instrument and have even influenced the way some people now play this instrument in China. As a pioneer of the modernification of this instrument both musically and in the modification of the idea of the instrument, I hope people will perceive the magic of using a 2500-year-old instrument to play jazz, rock, electro, and more.

 

Future Gaze’s vocalist Sharon Q. Future Gaze is a Shanghai-based band that plays a mix of electronic music, techno, house new wave, and post-punk and features members from China, New Zealand and France. Zandari Festa will be their first time playing in Korea.

Why are Future Gaze excited to play at Zandari Festa?

We are super excited to play at Zandari this year because this is our very first time to play outside of China and also because we’ve heard about so many great things happening in the Korean music scene right now. Everything is growing so fast and the music scenes there – for both pop music and underground music – are now becoming the most developed music scenes around Asia. That appeals to us a lot! We wanted to go to Korea for a long time but haven’t had the chance. But thanks to Zandari Festa’s application system and the fest’s great attitude towards every band who wants to play in Korea we now have the opportunity to come and play for a totally new crowd who don’t know us or our music at all. We’re waiting and expecting different kinds of feedback from everyone who likes us or hates us! Waiting for unpredictable results is always exciting.

What can people expect from Future Gaze’s Zandari Festa set?

Our Zandari Festa showcase will be different than the sets we’ve played in China because this will be our first time adding in visuals that are synced with the music. It’s going to be challenging for us because we’re not sure whether it will work or not. But hopefully it will! We’ll also be releasing our first EP at Zandari Festa too. Hopefully we don’t scare too many people away. But don’t worry; it’s safe to be around us!

 

ZiXuan & Slow Train’s vocalist and guitarist ZiXuan. ZiXuan & Slow Train are an acoustic rock band from Taiwan. Zandari Festa will be their first time playing in Korea.

Why are you excited to play at Zandari Festa 2015?

In the past, what we mostly knew about Korean groups were only K-pop groups. But I watched videos of Korean bands that had performed at Zandari Festa in the past. Their music was different from my what I thought Korean pop music was. I discovered that there are a lot of original and impressive indie bands in Korea. When I searched for information on Hongdae, I found that Hongdae is a lively place, which is similar to our hometown, Taiwan. We are looking forward to Zandari Festa and to meeting many Korean musicians and musicians from all over the world.

What can people expect from your performance at Zandari Festa 2015?

We will perform a full-band show at Zandari Festa. It is the typical way we present our music. We produce our songs with our native languages, Hakka and Holo, and it is different from other Taiwanese bands. Hakka and Holo have distinct rhythms and musicality from Mandarin. If possible, we will try our best to tell the audience stories about Taiwan through our music.

 

For more information on Zandari Festa: Here