Posted on June 15, 2017
Hiphopplaya Festival 2017, one of the biggest hip hop festivals in Korea, took place on April 8th. Also known as one of the only outdoor hip hop festivals, this was the second year Hiphopplaya has been held. Most hip hop shows in Korea tend to be indoors, in clubs or theatres. However, HPF 2017 was held at the Nanji Han River Park, a great place for people to let loose and have a great time together.
Recently, many hip hop TV shows such as ‘Show Me The Money’ and ‘Unpretty Rap Star’ have been getting really popular, and so the genre has been gaining a lot of new interest from people across Korea. I think this is why the audience included a wide variety of people from all walks of life, from teenagers who came with their friends, to couples, to elderly people with their families. For me, a father putting his young daughter on his shoulder to watch the show was one of the most memorable moments. There was absolutely no barrier of age or gender; everyone was there moving to the beats and having a good old time.
There was a lot of diversity in the lineup as well. Popular artists Dok2, The Quiett, Jay Park, Loco, and E Sens appeared on the stage alongside other less well-known but equally talented artists such as SIK-K and Hash Swan. Unusual at these kind of events, many of the artists performed with a full live band--this live feel gave it an even more unique flavor and made it more memorable. Loads of people were talking about the quality of the lineup over the weekend. I do hope, however, that next time around there will be some more female artists on the bill.
Another interesting thing about the weekend was that MelOn were doing a live broadcast from the venue. The quality of the broadcast was really high, both in terms of video and sound. I think it really helped grab the attention of potential audience members. It also meant I could check out some of my favorite performances, or even a few I had missed, when I was back in the comfort of my own home. Of course, being at the festival and watching it live is the best way to experience it, but it is nice to be able to watch it again and remember how much fun I was having. And, for anyone who could not make it to the site, a live stream is probably the next best option. It gives a good idea about the atmosphere of the festival and I think would probably encourage people to go to future incarnations of the festival too.
I was impressed that the audience was able to enjoy the performances even at the official merch booths or on the shuttle bus between the venue and Digital Media City Station. A lineup that satisfied both mainstream fans and hardcore hip hop fans, convenient facilities, live broadcasts and other strong points were sure to attract big crowds to HPF 2017. I feel that HPF, with its outdoor location at the Nanji Park, has now established itself as the number 1 hip-hop festival in Korea.
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Written by: Hansol Kim
English Translation: Song Hee M. Roh
Edited by: Rock 'N' Rose