First established in 1999, the Seoul Drum Festival marked its 17th anniversary this year in 2015 with a celebration commemorating Korea’s 70th anniversary of liberation from under Japanese colonial rule. The 2015 festival, which was held under the theme “Celebrating independence in my own way, with my own drum!” ran for two days from August 7 to 8, 2015 at the Seoul Plaza. Participants included extraordinarily talented percussion teams from both home and abroad (three overseas teams and four Korean teams), each of which filled the plaza with their own spectacular performances and rhythmic beats.
The festival was also attended by the team BLAST, one of the world’s most recognized percussion teams. The team, which is comprised of eleven members, boasts more than 200,000 views on its YouTube channel and has completed more than 100,000 performances worldwide. Known for performing music from a diverse range of genres, from classical music to jazz, pop, rock-n-roll and techno, the team pairs its precision beats with eye-catching dance moves, resulting in an amazing, full-scale entertainment experience that must be seen as well as heard.
Also joining in the festivities this year was Aquiles Priester, the world’s top metal drummer, active mainly in Brazil. Aquiles Priester is highly respected by major media companies worldwide and is beloved by fans for his hard-core performances that are as powerful as they are spell-binding.
Of course, not to be overshadowed were the four Korean percussion teams who joined in the festival, wowing audiences with their fine-tuned skills and solid stage presence. Also on stage was artist Son Star, drummer of the famous Korean rock band Cherry Filter. At the festival, Son Star celebrated the 19th anniversary of his professional debut by treating fans to a deeply inspiring electric drum performance.
Other highlights of the festival included performances by Drum Cat, Korea’s leading women percussions group known for its delicate yet powerful performances, and Balkwang, a creative percussions group that is involved in musical exchanges all over the world. In addition to modern artists, the festival also showcased the best of Korea’s traditional beats and sounds with a stellar, toe-tapping performance by the Institute of Traditional Percussion, which was founded to preserve and develop Korean traditional percussion.
This year’s festival saw a wider stage than in previous years as well as the addition of a huge LED screen to maximum the performance space and the enjoyment of the audience. The newly expanded stage was equipped with state-of-the-art lighting and audio facilities, which not only gave artists the ideal performance environment, but also enabled more audience members to fully immerse themselves in the music and partake in the festivities.
The night garden of Seoul Plaza was also furnished with audio facilities and a huge lighting structure so that visitors could enjoy the nighttime festivities as much as in the day. The level of this year’s Seoul Drum Festival truly set the bar for future events.
This summer, forget the heat by dancing away your cares with a visit to the Seoul Drum Festival held at Seoul Plaza.
For more information, please visit the official website of the Seoul Drum Festival, (http://www.seouldrum.go.kr) or inquire at the Culture & Arts Division of Seoul Metropolitan Government (☎82-2-2133-2571).