At the end of every summer, great bands from every corner of Korea, Japan and beyond converge upon some idyllic place near Busan and make a party. Pure and simple. No pretensions, no stress, no worries. It’s called Sunset Live and it’s the little brother of one of the largest reggae festivals in the world.
This is a Busan band that I just happened to stumble across on youtube. I’d never heard of them or seen them before but it seems they have quite a following and their sound is unique and fresh. They are called Band Ryeong Gyo… quite a mouthful for western tongues, and quite an earful too. This might be too obscure a reference: If anyone remembers the electronic rock band Defector Frequency a few years ago… they sound like that but cooler. I can say that because Defector Frequency doesn’t exist anymore… and that isn’t cool at all.
This weekend sees the biggest musical event of the year in Busan. Although the lineups aren’t as star studded as some of the other big festivals in Korea, Busan International Rock Festival is unique in that it is free and that it takes place right in the city. This year’s headliners stay true to the festival’s pedigree of hard rock, metal and punk that dominate Korean indie music. But the past few years the organizers have been bringing many new types of bands such as celtic, ska, reggae and funk.
The festival will, once again, take place at the spacious Samrak Park (삼낙공원) that borders Busan’s west edge against Gimhae. There are two stages, the main stage and a smaller stage for up-and-coming acts (And the award for best second stage band name goes to… Velcro Sex out of Daegu!). Also there are concessions and a “Club Music Lounge” which, in the past, has been a nice, if not quiet, place to get out of the heat.