Words & Images by: Tamara
Jisan Valley Rock Festival:: 07.29.10-08.01.10 :: Jisan Valley Ski
Resort :: Icheon, South
Having lived in New Orleans for the past seven years, I didn't realize how spoiled I was
with live music until I moved
to South Korea this past March. Due to the location of the town that I'm teaching in,
I've only seen three live bands
in the past five months! So, I was desperately looking forward to this year's Jisan
Valley Rock Festival,
which takes place on the Jisan Valley Ski Resort grounds, just 40 minutes south of Seoul
in Icheon. Getting there, for
me, involved a three-and-a-half hour train ride, an hour subway ride, and a final hour-
long bus ride. Getting the
right information, in English, about where, when and how to get to the fest was slightly
frustrating. A far cry from
waking up in my own bed and walking a few blocks to Voodoo Music Experience or Jazz Fest
in New Orleans.
|Crash :: JVRF 2010|
Jisan Valley Rock Fest lasts for three days, where you can camp or stay at one of the
local jimjibangs (saunas with
with sleeping quarters). This year's line up boasted such international acts such as
Belle & Sebastian, Massive Attack, Corinne Bailey Rae,
Muse and New
acts I was looking forward to seeing were Toe (Japanese progressive rock),
roots reggae), and The Moonshiners (Korean rockabilly), along with Seoul
Electric Sound, Mate, Art of
Parties, Galaxy Express and Taru.
A band that really blew my mind was a Korean thrash metal band called Crash. Little
did I know how
legendary they were. Getting their start in the early 90s, they were the first band here
to inspire moshing and stage
diving, which there was plenty of at this performance. Korean metal is alive and well.
The rock stages ended their
night at 9:30 pm but the entertainment didn't stop there. It spilled over to the
Electronic Stage, where there were
DJs spinning until 4 am every morning. Another late night option was the fire poi
demonstration area accompanied
by a drum circle, or if you wanted to get down and dirty, another DJ tent had foam spewing
down on you until the
break of dawn.
Food, Drink & Vendors
The food and drink venders were open during all hours the festival operated. Options
included New York hot dogs,
a taco/burrito stand, hamburgers, toasted sandwiches, slow smoked meats, and fresh grilled
chicken boti and
samosas, along with traditional Korean foods like cold kimchee noodle soup, tteokbokki
(rice cakes, meat and
veggies in a red pepper sauce), dried squid, spicy ramon, and beondegi (boiled silk
worms). Yes, I have tried
beondegi, and though it may be high in protein I will never venture that way again.
There was only one beer
option, which was Miller Genuine Draft, though there were plenty of cocktail stands. The
most popular was Vinyl,
which is known for making their drinks in plastic bags. My personal favorite was the
fresh lime margaritas and mint
mojitos from Lazy Heaven. Limes are impossible to find here so to have such a delicacy
was worth every cent of the
The Indian Village was surrounded by vendors and food stalls. There was an Orange amp
tent, a vintage dress store,
a CD tent, Calvin Klein underwear (really), and a Cosmopolitan Tent, where you could get
makeovers or do your own
touchups. There was even tent full of exercise bikes where they provided you with an iPod
A Few Things That Might Need Explaining
Korean couples dressing the same: If you're in love, you match your clothing to
the T. Same T-shirt,
jeans, flip-flops and yes, even knickers. Most underwear stores have male/female models
wearing undies made
from the same material.
The Top 4 Questions Koreans Ask Foreigners: How old are you? Are you married?
What's your blood
type? and What is your job? This still baffles me as much as it is entertaining.
Jisan Rock Fest is only in its second year, capturing an attendance of roughly 30,000.
For my first festival far, far
away from home it was delightful. Who wouldn't want to be tucked away in the mountains
of Asia listening to some
of the best bands in the world for a weekend?
JamBase | South Korea
Go See Live Music!