BUSAN, South Korea – For me, Funked Up is a lot more than just an excuse to rock a skin-tight flower polyester shirt all night (although I certainly do enjoy that). The party has truly become something special to us at Better Magic.
At the time we started the event, we were doing a number of one-night-only, theme-based events. There was an ‘80s party, a space party, a punk night, a rock n’ roll one, a hip-hop night and the list goes on. But we knew from the start that Funked Up was different.
I remember back in 2009 at the first edition, before we had even finished setting up, a group of middle aged Korean folks walked into Vinyl with a flyer in hand asking if they were in the right spot for "Pun-kuh-duh an-duh So-red Ou-tuh". It was barely 10 p.m. and the music wasn’t even on yet, but they wanted to stay and dance. So we threw on some tunes for them and they just lost it. Floating all over the floor, bustin’ out moves I’d never seen before, all with the biggest smiles on their faces. I knew then that this party wasn’t gonna be the last.
At the second edition, it was mid-July and Busan was right in the middle of monsoon season. It had been pouring all day and there were no signs of mother nature letting up. As people started rolling in through the doors, drenched to the bone and outfits a mess, I was about to hit the washroom when I noticed that water was gushing down the back stairs through the crack in the alley door. I got a Vinyl staff member to help me, and we decided that opening and closing the door to seal off the crack would be a good idea. It wasn’t. There was literally a two-foot pond of water in the alley, which suddenly became a waterfall down the stairs. Still, we managed to seal the crack and mop up the water before it got any worse. Sure people were soaked, but it didn’t matter. The weather didn’t spoil the night, 'cause once again, the music prevailed.
And it’s the music that makes the night so special. Funk, soul, Motown, disco, boogaloo. This music just spells happiness and good times. It’s feel-good music, no matter if you’re the only ones on the floor or soaking wet. It’s got the power to make those otherwise too shy to dance in front of others actually lead the Soul Train line down the middle of the floor. Young or old, foreign or local, it really doesn’t matter: the music brings everyone together in a celebration of peace, love and happiness.
Funked Up & Souled Out is happening Friday, May 4 at Vinyl Underground in KSU. Tickets at the door are 5,000 won.