BUSAN, South Korea — Sunset Live is certainly not one of the better-known music festivals in Koreaâand that, perhaps, is its greatest attribute. In its sixth year, this party has slowly grown under the radar to be one of the most unpretentious and competent celebrations of music in Korea.
The musical acts have always been varied and at the top of their games. There are no filler bands at these shows, as the organizers are deliberate in choosing the acts; you’ll see well-known Korean pop-rock acts whose songs you’ll recognize from TV or the radio, as well as indie bands that will blow your mind along with your eardrums. For less conventional enthusiasts, jazz, latin and experimental music is a great way to chill out on the sand and under the sun.
This year is special for the festival, because it has finally booked a venue worthy of its name. In the past, Sunset Live would be held at various parks in and around Busanâlast year, for example, it went down amongst the picturesque slopes of Eden Valley Ski Resort. As its bigger brother, the obscene spectacle of music and art known as the Fukuoka Sunset Live Festival in Japan, has always taken place on the beach, the organizers are thrilled to bring their show to a Korean sea.
We sat down with Kim Jong-gun, one of its organizers, to get an insider’s preview of this year’s event:
Haps: How long has Sunset Live been going on?
Kim: It began in 2007. This is its sixth year, and I have been a representative since 2009.
Haps: What were your influences or intentions when you began producing this event?
Kim: The original Sunset festival started in 1993 in Kyushu, Japan. The theme was “love and unity”. We built on top of this idea. In addition, Busan Sunset Live is an environmentally friendly festival. Though it was originally organized with the support of young surfers and local music related businesses in Japan, in Busan it’s organized by musicians, music promoters and various music companies who are concerned about the poor condition of cultural events here. It’s usually on on the last weekend of August. This year, finally, it’s happening on Songjeong Beach! This year we are hosting famous musicians from Busan, Seoul, Daegu and Japan, as well as multi-national acts and popular indie bands.
Haps: What bands are you most excited about this year?
Kim: Since we choose each band with great care, there is no one band who are especially excited about. Singer and songwriter Lee Han-chul, who has a popular song Super Star, has been with Sunset every year for the last six years. Ninano Nanda, Bard, Cozy Cafe, Every Single Day, Jude, 21 Scott and Toda also perform great shows year by year.
Every Single Day is especially exciting as they have been writing and performing the original soundtrack of Golden Time, an MBC drama.
Toxis, the winner of KBS Top Band Season 1, and Yaya, who has been seen on KBS Top Band Season 2, will be performing this year as well.
La Percussion, the only Brazilian music band in Korea; One Drop East, whose made-in-Busan multi-national sounds always light up the crowd; Ska Wakers, the ska-reggae band; and newbie Latin band Hot Pepper Pasta will surely make the festival into a party.
Lastly, Jennifer and Keitaku from Japan will join us this year the festival.
Sunset Live will be going down August 25 and 26 at Songjeong Beach. The easiest way to get there is take the subway to Jangsan and hop in a taxi for a short ride to the shore. Tickets are 22,000 won for one day or 33,000 won for both. To get more information, visit their Facebook page here.
Read Brian’s previous cover story interview with Every Single Day here.
8.25 (Saturday ?)
2 pm Jennifer Isolution ??? ?????(Japan)
2:30 Yeouiba Band ??????
3PM Duo Sonic ????
3:30 Every Single Day ???????
4:20 Ska Wakers ??????
4:50 Unchained ????
5:30 Ya Ya ??
6:10 Jude ??
6:50 One Drop East
7:30 Human Race ?????
8:10 Crossnote ?????
8:50 Keitaku ????(Japan)
9:40 Lee Han-chul ???
8.26 (Sunday ?)
2PM Americano ?????
2:30 Kim Chong-gul ???
3PM Toda ??
3:30 Speak out ????
4:10 Aishisadi ??????
4:50 Full Acoustic ?????
5:20 Coach Cafe ????
6PM Aeri Band ????
6:40 Hot Pepper Pasta ??????
7:20 Ninano Nanda ?????
7:50 21 Scott
8:20 No. 1 Korean ??????
9PM Bad ??
9:40 Toxic ??