World DJ Festival 2011: The First Music Festival of the Summer

World DJ Festival 2011: The First Music Festival of the Summer

Images and words by Lauren McGee

Festival season has begun. First up was World DJ fest. World DJ fest is not hugely popular for the great line up…however, the atmosphere and buzz of the festival still manages to draw the big crowds. There was some controversy initially this year from the Korean indie/DJ scene. Word on the street is that up and coming artists were not all being treated fairly and the promoters maintained that they should feel privileged that they were asked to perform at the event; the money bag men tried to sell to the local Dj’s that  being paid accordingly didn’t matter. This caused some Korean journalists/music lovers to boycott the event and stay at home instead… who could blame them?

WDJF moved to a new location, Yang Pyeong, FAR East Seoul.  It turns out when you press Yang Pyeong on the subway machine it gives you two options…This caused a lot of confusion for visitors as people unintentionally headed to a different location. Also, this year T-money was introduced. When waiting in line for the T-money topup machine at the common expat station Noksapyeong, you were greeted with the following “Do you know if they except cash?”; “Do they have cash machines”; “Apparently you have to buy your ticket using T-money too.”   There was obviously a confusion overload amongst the foreign community.

After the epic subway journey from the center of Seoul to the outskirts, and the not so far 15 minute walk to the location, you were finally at Yang Pyeong. You could hear the music pumping out from all directions. An army of expats and Koreans alike were sitting outside the festival drinking Soju, taking the opportunity to drink for cheap. Although once inside WDJF proved themselves to have stepped up the game from last year. There were rows beyond rows of food tents and drinks. Prices even cheaper then the standard bar in Seoul. People were in costumes. People wore face paint. People wore sunglasses (at night). People were dancing. Generally everyone seemed to be having a great time. Come 5 a.m. it was still fairly busy, but by now those that were dancing were now lying passed out on the hundred of mats in various locations.

Six a.m., the end. Festivals goers slowly made their way back to the subway station on an eerily foggy morning. The subway station was packed and as the train pulled in, there were screams and laughter as everyone rushed for a seat. The unfortunate ones lay out on the floor. My bet is many people missed their stop back that morning and ended up on the other side of Seoul….or even worse back where they started to a now empty Yang Pyeong.

Cocktails in a bag--super strong at just 5,000 won per bag.
Judge Jules from the UK
Fest revelers in the Kent cigarette tent.
Come 3 a.m. Koreans whipped out their maps for a power nap.
These hipsters are recognizable fest lovers last seen at Global Gathering 2010.
As the fog moved in, the people headed out. Good morning dawn.
6 a.m.: Yang Pyeong Station with spirits still high.


Lauren McGee is still in Korea after initially coming for one year, two and a half years ago. Korea stole her heart and a couple of months ago she said goodbye to Cheongju and hello to Seoul, to be deep in the depths of all the action. She loves music, dancing, art and red wine. She can’t bear to miss out on anything and likes surrounding herself with happy positive people, generally living as a social butterfly. Whatever that means.
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