By Shim Jae-yun
Seoul plans to host a Korean music festival in London as part of programs to celebrate the 130th anniversary of diplomatic relations with the United Kingdom, according to the Korean Culture and Information Service, Thursday.
The "K-music Festival" will feature traditional and contemporary Korean music to help boost understanding of Korea and its culture, said the government agency that will host the event.
The festival slated for June 14 to 21 will comprise of noted Korean musicians, the National Orchestra of Korea, and master pansori singer Ahn Sook-sun, representing traditional Korean music.
Within the contemporary music circle, the country's leading indie bands including the Lee Seung-yeol Band, and Jang Gi-ha and the Faces will appear.
The festival will open with a performance by the National Orchestra at the Barbican Center in London, the largest arts center in Europe, on June 14.
"The festival has been designed to provide European audiences with the chance to get familiar with Korean music genres other than K-pop, which has been gaining steady popularity in Europe as well as in the U.K.," an agency official in charge of the event said.
"It will also help Korean musicians in their bid to advance into foreign nations," he said.
Toward that end, the agency hosted a showcase event for the media at Gwanghwamun, Thursday, with the attendance of relevant figures.
David Jones, head of Serious which is the largest music agency in Britain, briefed on ways for Korean musicians to advance into the British music market. The agency, now in charge of marketing in London for the forthcoming event, is seeking to explore means for Korean musicians to appear on local broadcasters such as the BBC and release music videos in conjunction with local agents.
He expressed hope that the event will help British K-pop fans to expand the scope of their music selection and pave the way for Korean music to make inroads into Europe.
"We expect the event will help promote the globalization of Korean music and enhance national prestige. We will consider whether to regularize such events depending on the result of the upcoming one," said the agency official.