Posted : 2013-10-07 16:10
Updated : 2013-10-07 16:10

Gangnam Festival draws 30,000 K-pop fans

Popular boy band SHINee performs during the Gangnam K-Pop Concert at the outdoor stage set up near the KEPCO building in Samseongdong, Seoul, Sunday. The band sang "Everybody," the title song of their fifth EP. / Yonhap

By Kang Hyun-kyung

More than 30,000 local and Asian fans turned up at the outdoor stage near KEPCO building in southern Seoul, Sunday, for the K-Pop concert held on the sidelines of Gangnam Festival 2013.

The fans, waving glow sticks, sang along with their idols, chanting their names when they performed.

The K-Pop concert was the highlight of the four-day annual festival consisting of four major events — runway shows, the music concert, a marathon and local food tasting.

Popular boy bands and a girl group performed during the two-hour concert moderated by singer Baekhyun, a member of 12-member boy band EXO.

The concert reached its peak when the boy band SHINee performed "Everybody" from their fifth mini album for the first time.

Fans went wild as the handsome boys wearing shiny white two-piece outfits sang and danced along with the title song which described the regret of a man who is falling in unrequited love with a girl.

Switching to more colorful outfits, the boy band treated their fans with their hit songs, "Dream Girl" and "Sherlock."

Many of the concertgoers posted messages about their excitement on their Twitter accounts, and some took photos or videos of their stars' performances to post on their blogs.

Boy bands EXO, INFINITE and girl group Girl's Day presented powerful performances, wowing their audience.

On Monday, the K-Pop festival became the most searched item on the nation's largest Internet portal NAVER.

Officials from Gangnam District Office said that an estimated 18,000 of the fans were Chinese tourists who visited Seoul for the week-long national holiday.

"The number of fans who turned out at the annual concert this year is almost twice that of last year. This reflects that the festival was quite successful," said Jung Myung-ja, an officer of the tourism promotion division of the district office.

"Last year, we saw some 18,000 K-Pop fans gathering at the concert. I think the key reason behind a surge of fans appearing at the music festival this year is that several of the K-Pop singers (for this year's festival) have diverse fan groups that joined the annual event.

Nam Woo-hyun, a member of the boy band INFINITE, reaches out to cheering fans during the K-Pop concert held in southern Seoul, Sunday. / Yonhap

SM Entertainment's stars dominated last year's K-Pop concert. But this year, three management agencies sent their stars for the annual feast.

An estimated 150,000 Chinese tourists visited South Korea for the holiday, admitting that the coincidence of the Chinese holiday and the K-Pop concert partly attributed to its success.

District officials said that the annual festival played a critical role in elevating the image of the district.

They said the popular festival, which has drawn more visitors year after year, would also positively affect the local economy as the district is known as the Mecca for high-end fashion and culture.

Discount sales are underway at malls in the Gangnam district and this will continue until the end of the month.

Visitors had the chance to taste quality food made by renowned chefs with only 3,000 won.

Foreign diplomats and citizens participated in the peace marathon, with registration fees donated to local and global non-profit groups fighting to eradicate global poverty.

Other diverse events took place on the sidelines of the annual festival. Runway shows and a contest to select the winners of fashion design took place during the four-day festival.

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