Kenji Onizuka performs during HBC May Fest. / Courtesy of Deeleebob Music
By John Redmond
The popular Hae Bang Chon (HBC) Fall Music Festival celebrates its 11th year with a series of concerts themed "Half Past 11" at selected venues around HBC, Seoul, starting Thursday.
Slated as the longest-running independent music festival in Korea, the definitive expat and international music fest is made up entirely of independent musicians and performers from Korea and around the world.
"This is the second installment of HBC Fest in its 11th year taking us into a new decade for independent music and self-promoted artists," organizer Lance Reegan-Diehl said.
This fall event is expected to feature around 100 bands and artists throughout the weekend with the bulk of the performances beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday.
"The main street where the action happens is very famous as a local expat hangout, and HBC Fall Fest has made the entire area blossom into a bubbly, busy place for all kinds of businesses to open as more people find it an attractive neighborhood and the place to be," said Reegan-Deehl.
The festival is operated by local business owners who provide performance venues. Not every business in the area is a venue for live music, and while there are many that openly encourage the festival, attendees are still reminded to keep the streets clear.
"This is still not a street party. Keep the music and the party inside the bars," Reegan-Deehl added.
Traffic police will be dispatched to keep traffic flowing. As well, volunteers will make a tented and taped-off section along one side of the street in front of Bonny's Pizza up to Bedrock in order to separate pedestrian and car traffic.
The festival venues include V-Lounge, Phillies, Bedrock, Alley Bunker, The Cave, Bonny's Pizza Pub, Hair of the Dog, Al Matto Terrace, Camarata Music, Genie Pub, Thunderhorse Tavern, Boogie Woogie, The Workshop and Hidden Cellar. The Hidden Cellar also hosts its regularly scheduled open stage on Sunday as part of HBC fest.
Basement venues Phillies Pub, Camarata Music, Bedrock, Thunderhorse Tavern and V-Lounge will host the band performances where the music is loud.
Acoustic performers will entertain guests in bars and restaurants at street level.
Joining a host of local bands including Kimchi Cowboys, Wooden Lucy and One Way Out, special guest guitarist Kenji Onizuka from Japan will perform a series of shows with L.R.D. Band.
Entry to HBC Fall Music Festival is free. T-shirts are available for 15,000 won to support the festival.
Visit hbcfest.com or facebook.com/HBCFest for more details, including an updated schedule and list of performers.